Google builds Chromecast support into Fiber TV cable boxes

Google is adding a nifty perk to its emergent Fiber cable, phone, and Internet service. The company recently announced it would add Google Cast functionality to Fiber TV set-top boxes, meaning your cable box will double as a Chromecast device.

The feature started rolling out on Wednesday, but it may take several weeks before it reaches all users.

The impact on you at home: Once it’s up and running, Google Cast will work much like it does with a Chromecast dongle. Open a Chromecast-compatible app on your phone or tablet, tap the Cast button, and the content will resume on your big screen. Unfortunately, not all Cast-compatible apps will work at launch. Key apps that do not yet support Casting to a Fiber box include Hulu, WatchESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Watch ABC, Spotify, and HBO Now. HBO Go, however, will work.

Chromecast victorious

Google Cast—primarily via Chromecast—is by far Google’s most successful entry into the living room, so it’s not a huge surprise to see it roll out to Fiber TV. What is somewhat surprising is that it took this long for this synergy to happen. Google launched Fiber in 2012 with a cable TV option, and the original Chromecast stick rolled out in 2013.

Perhaps Google couldn’t do it until now because of licensing restrictions with content providers for its TV services, which would explain why some apps aren’t Cast-compatible yet with Fiber.

Regardless, it’s a nice addition for Fiber TV subscribers. Chromecast support alone is unlikely to woo more subscribers to Google Fiber, but it could be that one extra feature that convinces users to give Google Fiber a shot.

IDG Insider


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