TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Last year, a small team launched a streaming media dongle called the Matchstick through Kickstarter, raising over $470,000 to fund the development of the hardware and software to make the device a true low-cost Chromecast rival.
Unfortunately the team behind the Matchstick has run into some complications getting the device to market, and has had to cancel the project. Anyone who backed the project through Kickstarter will receive a full refund sometime in the next 60 days.
DRM is the main reason why the Matchstick won't be released, with the development team citing difficulties integrating copyright protection into Firefox OS, the Linux-based open-source operating system the dongle was going to run. Without DRM, it wouldn't be possible to use the Matchstick for streaming content from popular services such as Netflix.
Apparently getting DRM to work on Firefox OS was "showing early signs of promise", but the team came to the realization that they wouldn't be able to implement it any time soon without "significantly more research, development and integration."
The news comes as a disappointment to many people who backed the project on Kickstarter. The Matchstick was billed as an easy-to-use, cheap media streaming device that you could plug in to a HDMI port on your TV and watch content from a range of services. Essentially it was to be a cheaper competitor to the $35 Chromecast, at just $18 for backers and $25 for the general public.