Great Gadget: Chromecast

The Chromecast is a device made by Google, which allows you to easily stream Internet and video to your television from any computer or Android smartphone. Using the device is simple; the small dongle plugs into an HDMI port on the back of your television and a USB or wall socket for power, then you just install the Chromecast app on your Android smartphone, and once you start using the Chrome browser you’re ready to stream.

The device can stream videos from your computer or smartphone, and it can also stream from your Internet browser, which means that Youtube, Vimeo, ABC’s iView and many other websites are all accessible. One issue that has troubled the device is that a fast computer is needed for some of the features listed above, so if your computer is more than a few years old this gadget might not be for you. Aside from this, the device has received very positive reviews.

The catch is that Chromecast is, unfortunately, currently only available in the US. However it’s rumoured that the device is due to be released in the UK soon, and that Telstra is in talks with Google to bring the device Down Under.

The Chromecast retails in the US for $35, and the rumours suggest that Telstra plans to keep the device as close to that price as possible. So, what if you want the device now? The dongle can be imported through a mail forwarding service or bought on eBay with prices starting at $45 (including shipping), but be prepared for added difficulties, as the current models weren’t designed to be used in Australia. If you’re ready to wait, this partnering between Google and Telstra might mean some of Telstra/Bigpond’s sports coverage will make it on to the device.

Will you be looking out for this device when it is released in Australia? Or are you happy with television as it is now?

Written by ryanbo