Chromecast came to market with support only for YouTube, Netflix and Google Play. The system allows users of these mobile apps to transfer the video stream to their TV. Apps that directly support the video transfer enjoy much higher resolutions and performance. Adding these popular mobile apps to the portfolio considerably strengthens the devices that are positioning against over the top competitors from Apple and Roku.
Both Hulu Plus and HBO Go require subscriptions to their respective services to access video on mobile devices. Hulu has about 4 million paid users who pay eight dollars a month. HBO Go is available to any of HBO's more than 28 million U.S. subscribers.
A battle over content clearly is brewing between Google and Apple. Apple TV has recently expanded its offerings of content providers to include HBO Go, Sky TV, ESPN and others. The two companies are pursuing different delivery models as they try to edge their way onto the TV. Apple TV is a set-top box with apps, while Chromecast relies on apps that are present on mobile devices to which the dongle connects.