Google Chromecast is now available to purchase in the UK, the device allows online content to be streamed directly to TVs.
The Google Chromecast fits directly into the HDMI port on TVs, it is controlled by smart phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices in the home that can stream a range of services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Google Play Music, and Google Play Movies.
The UK isn’t the only country to have gained access to the system; an additional 10 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, and Netherlands, can now purchase the device for their homes. The services available to stream vary based on the country – YouTube, Google Play Music, and Google Play Movies can be streamed from each country in which the device is available, as well as the regional catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer in the UK, France TV Pluzz, Watchever in Germany etc. YouTube regional locks and content barriers are still in place whilst using this system, so some music and video content will be unavailable in some countries.
Apple TV is the biggest competitor for the Google Chromecast, as the two devices offer very similar services, however, the price tag differs significantly – Chromecast is being sold for just £30 across the UK and Apple TV has been available at £99 and under for some time more. Apple TV allows users to stream content from their iPod touch, iPad, iPhone by using AirPlay wirelessly.
In February Google opened the system to developers to allow them to begin designing, developing, and updating their apps to be compatible with the Chromecast. By releasing the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) they have opened up the market for any and all developers to capitalise on the expansion of the market into Europe and Canada – within a month over 3,000 developers worldwide had signed up to bring apps and sites to the Chromecast.