Google has finally rolled out its Chromecast media streaming device to the UK, streaming the likes of the BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Google’s own Play Movies and YouTube to your television for £30.
The Chromecast dongle launched in the US in July last year, but has now made it across the Atlantic where it will compete directly with similar products from Sky in Now TV, Apple TV and Roku.
The hardware plugs into your HDMI point and connects to your Wi-Fi to stream programmes from a range of services that in the UK will include the just-announced iPlayer.
That means that you can stream anything from the Beeb and Netflix direct to your TV at a quality that suits your connection speed, and also YouTube videos, movies and TV you have bought on Google Play and various music services.
More to come
Google promises that content from more partners will be added on an ongoing basis as it looks to establish the service.
There are some obvious key channels missing from the service at launch, notably Amazon Prime Instant Video (the new Lovefilm), Sky’s popular Now TV streaming service and offerings from the UK’s other major channels Channel 4, Five and, of course, ITV.
We have already had word from Sky – who reiterated their stance that they are "always looking at potential distribution platforms for NOW TV – including Chromecast"
There is also no support for iTunes purchases for those on Apple devices with content they would like to stream.
Cast your net
The Chromecast does have a further potentially killer app, however, allowing you to use your computer, tablet or phone to ‘cast’ some content and pages to your television via your browser.
Google has recently opened out the Chromecast to developers, which should see a wealth of new content and functionality arrive for the device.
There’s no remote control for Chromecast so you’ll need to use a device or computer as a remote control for the device once you are set up.
The Chromecast is available now from Google Play, Amazon, Curry’s and PC World.