Google’s Chromecast television dongles will now be sold in Canada and 10 nations in Europe as the company expands the global reach of the low-cost video-streaming devices.
The availability of Chromecast devices in Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom was announced by Mario Queiroz, vice president of Chromecast product management, in a March 18 post on the Google Chrome Blog.
“Superheroes, cliff divers, fearless reporters or pop icons—whatever you like to watch, Chromecast makes it easy to bring it from a phone, tablet or laptop to the biggest screen in your house: the TV,” wrote Queiroz. Since announcing Chromecast in the U.S., we’ve grown to include more of your favorite apps and Websites. Those numbers will continue to grow, and we want to bring Chromecast to more people around the world.”
Google is also working with local content providers in those nations to bring local content to the devices, wrote Queiroz. “Apps will start rolling out today, and include BBC iPlayer in the U.K.; France TV Pluzz and SFR TV in France with CANALPLAY coming soon; and Watchever in Germany with Maxdome coming soon,” he wrote. “So instead of huddling around your laptop to watch Sherlock solve the next crime or getting caught up on all the workplace drama in Stramberg, you can cast it, sit back, and watch together on the big screen.”
That local content will be in addition to the apps and services already on Chromecast, including YouTube, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music and Netflix (where available), he added. Chromecast devices are being offered in those 11 countries immediately at Amazon, Google Play, Currys PC World, Elkjøp, FNAC, Saturn, Media Markt and other retailers.
The $35 Chromecast TV dongle went on sale in the United States July 25. Chromecast is a phone- and tablet-controlled dongle that puts new convenience, and Google, into the television-viewing experience. Chromecast plugs into the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) slot on an HDTV, enabling users to direct video content to the TV via a smartphone, tablet or PC, whether it’s running an operating system from Google, Apple or Microsoft. Plus, while the phone is busy “casting,” it can still be used for other things, like emailing.
Chromecast works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music and, soon, more apps, like Pandora. Content is cast from the cloud to the TV—a user’s smartphone or tablet essentially becomes the remote control making this happen.
Google has been working to encourage more apps for Chromecast with the release of a Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), which allows a wide range of innovative software creations to be inspired and built for the devices. The SDK is aimed at developers who want to build Chromecast support into their new and existing apps and Websites.
A current list of all apps that work with Chromecast can be found at chromecast.com/apps.
The SDK is available on Android and iOS as well as on Chrome through the Google Cast browser extension.
Google Chromecast Now Available in Canada, Europe
In December 2013, Google announced the addition of 10 more entertainment services that are supported by Chromecast, including action sports, news, music videos and more through VEVO, Red Bull.TV, Songza, PostTV, Viki, Revision 3 and BeyondPod. VEVO lets viewers watch music videos and VEVO original content, while Red Bull.TV delivers content from sports to music to lifestyle entertainment, according to Google. Songza delivers music content to users, while Plex organizes a user’s media content so they can watch or listen to it anywhere.
PostTV is a service of The Washington Post newspaper, delivering video about news, entertainment and more, while Viki provides foreign language content that ranges from Korean dramas to Japanese anime and movies, as well as telenovelas and more, according to Google. The RealPlayer Cloud gives users the capability of watching their personal video collections via their televisions, sans wires.
In October 2013, Chromecast added support for Hulu Pro service to its expanding array of included services for users. That move meant that Hulu Plus subscribers can now use the Chromecast dongle to tune in to their favorite TV shows on their mobile or other devices. Chromecast users have to subscribe to Hulu Plus at $7.99 per month to receive the content, as they have to do with other subscription-based services that are supported by Chromecast.