Internet-to-TV device now on sale, with a caveat

28 May, 2014 by Don Groves

Google Chromecast went on sale today, enabling buyers to watch online content on big screen TVs, but there’s a hitch.

The $49 device can’t be used immediately to access Foxtel’s Presto, Quickflix, and other streaming services.


That’s because the US studios have not yet approved the device to ensure the copyright protection technology is secure. That process may take one or two weeks or longer, according to one studio executive in Sydney, who notes the approval is handled by technical teams offshore.

Consumers can plug the device into their TV’s HDMI port and connect it to Wi-Fi to watch online videos now, and, pending clearance from the studios, internet-delivered channels.

The executive said the studios did not know when Google would launch Chromecast, hence it could not pre-approve the device.

Foxtel indicated Presto will be available on Chromecast and selected Android tablets in July. Presto, which carries all eight Foxtel movie channels, costs $4.99 for the first month for new customers, thereafter $19.99, with no lock-in contract.

The take-up of Presto has been slack, due in part to the service being restricted to PCs, tablets and other devices. 

Quickflix says it’s in the final stages of developing and testing a Chromecast app and it will soon unveil Android and iOS apps. Chairman/CEO Stephen Langsford tells IF, “We'll launch in the next few weeks. It's been a significant development for us. Looks wonderful and I think Quickflix customers will love it.”