Google launches Chromecast in UK, Europe; tackles Spotify in Nordics

Summary:Google takes its Chromecast war for the living room to Europe, finally making the dongle useful in the region.

Google's device-to-TV casting dongle Chromecast has arrived in Europe, along with local content deals and the Google Play Music and Movies in the Nordics.

Available for £30 ($50) in the UK or €35 elsewhere, as usual the Chromecast is still more costly in Europe than in the US, where it retails for $35 . However, the Google dongle will still be considerably cheaper than Apple's £99 Apple TV and, perhaps more importantly, it comes with local content support.

The Chromecast dongle plugs into a TV's HDMI port and is powered by the set using a USB cable. It can be used to cast content through a device from the web, YouTube and a few third-party content services. In the US third-party services include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio and HBO GO.

When Chromecast launched in the US about eight months ago, some eager Europeans took to Amazon to purchase the dongle and while it made it possible to cast websites or YouTube to TV from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it lacked third-party content support for the continent.

That all changes with today's official Chromecast launch in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway.

In the UK, Chromecast launched with support for the BBC's iPlayer. In Sweden, for example, it's launched with Netflix, and could also launch in future with HBO Nordics. In France, there are content deals in place with TV Pluzz and SFR TV with CANALPLAY coming soon, while Germany will have Watchever with Maxdome joining in future.

Google also launched Play Music and Movies (but not TV) across the Nordics today, which should bring its content at least up to par with the App Store, which has also been slow to release new video content in the region.

The expanded availability of Chromecast follows Google's international launch of an the Cast SDK to allow developers to build support for the technology in their own apps, websites.

The SDK allows developers to build Cast into existing Android, iOS, and Chrome apps to held define what to stream.

Read more on the Chromecast

Topics: Google, EU, Hardware, United Kingdom

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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