Makes Dumb TVs Smart: $49 Google Chromecast Hits OZ
The USB stick makes a ‘dumb’ TV instantly ‘smart’ by ‘casting’ apps, content from your smartphone, tablet, PC to the big screen.
It connects via the TV’s HDMI port and also needs a WiFi connection.
Chromecast is now on sale for $49 from JB HiFi, Dick Smith stores, and Play store, Google announced on a blog.
The Chromecast USB stick has been a hit in the US and Europe where it has been on sale for some time.
Quickflix, Pandora and Foxtel’s movie service Presto, today confirmed they have Chromecast apps at the ready.
Google apps including YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music all work on the magic little USB stick.
But its not just Androids – Chromecast works with Apple iOS, Windows, Mac and ChromeOS devices.
“With over 40% of YouTube views in Australia coming from mobile devices and 90% of people switching between four devices every day, Chromecast will help Aussie mobile content lovers bridge the gap between their devices and their TV,” says Raunaq Shah, Chromecast Product Manager.
The phone, tablet or laptop acts like a remote – you can press play and pause, control the volume, but you can still use tthe device for other things while casting to the TV.
The $49 device has an open software development kit (SDK), so any developer can integrate their app or website with Cast to make their content available, says Shah.
Since launching in the US over 5,000 developers worldwide have signed up to bring their apps.
Stephen Langsford, Quickflix CEO says “the moment we heard about this device we knew we had to be on it.”
“We’re very excited by the Google Chromecast development. I’ve had a demonstration of Quickflix streaming to Chromecast in our labs and it’s a wonderful new way to enjoy movies and TV shows on the big screen.”
The Pandora app will include a Cast button for one-touch streaming to the TV.
However, some US-only apps like Netflix are not available on the Aussie version of Chromecast.