Google’s USB dongle, the Chromecast, which plugs into your TV so you can stream Google’s browser/OS over your Wi-Fi network to the big screen to watch terrible quality YouTube clips on your HDTV, has launched in 11 more markets.
The Chromecast debuted in the U.S. last July, costing $35. It’s finally now launching elsewhere, with Google expanding availability — mostly to Europe. The additional 11 Chromecast markets are: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.
Google is selling the Chromecast via its own Google Play store in the aforementioned markets, and also via retailers including Amazon, Currys PC World, Elkjøp, FNAC, Saturn and Media Markt.
In the U.K. the Chromecast costs £30 from the Google Play store. So it’s not quite as cheap as in the U.S. (as per usual for gadgetry crossing the pond).
In a blog announcing Chromecast’s European (and Canadian) expansion, Google noted that it’s working with local content providers in each market to make content available for it — flagging up a handful of specific local apps that it says are being rolled out now, or coming soon.
Apps that have started rolling out for Chromecast according to Google include BBC iPlayer in the U.K.; France TV Pluzz and SFR TV in France, with CANALPLAY slated as “coming soon”; and Watchever in Germany, with Maxdome “coming soon”.
Since Google opened up Chromecast to outside developers, launching a public SDK early last month, it said more than 3,000 have signed up worldwide to make apps and websites available for streaming via the dongle.
The current list of Chromecast apps is very modest — with only a handful on tap, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora. But with the dongle’s freshly expanded market footprint Google will be hoping to accelerate new app releases.
Despite the lack of apps, Chromecast users can stream content from a tab of their Chrome browser by adding the Chromecast Chrome extension to the browser.