After unimpressive releases like the Nexus Q Music System and Google TV, Google have cracked the TV versus web content conundrum with Chromecast, the media streamer regarded as the technology giant’s first real home entertainment success. So with all the positive attention for this device why have Google dragged their heels regarding a U.K launch?
Chromecast is a simple, small and cheap design, released at a purchase price of just $35 (approximately £21). The sleek dongle provides an efficient solution to a concept that has somehow eluded most home entertainment manufacturers – getting web content onto a living room TV set. The concept behind Chromecast is a simple one, the small USB dongle plugs directly into your TV via a HDMI port (no need for a Smart TV) and streams media from your phone, laptop or tablet. You can also get your Chrome tab from a device put up on your TV for big screen web surfing and a high percentage of Chromecast users rate this capability as one of the stand out features of the product.
So with all the positive feedback and rave reviews surely there are plans to make Chromecast available in the U.K? Well, as with all Google releases there have been rumours, and the people at Google had made suggestions that a U.K Chromecast launch was outlined for early 2014. However, a date is yet to be confirmed. U.K retailer Currys sparked excitement recently with talks of an early March release date at stores, but Google are yet to make an official announcement so U.K customers will have to sit tight and wait.
But what about the tech-hungry consumers who cannot wait? The tech savvy know that there are usually ways around these things, and that said it is possible to import a U.S Chromecast dongle for use in the U.K. But is it really a good idea? Importing comes with its own set of complications and to experience the full range of Chromecast features it may be better to wait for the U.K specific model, especially since there are no guarantees that an imported model would be compatible with any U.K orientated features, if and when there is a U.K launch.
Chromecast and its associated services are expected to see a huge expansion this year and Google’s plans to expand Chromecast may be causing the hold up in terms of a U.K release in terms of finalising details and agreeing deals with associates. It is assumed that Google are in talks with the UK’s leading TV providers for the purpose of discussing U.K specific catch up services such as Demand 5 and BBC iPlayer and how these services can be developed for use with Chromecast.
Whatever the reasons for the delay, we are sure to see a U.K release date materialize in the not too distant future, and as Google make moves to ensure total home entertainment domination, it is likely that the Chromecast U.K launch will happen sooner rather than later.