At long last, Google has finally released Chromecast officially in Australia, with the popular media streaming dongle going on sale today in Dick Smith Electronics, JB HiFi and via the Play Store for $49.
Following rumours of the release, including accidental pre-order pages from Dick Smith, photographs of stock arriving at Dick Smith stores, and confirmation from JB HiFi staff that the devices would indeed go on sale, the official announcement is now upon us, and we can now share with you what we know, and what you’ll need to know to get on board.
The Chromecast is a tiny (think the size of a stick of gum) dongle that fits into your TV’s HDMI input, and takes its power from a USB port or the supplied AC adaptor. It’s easy to set up — plug it in, connect it to WiFi, and you’re set — and it’s easy to use. Compatible apps detect the existence of a Chromecast on your WiFi network, and enable streaming to it. Piece of cake.
Chromecast brings your content to the big screen; movies, music, TV shows, YouTube videos, web browsing on the TV, accessing your media server, streaming catch-up TV; these are just some of the things that Chromecast can do. Want inspiration? Check out our guide to the best things available for Chromecast today.
You drive it from your smartphone (or iOS device, or tablet, or even your computer), so you don’t need a new remote, just your existing device(s). It’s so easy to set up that your granny could use one, and at $49, you can have them in every room of your house for less than the normal media streaming device costs.
Launch partners and apps
While we might not see Netflix in Australia for a little while yet (not officially, anyway), Google has lined up some exclusive launch partners to make sure that Chromecast in Australia is going to be well enjoyed.
For those who don’t know, Quickflix made their name in Australia with DVD (and later Blu-ray) rental via mail, but more recently they’ve expanded into the streaming space with access to late release movies and TV shows. That expansion continues, with Quickflix to support streaming via Chromecast within the next few weeks. Stephen Langsford, CEO of Quickflix told Ausdroid:
We’re very excited by the Google Chromecast development. I’ve had a demonstration of Quickflix streaming to Chromecast in our labs and it’s a wonderful new way to enjoy movies and TV shows on the big screen. The moment we heard about this device we knew we had to be on it. We think our customers will love streaming Quickflix with their Chromecast when we launch in the coming weeks.
While their movie library mightn’t be quite as extensive as some of the US based services, they do have a good range in their movie and TV catalogue, and being able to access this via Chromecast will be a welcome feature.
Presto from Foxtel
Foxtel’s new service called Presto, which offers on-demand movie streaming, will not only be coming to Chromecast, but to the Android platform as well. Having launched recently on iOS, it’s now time to expand the product. Foxtel’s Shaun James, Director for Presto and Video on Demand, told Ausdroid:
We’ve had a great response from customers since we launched Presto. Our customers are really enjoying the unparalleled access to the quality and recency of movie titles available within a Presto subscription. There simply isn’t any other Australian movie service offering the quality of movies all included for one low monthly subscription price. Today that offer is even more compelling as we announce plans to bring Presto to the big screen in our customers’ living rooms via Google Chromecast. What’s more, we’re also making the move to Android devices to continue our push to make Presto accessible to as many people as possible.
Presto for Chromecast / Android will be available from July, with an introductory offer of $4.99 for the first month, then $19.99 ongoing.
The ABC has confirmed with Ausdroid that its ABC iview apps for phones and tablets will soon support casting to TV screens via Chromecast devices. iview fans, who have already made the platform Australia’s most popular TV on demand service with more than 19 million monthly program plays, can now look forward to yet another innovative and convenient way to watch ABC TV in the coming months.
Where can I get one?
Both JB HiFi and Dick Smith Electronics sources have told (and shown) Ausdroid that there is ample stock in stores and in warehouses ready to sell to customers. A JB HiFi source told Ausdroid that ‘just about every Sydney Metro store’ has stock in the hundreds for Chromecast, and where some stores don’t, nearby ones do, so if you can’t find a Chromecast in your first preference store, do check another JB or DSE nearby; you’ll find one.
Buying in a retail store may be the smarter choice here; you’ll avoid shipping costs, and likely have a device in-hand today, instead of waiting a day or two for shipping to catch up.
To buy in store, use the store finder to locate your nearest JB or DSE:
Chromecast is now available to order from Google Play. The Chromecast itself will cost $49, with shipping on top. There are two shipping options available : (6-8 business days for $4.50 or expedtited 2-7 business days shipping for $10.95. Orders are scheduled to leave the warehouse within 1-2 business days.
Retailers Dick Smith and JB Hifi have also updated their respective websites with product pages for the Chromecast. You can check them out here: