Google Chromecast Rooted, Modified Google TV OS Within

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News Posted: Sun, Jul 28 2013 8:44 PM
The folks at iFixit had their way, tearing down Google's latest media streaming invention and now it seems the team at the GTVHacker blog has exploited the little fella known as Google Chromecast and rooted it with shell access on port 23 of the device. Google is known for stopping well short of locking things down, almost tempting developers and hackers to see what they can do with a new device. This "exploit" will give the community access to the Google Chromecast's environment with a chance to test custom software on the device, much like the community has done with Android smartphones over the years.

Google Chromecast tear-down
Under the hood with Chromecast hardware - the software side is next... 

It turns out, the underlying operating system is more akin to Android than it is Chrome OS.  In fact, it's a "modified Google TV release" stripped down for light application specific implementation in the Chromecast usage model.  This makes sense, actually.  You don't really need all the extra hooks of a full ChromeOS instantiation when, really, the goal is a simple media streaming device.

Google Chromecast has been rooted
Google's Chromecast device undergoing root access...

Unfortunately, the system firmware isn't Android enough to allow the install of APKs or the like but hey, the device has only been out in the wild for a week or so.  Folks are just getting warmed up... 



It's likely a matter of time before we see someone cook up custom firmware for Chromecast.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  And when platforms are open, people with imagination skills can do some pretty interesting things.

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sevags replied on Sun, Jul 28 2013 9:53 PM

Now I am really convinced google is paying HotHardware and the like to continuously cover this device.

No one ever really had a doubt that this was anything other than a stripped down version of googleTV. Thw name seems more of a play on "comcast" the internet and cable provider. Maybe someone will figure out a way to install full googleTV on this thing and able to pair with a bt keyboard/touch mouse device.

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Jul 28 2013 10:44 PM

Paying HotHardware to cover the device? That would be a negative.

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sevags replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 12:55 AM

Doesn't have to be monetary... Maybe goods and services, maybe other incentives, but noway would this thing get this much coverage otherwise.

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Clixxer replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 1:31 AM

Ever thought that maybe it's just a slow news cycle in the tech world? Granted this device has seen its fair amount of coverage (possibly more than normal) but its not like to much is going on either.

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"The folks at iFixit had there way..."

[facepalm]

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 6:35 PM

Well, thanks for the accusations, sevgas but you're wrong. This is an interesting device from a major tech player and contrary to your view, it's causing a bit of buzz. We cover what's out there in the world of tech news, that's it.

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 6:36 PM

Heh... "Vlad"... what's so facepalm about that?

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Clixxer replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 6:52 PM

Dave_HH:

Heh... "Vlad"... what's so facepalm about that?

Grammer nazi alert! their instead of there I believe.

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sevags replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 7:14 PM

It's not all that interesting it's the price that has everyone excited for some reason. Even if googleTV dropped to $35 I don't think it woud be interesting enough for this much coverage. 

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Jul 31 2013 11:21 PM

Clixxer:

Dave_HH:

Heh... "Vlad"... what's so facepalm about that?

Grammer nazi alert! their instead of there I believe.

 

Arrgh!  Shame on me. That's a typo but fixed!

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Jul 31 2013 11:24 PM

sevags:

It's not all that interesting it's the price that has everyone excited for some reason. Even if googleTV dropped to $35 I don't think it woud be interesting enough for this much coverage. 

Can't say I agree.  It has the potential to integrate a huge install base of smartphones and tablets, with TVs, larger displays and other devices (projectors etc.).  I think it's an interim step though.  Chromecast capable hardware will have it baked into the TV next.

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Clixxer replied on Thu, Aug 1 2013 1:23 AM

Dave_HH:

sevags:

It's not all that interesting it's the price that has everyone excited for some reason. Even if googleTV dropped to $35 I don't think it woud be interesting enough for this much coverage. 

Can't say I agree.  It has the potential to integrate a huge install base of smartphones and tablets, with TVs, larger displays and other devices (projectors etc.).  I think it's an interim step though.  Chromecast capable hardware will have it baked into the TV next.

I can see that. In its current state I don't see the big deal of it although it's interesting to see how it preforms rooted. If it does indeed get baked into TVs then that is a different ballgame. Smart TVs are cool but having done home theater installs the past 4 years, I see them as unused by the majority of the population that have them. Give them a real UI with android or something as the backbone and Google might of just added a new revenue stream. TV integration is the logical next step as well with projectors, now that would be worth getting. Google teams up with Samsung or another big HDTV manufacturer and its over with IMO.

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