Google Chromecast is finally available in Australia. The long-awaited plug-and-play device sells for $49 in JB HiFi, Dick Smith Electronics, and via Google Play Store.
Chromecast has been available since July 2013 in the U.S., and is just now starting to conquer the Aussie market. It is a small USB-like stick that plugs into HDMI ports on Smart TVs and connects to the Internet to allow users to stream online content.
With content providers like Netflix and other live sports channels onboard, Chromecast is able to deliver hugely popular content to its users.
In Australia, it has already signed partners in the local industry, including ABC’s iView, Foxtel’s Presto and movie rental service Quickflix. However, it still has limited content compared to the U.S.
Google has reportedly discussed deals with local content rights owners like Telstra and commercial TV station, but there are no plans to partner with those players yet.
“The object of Chromecast is to give consumers the easiest way to get your online video and music on to your TV,” Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said.
“But it’s not just about the hardware – it’s also about all the content partnerships we have developed and which we will continue to build on.”
Google Play streams movies from $6 and TV shows for $2.99. Presto for Chromecast/Android will be available from July at $4.99 for the first month, then $19.99 after the introductory month, which critics believe is too expensive.
“Foxtel Presto is too expensive, you can already get iView and Quickflix is nothing earth-shattering,” Informa Telecoms & Media senior analyst Tony Brown told Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s nothing there that will drive fast adoption and it’s lacking a bit of magic.”
He continued, “If people aren’t getting an all-you-can-eat service for under $10, they’ll feel like they’re being ripped off. Live sports is the holy grail of OTT [over-the-top, which is what Chromecast is called]... and that’s the trump card Foxtel and TV stations still hold.”