Gadgets21st March 2014

Google Chromecast launches in UK

Google's Chromecast device launches in the UK this week - are you ready to turn your ordinary TV into a smart one?

by Karl Jenkins

This week Google has decided they are not happy just being on everyone's computers and mobile phones - they now want to get on your TV too, with the official launch of their Chromecast device in the UK.

HDMI port on TVIt’s a small device (about the size of a USB stick) that plugs into a HDMI port on your TV (should be available on any ‘flatscreen’ / HD TV) and turns your ordinary TV into a ‘Smart TV’.  It allows you to ‘cast’ (Google’s word for ‘send’) video from any device you have; Smartphone, tablet or laptop straight to the big screen in your living room.

The ChromecastCurrently the number of on-demand (streaming from the Internet) services on the Chromecast for the UK is quite small, but does include some of the big players like Netflix, YouTube and the BBC’s iPlayer. You can see the full list of official compatible apps here. It means you can catch-up on TV shows you’ve missed or stream the latest movies straight to your TV instead of having to watch them on your home computer or laptop. It also allows you to send videos from your computer, so for example if you’re browsing the Internet with Chrome Internet Browser and you come across a video you want to watch – you can send that straight to the TV screen to watch there.

Chromecast is similar in many ways to other devices already available like the Roku media box, Sky’s Now TV and the Apple TV box, but where it’s very different from most is the price. The Chromecast is selling for just £30 which means people who were previously unsure about spending around £100 on a streaming device are now able to try a very affordable way of getting Internet videos on their family TV.

TV & Phone linkedYou don’t need another new remote to use the Chromecast either – you control the Chromecast from your phone or tablet; it’s compatible with all Android phones/tablets (using version 2.3 or newer) and also compatible with iPhones/iPads (running iOS 6 or newer).

As far as we’re aware, the Chromecast does support subtitles, but it’s down to each app/service to offer them. We don’t currently have our own Chromecast to test out, but when ours arrives we’ll test it and update here to let you know. If you’d like to get your hands on a Chromecast, it's available now from Curry’s / PC World, Amazon or direct from the Google Play Store.

Article by Karl Jenkins

posted in Technology / Gadgets

21st March 2014