Android / Google / Hardware / Media / Netflix / The Register / TV

Google Chromecast video streamer


$35 in US, £99 in UK!

The “Register” online reviewer said “it’s the most important smart TV tech ever . . . Netflix, YouTube are just the tip of the iceberg”, and it certainly compares favourably with Apple’s $99 streaming device, especially at the US price of $35.
But there’s a price snag for UK buyers. Thirtyfive dollars, Stateside, ought to translate to something like £20 this side of the pond, but if you wanna be an early adopter, Amazon plan to charge you £99, which makes it less attractive, commercially.

To be fair, Amazon do say “This listing is for Early Adopters Only! People who like to have gadgets before they are officially released in the UK. If you would like a better price please wait for the official release date.”

Yes, no doubt it’ll come down, in time, but meanwhile it seems like a solution not quite ready for the problems it could solve.
According to the Register,

“A closer look at the inner workings of Chromecast reveals that it’s a technology with impressive potential. In fact, if Google succeeds in building an ecosystem around it, it could prove to be one of the most important smart TV technologies to come along so far.

“It’s essential to understand that when you buy Chromecast, you’re not just getting a dongle that can “do YouTube.” That’s what sets it apart from most of the other smart TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-Ray players, and other devices that can already stream YouTube content.”

The C-Net blog was less enthusiastic:

“Chromecast lets you stream from Netflix and YouTube using your Android or iOS mobile device as a remote, with Android users also getting access to Google Music and Google TV and Movies. It also supports the ability to mirror any content from a Chrome browser running on a Mac or Windows PC, including Hulu, HBO Go, and full episodes from major TV networks like CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC via their respective Web sites. And the hardware is delightfully compact and well-built, making it easy to toss in your bag for travel or moving from room to room.

“What it doesn’t do is everything else: there are no dedicated apps for many major services (including Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Spotify, Rdio, and MLB.TV), no dedicated TV interface for standalone use, no support for personal media sitting on your devices (aside from a clunky hack), and the awesome-sounding screen-mirroring feature ends up being entirely underwhelming in practice.

“The only catch is that the Chromecast requires power, a fact that’s conspicuously missing from all of Google’s beauty shots. If your TV has a USB input, you can probably use that to power your Chromecast using the included cable. Google also includes a USB power adapter for TVs without USB, which means you’ll have a wire dangling from the back of your TV to a power outlet. Ultimately, while it’s not quite’just a dongle’, it’s still a very clean setup.”

If you’re one of Amazon’s “early adopters”, let us know what you think by posting a comment.

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