Firefox OS-powered Chromecast alternative MatchStick: better hardware, open, cheaper - gHacks Tech News

Firefox OS-powered Chromecast alternative MatchStick: better hardware, open, cheaper

Update: The Matchstick project team announced yesterday that it made the decision to cancel the project and refund the money.

MatchStick is an open Google Chromecast alternative that is based on Firefox OS. The company behind it is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and the pledged amount of $100,000 has already been matched less than a day after publication.

MatchStick runs on a Rockchip 3066 dual-core cpu with one Gigabyte of RAM and four Gigabyte internal storage.  That's twice the amount of RAM and memory that Chromecast ships with.

The increase in memory improves the video playback cache and performance significantly according to the team behind the product.

Backers get a MatchStick for $18 and the retail price of the device has been set to $25 which is $10 less than what Google charges for its Chromecast device.

MatchStick runs on Firefox OS, an open source application, and the hardware source files are also available making it a completely open device.

matchstick

The device itself works similar to Chromecast. You plug it into a TV or HD Monitor to stream contents from computer systems or mobile devices to the screen.

This works on iOS and Android devices as well as computer systems running Firefox or Chrome. Native apps for iOS and Android will be provided which provide you with options to install apps for services that you want to cast.

Apps power the functionality and it is interesting to note that many Chromecast apps work right out of the box as well.

matchstick android

Support for popular services such as Netflix, YouTube, ESPN or Spotify is already available and since it is possible to cast any browser tab using MatchStick, it should not be a problem to cast unsupported services (those without native application) as well.

If you compare MatchStick to Chromecast, you will encounter another difference. Some apps are not allowed to be produced for Chromecast. Since apps have to adhere to Google Play store policies, contents such as gambling or or those that make available sexually explicit material are not allowed. Mozilla's device does not come with these restrictions since apps can be created without interference from Mozilla.

Here is the campaign video that reveals additional information about device and campaign.

The estimated delivery date for the device is February 2015.

A Chromecast-like device without restrictions with better hardware and for less? That's great. There are things left unanswered right now though but considering that the device is available for just $18 right now (plus $5 for international shipping), then there is little reason not to take the dive and back that device.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Summary
Firefox OS-powered Chromecast alternative MatchStick: better hardware, open, cheaper
Article Name
Firefox OS-powered Chromecast alternative MatchStick: better hardware, open, cheaper
Description
MatchStick is a Firefox-OS powered streaming device that offers better hardware than Google Chrome and is cheaper at the same time.
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Comments

  1. Shadess said on October 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm
    Reply

    About time an actual alternative to chromecast. Hopefully this supports straight up miracast’ing too.

    I really dislike google and their artificial limitations on everything, now that they are the big dog.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm
      Reply

      It requires a Wifi connection.

  2. Ralf said on October 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm
    Reply

    Will be any posibility to implement popcorn for MatchStick? That would be awsome!

  3. Paul said on October 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    Reply

    Rockchip 3066 sucks, unfortunately.

    @Martin, you wrote “MHz”.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, that should have been GHz of course! I have removed the info as I could not find any verification right now.

  4. Ralf said on October 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    Reply

    With MatchStick I could watch the .mkv files that I have in my computer, in the TV? I don’t really understand how it works really

  5. BMO said on October 2, 2014 at 6:45 am
    Reply

    I’m imagining some exec at Google now. Sitting in their throne, counting their riches, internally snickering that the serfs and unwashed masses can’t get to do what they want with their little chromecast.. trying to figure out the next best way to introduce version 2/3/… Then some jackass company like this comes along and gives an open alternative to the public. Outrage! They have to aquire that company for some ungodly sum of money that they could never refuse, and then subsequently go back to their planned obsolescence model. I mean, am I way off base? It just seems that’s the way these giant pseudo-monopolies are acting. That is, buy everything so you control it. Really, I’m curious if that’s the case or not.

  6. Patrick said on October 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    Reply

    Sent a message to Matchstick.tv and got a message “Sorry you message could not be delivered”!!! and could not return to the original webpage. So maybe GOOGLE did buy them out or hijacked their webpage. My questions pertained to users outside the U.S. getting the same content as U.S. users and slow streaming which sometimes requires using a private DNS service and will XBMC (KODI) be an available app.

  7. Ken Saunders said on October 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    Reply

    I’m psyched.

    @Ralf
    Local Media Playback > Video Container: WebM/MKV (and others of course)
    http://www.matchstick.tv/developers/documents/supported-media.html

  8. Dwight Stegall said on October 10, 2014 at 10:56 am
    Reply

    Firefox OS was my idea. I was talking to Mike Belzner in a live chat one day. I mentioned it would be nice if Firefox had its own OS. I was hoping they would come up with a non-Linux replacement for Windows.

    He said they didn’t need or want their own OS. He said besides they didn’t have unlimited resources like Google. He pointed out that Mozilla was just a small company compared to Google.

    I said he could invite programmers to work on it free and give them prizes for best coding etc. I never heard anymore about it. I kept bugging them about it for years in forums. Then one day I heard Firefox OS Beta was being offered. :)

    I asked them if they would be creating a Windows replacement. They said they don’t discuss future plans. We’ll see. :)

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