From the horse’s mouth
Sonifi, a hotel-technology vendor is working on a guestroom-TV solution that integrates Google Cast functionality in to the hotel room TVs with the ability to stream via the hotel’s public-access Wi-FI network. This was one of the first “integrated Chromecast” setups that I have heard of where you can benefit from Google Chromecast functionality without you needing to plug in a Chromecast HDMI dongle in to your TV.
Now Google have taken this concept further with the Google Fiber TV package where the set-top box has the Google Cast functionality integrated in it. Here, the client device such as your laptop, tablet or smartphone is connected to the same home network as the Google Fiber TV set-top box like what would happen with your Chromecast. You would also perform the same procedures for streaming your app’s output or Web page through the TV as you would if you were using a Chromecast.
This concept can work well if Google continues to license their Google Cast software to other companies who manufacture smart TVs or network-capable video peripherals so as to keep this functionality as a product differentiator. Similarly, pay-TV providers and multiple-play telecommunications providers could have Google Cast as a differentiator for their set-top boxes that are part of their TV services especially where the market is highly competitive. The Google Cast Audio concept can also work well with network-capable audio equipment and Google could extend the logic so that if you are “Casting” an audio-only source like Spotify, Pandora or TuneIn Radio, these sources are by default sent to the Google Cast Audio endpoints.
It certainly shows that Google can put forward their Chromecast technology as something that can viably compete with the Apple TV ecosystem and could even coexist with Miracast and other platforms that are “possessed” by a particular brand.