Google Chromecast arrives in Europe: undercuts Apple, Roku
The dongle-sized video streamer is now on sale in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Google is unleashing its Chromecast video streamer in Europe today, nearly eight months after it debuted in the US. Costing just £30 ($50) in the UK or 35 euros elsewhere, it's cheaper than its competitors such as Apple TV or the Roku Streaming Stick, although currently there's less to view in Europe.
The 2-inch dongle plugs straight into an HDMI port on a TV and streams video from YouTube and Netflix along with Google's own music and movie services. In the UK, it will also support the BBC's iPlayer.
For the services it supports natively, the Chromecast can pull content directly from the cloud rather than going via a laptop or tablet. It can also mirror what you're watching on a computer on the TV, although in CNET's review of the US Chromecast, Matthew Moskovciak found that reduced video quality. When streaming directly from the cloud, our review noted the picture looked good.
Some super-keen people have managed to import Chromecasts from online shops, but today is the official launch of the product in Europe.
In February, Google opened up the Chromecast to all developers with the release of a software development kit designed to help phone and tablet apps work on the TV. The company has previously said that 3,000 developers have signed up for this, and has high hopes for gaming in particular.
The full list of countries the Chromecast will also show up in from today is: the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.