Chromecast Update Arrives, Vevo & Plex Streaming In Tow

Dave Zatz —  December 11, 2013 — 9 Comments

chromecast-update

Chromcast update 14651 has arrived. And, with it, a refreshed TV home screen that does away with the WiFi signal strength meter. Under the hood, we find the requisite bug fixes plus an enhanced SDK to support new curated partners and their apps. Of the 10 new streaming partners, you need only concern yourself with two: Vevo and Plex. Vevo is what MTV might look like if they still dabbled in music and Plex is our preferred solution for moving our personal media about the home. However, as currently implemented, Chromecast Plex integration is video-only and requires pretty outrageous PlexPass fees. Here’s to hoping Plex reconsiders their pricing model and that Google ultimately opens the Chromecast API to all.

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9 responses to Chromecast Update Arrives, Vevo & Plex Streaming In Tow

  1. Well, good I guess.

    Sucks about Plex requiring the PlexPass. I already paid for the apps on mobile, not sure why PlexPass is necessary. I guess it’s not that expensive, but I don’t really need the other bits right now.

    Does Chromecast tie into Plex over the web so you can stream your home media to Chromecast from any location, even outside your house? Maybe that’s why they require it.

  2. “Chromecast Plex integration is video-only and requires pretty outrageous PlexPass fees.”

    Yet another reason why Roku is a superior solution to Chromecast: no PlexPass necessary. Roku directly connects to your Plex Media Server without the cloud intermediary Chromecast seemingly relies upon.

  3. Worst product on the market. I own one, and it is in the trash. You can get much better product form competitors right now that will broadcast anything from a phone or tablet, not just two or three apps.

    Another thing is it needs a power cord of some sort Either attached to a USB port on your TV or an electric plug. I like Google but think this was way to early to release, save your money

  4. The article on Plex’s blog indicates that chromecast support is limited to plex pass users for a “limited period”. Part of the sell for PlexPass is early access to new features. It should be made available to all eventually.

  5. Would this provide me with a way to finally
    send my Hulu (pc/mobile only shows) and or Amazon prime streaming to my Roamio

    There are shows that even if your a Hulu+ subscriber you can not watch on a TV only on a pc and i just find this really frustrating and that i can not watch any amazon prime streaming videos on my tivo

  6. @MarkV

    None of the new offerings affects Hulu or Amazon Prime streaming in any way really. You can as I understand it access Hulu and maybe Amazon thru Plex locally, but since this offering uses a cloud solution I suspect it won’t work.

    Besides you can already access either using Tab Casting anyway. Get Hulu playback going on your laptop, Cast the tab, go full screen, then alt+tab to move it to the background. I haven’t done this myself so can’t vouch for the quality. I’ve seen reports that the firmware update has screwed up tab casting so that the audio and video from sites like Hulu aren’t in sync anymore. Don’t know how common it is or when it might get fixed. Presume its a YMMV situation. Apparently tab casting is very taxing on CPU/GPU so the more recent/more powerful your laptop the better…

  7. Looks like Apple TV just added Watch ABC (proof of cable required) and Crackle. Apparently Crackle has that Seinfeld thing Comedians in Cars getting Coffee that sounds funny but I’ve never watched.

  8. The roku3 is $65 on woot.com today, cheapest it’s ever been. It is superior to the chromecast for the vast majority of use cases. Of course even $65 is twice as expensive as the chromecast, but you get what you pay for. The Roku Plex channel is excellent, and the “RARflix” Plex channel is even better.

    Plex’s business model is schizophenic, because a lot of it is built on the shoulders of opensource projects. They give away the server for free. The windows and OSX clients are free also, as they’re based on XBMC. They charge for their proprietary iOS and android clients, but the excellent Roku, web, and appletv clients are free. And then they have PlexPass, which gates some features temporarily. They planned on a linux client, and it was gated under Plexpass for awhile, but now that PlexHT is released the linux client is back to being user-supported.

    My guess is most of their revenue comes from the iOS and android clients, which are five bucks and well worth it. But they’re one-time purchases, so it’s unclear how they sustain. They can’t get many plexpass subscribers, because it doesn’t provide substantial value.

  9. Love the PlexPass stuff and it’s true, newest features and updates are released to PlexPass users first; you can help with testing or just enjoy as-is. Eventually, most features become generally available.

    I’m pretty happy with the Chromecast + Plex combo for the 2nd+ TV situation. Something that does 5.1 / 1080p is still a must for primary viewing.

    Note that Plex Home Theater was also “gated” (as one commenter likes to call it) for Windows and OS X users as well before it was made generally available. As were many server updates. Early access is what PlexPass is about. If you want that, you can pay for it; if you don’t, then you will get access to most if not all features and software updates eventually.

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