Chromecast adoption

Why don’t more audio hardware manufactures integrate Chromcast into their streamers? Is it that difficult to program? Are there onerous licensing terms? The 3 manufacturers that have adopted this functionality are Pioneer, Naim and now Cambridge Audio.

From my point of view:

The owner of the streamer would have the ability to ‘cast’ audio to the device from whatever is playing from most any modern web browser via a Chromecast browser plugin. That, for many people, would eliminate the need for anything else.

Most (all?) streaming services incorporate cast functionality within their mobile apps. So in addition to browser support, most mobile apps are ready to stream.

Server software like Plex allows ‘cast’ functionality so a FLAC or MP3 library would be easily accessible and stream-able.

When I see several hardware manufacturers each with proprietary and competing software, allowing various services but not others, I wonder why more haven’t adopted Chromecast. It’s about as easy and as flexible as it gets.

I’m not begrudging anyone their aspirations for Roon or other proprietary platforms. Go nuts. Develop your heart out. But what’s so hard about adding Chromecast?


It probably is simple lack of interest.

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I’m a more than average progressive 52 yr old (next week). I use Roon and Apple TV and Kodi, less than I used to…

I have Chromecast built into my display and I have an Ultra I think it is. I just don’t get on with the mechanics of searching my phone or iPad or computer for something to watch or play.

I prefer the well programmed Harmony remote to control it all, including Roon. I have a old ATV3 with optical out connected to DS for Youtube.

This of course is only my experience, one person, but I get the sense the rest of the world has also said ‘meh’. Please don’t take any personal offense if you do enjoy the Chromecast.

No offense taken, brett66. I’m definitely in the camp of someone who wants to search phones, computers, etc, for music so we just have different goals.

However, Roon streams to any Chromecast enabled device, for example. So you’re covered.

It could simply be a lack of interest preventing manufacturers from integrating Chromecast, but that’s somewhat short sighted, in my opinion. I see hifi companies looking to make their devices more compatible with services, platforms, etc, not less. Less really isn’t a selling feature in this case.

Adopting Chromecast makes any service streamable through a browser compatible with the device. Not to mention dozens of apps on mobile platforms. Virtually any streaming service of consequence supports Chromecast. Which hardware company’s sales and support teams wouldn’t want to say ‘yes’ when asked about compatibility? How can there be a lack of interest in that?

I’m not saying stop developing Octave or whatever proprietary software you want. Just give everyone an added choice. What is the downside? Seriously.

The downside is few care - especially audiophiles, cost, development/implementation/support overhead, many competing streaming services and devices and protocols, etc.

HDMI only is a nonstarter. We need at least optical out to plumb it into our fine systems.

HDMI only makes it a non-starter.

Chromcast supports 24/96 bitrate, so we’re in audiophile territory.

Agreed that costs are always a consideration. If you have some facts and figures around the costs you’ve outlined as limiting factors, I’m interested in learning. If we’re both just guessing, I would guess it costs more to develop/beta test/patch/support an Octave or Lightening OS or BluOS or Aurender Conductor than it does to incorporate Chromecast as an option. It’s a guess. But, again, I have nothing against developing these. Go crazy.

Naim and Cambridge are new adopters in 2018, so it’s not like support is fading. If it’s true that PS Audio and like-minded audiophiles don’t care, so be it.

brett66, when you say HDMI only, you’re referring to the puck devices. I’m referring to Chromecast as a protocol.

Check out the Naim ND5 XS 2. It supports the Chromecast protocol. I simply which there were more choices like this.

But if no one wants it, any cost is too much. :slight_smile:

As a practical matter, Chromcast Audio comes with a 3.5mm analog stereo plug output. Buy one of these units for $35 and you can plug it into any system with analog inputs. There is no need for an audiophile manufacturer to incorporate the dongle into its product.

Other readers might see this and think that the $35 puck somehow gets incorporated into another manufacturer’s high end product. That’s not the case. I’m referring to Chromecast as a streaming protocol. Again, check out Naim’s new streamers.

I bought the puck and it sounded just like you would expect for $35. Terrible.

I suspect that if Google/Alphabet had the real interest in developing the Chromecast streaming protocol for “audiophile” use they themselves would come out with a more advanced hardware and DAC solution than what is contained in the “Puck.” They could do it with the least expense and with the low relative cost of higher end common use DAC chips like the Sabre 9018 and the AKM 4490 they couple develop the device with one of their contract phone or tablet manufacturers for just a couple of hundred dollars. Maybe that would signal to more audio manufacturers to take it seriously.

I doubt anyone will be confused. Chromecast is a competitor to Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth, etc.

It is perfect for an entry level product. Sprout does a wonderful job playing from Bluetooth enabled devices, such as your phone.


I suspect that was what the current Puck device was designed to compete against and it is a much superior alternative to Bluetooth. It would be interesting to see if the “protocol” itself could be taken to a higher level with better associated hardware. For someone like my twenty something Daughter and Son-in-Law the Chromecast puck is perfect to stream Spotify.

Bluetooth is limited as it was designed for very limited distances, etc.

Chromecast and AirPlay appear very similar - built into apps as a universal-style player/streamer.

I suspect the Chromcast “protocol” itself is nothing special and typical of the type. It is the branding and acceptance by third-parties that gives it any sway. Thus, the Naim streamer includes both AirPlay and Chromcast, as well as other services.


As it stands now I suspect you are right about the Chromecast protocol, but could it be more if they saw the need to continue developing it with upgraded hardware fitted to it only they know. As it stands now it does 24/96 using hardware that they probably have less than $5 in and for things like Spotify, iTunes and Pandora is more than acceptable using it’s Optical output into another DAC. I used it for a short time Optical out into a Peachtree Dac-it X in a secondary and it was fine for working or walking around streaming. Have thought about pulling it back out of the box for use with a pair of Vanatoo Transparent Zero speakers on the Screened Porch for outside music.

It’s not that we don’t care, because we do, but there’s a bit of a conundrum for us. What products would we cast to? We at one point tried to add a Chromecast device as a receiver in the upcoming Stellar Integrated but found Google unwilling to work with us to purchase on an OEM basis and threw in the towel. It’s a nice format but not one that the majority of our customers seem to have much interest in.

Incorporating the protocol in a streamer isn’t that difficult, but to what end? I am confused. If you pay good money for a nice piece of kit like a high-performance streamer, what would you intend to cast to it that the streamer itself doesn’t connect with?

Yes the puck. Roon May someday support inputs…then. :slight_smile: