There's no question that Google's Chromecast has been a major success for the company thanks to its low price of $35 and the extreme ease of use for streaming video directly to the TV. However, many have been wanting to stream only music, using the same "Cast" capabilities.
Right now you can do that with the Chromecast, because it already supports music apps such as Google Pay Music, YouTube, Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, NPROne, Rdio and the list will likely grow further as the popularity of the Chromecast increases. The only problem is that many want to listen to their music on something better than TV speakers.
MediaTek and Google aim to fix this through a new partnership. MediaTek created a new audio-focused SoC that works with Google Cast APIs and targets home audio devices that want to be "Cast Ready."
"In this Internet age, consumers are demanding a connected audio experience. The ability to connect devices and listen to music in a seamless manner is a basic need now," said Mohit Bhushan, Vice President, General Manager and MediaTek's Head of US Business Development. "MediaTek is a proud supporter of Google Cast for audio, and we continue to enable innovative new product categories while keeping our Everyday Genius brand promise."
The SoC comes with a Cortex A7 CPU core and supports 192 KHz audio formats such as FLAC, PCM, DSD and APE. It also supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS Digital Surround decode capability.
The MT8507 is the first audio chip of its kind to support Google Cast, and it has already entered mass production. Both Google and Mediatek have been working with home audio system makers to bring "Google Cast Ready" speakers and soundbars to market by March 2015.
"Based on the success of Chromecast, we're excited to expand the Google Cast ecosystem by working with a leading semiconductor company such as MediaTek to power audio devices," said Suveer Kothari, Google Cast Director of Business Development.