New Delhi : Almost one and a half years after its global debut, Google has finally made Chromecast, its media streaming device, available in the Indian market.
Chromecast will be sold in India at Rs 2,999 through e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal starting December 10 midnight, coinciding with Google’s GOSF shopping festival. The device is sold in the US at $35 (Rs 2,165 approximately).
Google had unveiled the Chromecast on July 24 2013. The device is essentially a small thumb drive-like stick that can be plugged into an HDMI port on LED/LCD TVs. It allows users to stream content from video services like Hulu, Netflix, Google’s YouTube and content from Google Play. It’s worth pointing out that US services like Netflix and Hulu don’t work in India.
In India, Chromecast currently supports YouTube and Google Play Movies, as well as apps from partners like Eros Now, Spuul and YuppTV.
As part of a promotional launch offer, Airtel and Eros are offering Chromecast customers some special subscription offers. Eros Now will give Chromecast customers free access to their full catalog of content for two months. This includes popular Bollywood and regional movies, as well as music, and TV shows on-demand. Airtel is offering existing customers who buy a Chromecast, free data up to 20GB per month for 3 months. New Airtel customers can have activation charges of Rs 1000 waived.
Chromecast connects with smartphones, tablets and PCs to stream online content to TVs. However, unlike Apple TV, it doesn’t officially support streaming of local content to TVs to prevent copyright infringement issues, and connects to an online server for beaming content.
App makers need to add support for their apps for users to be able to stream content through their devices. However, users can still ‘cast’ their Chrome browser tabs to the Chromecast. This implies that video playing on any web page can be streamed. This feature is in beta and there’s considerable lag in the mirroring. The Chromecast also allows users of Nexus phones and certain other high-end phones to mirror their phone screens on their TVs.