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Google Cast Emerging As Smart-TV Substitute

Google Cast is poised to replace smart-TV platforms in select TVs across a variety of brands.

Google announced that the Magnavox, Philips, and Westinghouse TV brands will offer TVs equipped with Google Cast, joining Vizio and Polaroid, which announced its TVs this week.

Like Vizio P-series and M- and E-series TVs launched earlier this year, the TVs will use Google Cast in lieu of an embedded smart-TV platform to access audio- and video-streaming services via an Internet connection. With Google Cast, however, apps aren’t stored on a TV. Instead, the TVs stream content from the Cloud via Google Cast-enabled apps running on a smartphone, tablet, Mac or Windows laptop, or Chromebook, Google has said.

Because the Google Cast-equipped TVs pull content from the Cloud instead of from the mobile device, users reduce the drain on their mobile-device battery, get better audio and video quality, and get the opportunity to use the mobile device for other activities without interrupting TV playback.

Google Cast offers more apps and frequent updates than many dedicated smart-TV systems, currently offering more than 1,000 Cast-enabled apps, Polaroid said this week in announcing a summertime launch of Cast-equipped 4K TVs.

Added another supplier: “Google Cast provides a more robust option than our current offering.”

Westinghouse plans a 2017 launch.  Ship dates from the other Google Cast adoptees were unavailable.

To find Google Cast-enabled apps for mobile devices, Google offers a Google Cast app, which also sets up almost any Cast device and receives content recommendations.

The 4K Google Cast TVs from Polaroid and Vizio stream 4K content via Cast-enabled mobile-device apps, and the Vizio models add streaming of 4K in high dynamic range (HDR). Details of the other adoptees’ products was unavailable.

Google Cast is also built into all Android TV devices, which run the Android TV OS. Smart TVs running Android TV are available from Sony and have been announced by RCA. The Android TV OS will also power a planned set-top streamer from Chinese CE supplier Xiaomi for the U.S. market. Xiaomi hasn’t said when the device will be available.

Android TV devices support Google Cast capabilities but also access the Google Play app store to download apps.