Google is planning to take its Cast protocol beyond Chromecast and Android TVs, according to a report from Variety. Vizio will be the first partner to incorporate it and is also planning to replace the remote with a tablet.
Google Cast in Vizio TVs
Google Cast is the protocol used inside the Chromecast dongle. It is also used in all TVs running the Android TV operating system, including TVs from Sony, Sharp and Philips. If you have used it, you know that it relies entirely on a phone or tablet.
Google wants to make Cast even more widely available, if we are to believe a source who spoke with Variety. The company specifically plans to bring Cast to TVs without any affiliation to Android.
For this, Vizio has a plan to replace the traditional remote control with an Android-based tablet. On the tablet you can open any app and cast it to the TV wirelessly. The TV will then take over the stream to the server, allowing you to use the tablet for other tasks. The tablet will also serve as a TV guide. Vizio might even decide not to include the traditional remote but details are not final, the source said.
Why not just use Android TV?
But it begs the question; why is Vizio not just switching Android TV?
In the past, Vizio has used Yahoo’s “Connected TV” platform but Yahoo has decided to shut it down in the next few months due to poor uptake. Recently, Vizio switched to Opera’s TV platform, going from one subpar platform to the next. The company also briefly partnered with Google to sell a media box based on the Google TV platform but the platform untimately faltered and Vizio never integrated Google TV into any actual TV.
So why is Vizio taking this step? It could be a question of costs but who knows for sure at this point.
The first Vizio TVs with integrated Google Cast could launch as soon as a few months from now, according to the report.
Besides Vizio, Google has reportedly approached at least one other unnamed TV manufacturer about the possibility of integrating Google Cast functionality.