Re­view: Google Chrome­cast

This cheap lit­tle won­der fi­nally lands in Oz

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS - $49, mecast love Easy to get smart video on TV. In­tu­itive con­trols. Sim­ple setup. Sup­ported ser­vices play in HD. Ac­cesses not-so-sup­ported sites, too hate Limited of­fi­cial app se­lec­tion at present T3 says Makes your TV web-en­abled for u

This unas­sum­ing don­gle has been busy turn­ing any telly in the US into an in­ter­neten­abled smart set since last year. Now it’s fi­nally ready to do the same in Aus­tralia.

Plug­ging di­rectly into your TV’s HDMI port, Chrome­cast gifts it in­stant con­nected ca­pa­bil­i­ties and ac­cess to YouTube, ABC iView and the like us­ing a phone, tablet or lap­top as the re­mote. Pick what you want to watch and press the app’s Cast but­ton (a screen out­line with a Wi-Fi sym­bol).

Setup is sim­ple, al­though you need to power the don­gle ei­ther via a USB port or your TV us­ing the sup­plied adapter. Cast­ing works well, too, de­liv­er­ing HD-qual­ity con­tent (un­like Ap­ple TV) and there’s gen­er­ally less buffer­ing. But that’s mainly be­cause Chrome­cast isn’t ac­tu­ally stream­ing your con­tent wire­lessly, it ac­cepts a web ad­dress from your de­vice and pulls the con­tent down it­self. That means it can cast Chrome web pages on to your big screen, too, once you’ve down­loaded a plug-in. It’s easy to watch catch-up TV and streams from, ahem, un­sup­ported chan­nels this way, al­though the con­tent won’t be in HD or full-screen.

This is by no means a fool­proof way to get smart fea­tures on your telly, but as a cheap, cheer­ful add-on for those not yet on the in­ter­net TV band­wagon it’s a pretty great op­tion.

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