Mozilla officially announced on October 14, 2014 a new version of Firefox, Firefox 33 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. This is a major overhaul of features and the unique ability to send video content from websites to a second screen such as your TV screen through the use of Roku or Chromecast streaming devices, thanks to OpenH264 support. So what does this really mean for the future of Firefox and other third-part streaming devices? It can mean a lot in terms of making cable and satellite boxes obsolete.
You cannot download Firefox 33 via Firefox.com. If you an existing user of Firefox it will most likely automatically update it for you and for Android users it is slowly being released on Google Play. Simply take a look for Firefox updates or visit Google Play and search for Firefox.
Thanks to Cisco opening up H.264 implementation to the open source community, desktops can now utilize it to cast their videos onto the big-screen. Firefox as decode and encode the video compression format without the need of paying the MPEG LA license fee. What this means is that all of us the utilize Firefox and have a streaming device such as Roku or Chromecast can now utilize this technology for free.
As for now Firefox is the only major desktop application to support Open264 capabilities but more than likely others will jump on the source code and implement it into their browsers. Another great addition to Firefox 33 is that the search has received a well-invited boost as well. It has become much faster searching via the location bar and now suggests the user on Firefox Start and new webpage tabs to utilize it. Although Firefox doesn’t quite pair up to what Chrome can with search, it is getting closer with each update.
One of the more important parts of the update is the Android app receiving some love from the developers and been working on a multitude of multi-screen capabilities. October 14th markets another big step in multi-screen functionality by being able to send video content from websites to another screen. If the content is able to send the video to a second screen there will be a “send to device” option available on the controls bar. By clicking the button it will pop up with a list of devices, either Chromecast or Roku, on the same Wi-Fi network. Simply choose which one you want to utilize and it will magically appear on the second screen.