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Google Chromecast hits UK


Google Chromecast

Google has finally released its media-streaming dongle, the Google Chromecast, here in the UK.

Google’s Chromecast originally launched in the US last July, but it’s only just made its way to these shores.

You can now purchase the Chromecast direct from the UK Google Play Store, as well as the likes of Amazon and Currys. It only costs £30 which, compared to the £99 Apple TV, is a bit of a bargain.

Plug the Chromecast into any HDTV via a spare HDMI slot and you’ll be able to stream video content from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer, and of course the Google Play Store itself.

It’s by no means a comprehensive offering, as three out of the four UK’s main channels do not support Chromecast as yet. That means no ITV, Channel 4, or Five. There’s also no Amazon Prime Instant Video app, although with Amazon rumoured to be launching a similar device soon, that’s perhaps not surprising.

A dedicated remote control is neither supplied nor necessary, as you use your smartphone or tablet to control and even push content to the device.

Perhaps Chromecast’s biggest selling point is that it has huge potential for wide range of apps and services. Thanks to its Android core, it will be a small matter for app developers to tweak and release their pre-existing Google Play Store apps for the new device - something that no other media streaming box or smart TV has been able to boast.

Read more: Best TVs 2014

M Mouse

April 11, 2014, 7:50 am

Compared with a NowTV unit (which admittedly needs an active subscription to NowTV for it to be activated (but there have been offers of 30 day trials, and I had the movies at £1/month for 4 months), this doesn't look too exciting (yet).

I have no 'live' subscription to NowTV at present (might get a second unit from one of the DSG stores with 4 months of the Entertainment packages, for £25, to enable second box), but having plenty of video choice (4oD, Demand 5, CNet, TWiT, Blinkx, iPlayer {no live streaming} - but sadly no ITV player at present), and music/audio too Spotify (available for those with a subscription), TuneIn {great Android app playing podcasts but no live streams}, and Musiclouds (didn't install it but plan to).

Chromecast may well be able to do the lot (when App developers work to add this device to what they support, and for a UK market too) so I will only look at it again in 6 months or a year, to see whether it's worth the cash - no good if there's not enough choice for both sound and vision...

Finally, these guys should come out with a 3.5mm audio jack as an alternative to HDMI... for podcasts or Spotify or radio, no wish to have a TV on, and while some can blank the screen it doesn't apply to all. Equally, not everyone has a top-of-the-range AV Amp with umpteen HDMI inputs and 9.1 sound!

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