Google Chromecast needs BBC iPlayer to rule UK TVs

Google wants to get into your telly with Google Chromecast -- but we're reserving judgement on the £23 streaming dongle.

Google wants to get into your telly with Google Chromecast -- but we're reserving judgement on the £23 streaming dongle.

Google Chromecast is a 2-inch dongle that plugs into an HDMI port on your TV, so it can stream video from the cloud and show online TV and video from Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play, and more. You control it from the comfort of your sofa with your phone, but you're not streaming video stored on the phone -- instead it plays video stored online, with the phone simply directing things.

And it costs $35, a fraction of the cost of most rival streaming devices.

Unlike the Apple TV box and Apple's Airplay streaming system, Chromecast doesn't tie you into using one system. And although most of today's TVs are smart TVs, connecting to the Internet and probably already boasting their own Netflix and YouTube apps, Chromecast is designed to be simpler than a smart TV's clunky menus and fiddly remotes.

So why are we less than ecstatic about Chromecast? Our first thought is this: another way to watch Netflix and YouTube? Whoop-de-do! Netflix and YouTube are the two apps that are on basically any device with a screen. You probably have, like, five different ways to watch Netflix and YouTube within arm's reach of you right now. There are tribes in the Amazon who might go "A thing that lets us watch Netflix and YouTube? Cool!", but that's it.

Whether it's coming to the UK is still unconfirmed. If it does, Netflix and YouTube just won't cut it -- we need iPlayer or we ain't interested. 

Still, it's pretty cool that it's so small, I guess.

What do you think of Google Chromecast? Have I missed the point? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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