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Watching Netflix on your big screen is getting cheaper and easier

Google Chromecast device on sale in Canada starting Wednesday

Canadian Netflix and YouTube users looking for a cheap and easy way to stream content on their big screen TVs will finally be able to buy Google's Chromecast device starting on Wednesday.

Originally launched in the U.S. last July, the small $39 gadget plugs into a TV's HDMI port and is powered either through a TV's USB connection or by plugging into an electrical outlet.

The Chromecast doesn't come with a remote. Instead, users control streaming content on their TV with phone or tablet apps or via the Google Chrome web browser on a computer.

``I think what's really resonated with consumers is using their personal devices as a controller. That's something that we bet on and we've seen that bet come to fruition,'' said Chromecast product manager Raunaq Shah during a media preview in Toronto on Tuesday.

The Chromecast quickly sold out after it was first released in the U.S. and continued to be tough to find in stores.

Shah said that won't be a problem with the Canadian launch and consumers should have no issues purchasing one through Amazon.ca or the Google Play store.

``It will be easy to get,'' he said, and added that Google is also hoping to get the Chromecast in Canadian stores.

``We're working with a number of (companies) trying to get more partners on board as soon as we can.''

While the Chromecast was first launched in the U.S. with a coupon for three free months of Netflix, that offer will not be available in Canada.

Users can also stream Google Play purchases onto their TV with the Chromecast, watch music videos through Vevo and listen to music via Songza. Another feature, which is currently in beta, so Google doesn't promise it'll work perfectly, allows users to beam the content of any Chrome tab onto a TV.

Google recently released a software development kit that allows more programmers to tap into the device and the company said more than 3,000 have signed up in about a month.

``It's not a couple of lines of code but it's not something that's onerous on developers at all,'' Shah said.

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  1. john posted on 03/19/2014 01:28 PM
    more like easier and more expensive .
  2. Mark7 posted on 03/19/2014 02:19 PM
    It is a pity that this technology was not around in the 80's and earlier. Tv has been crap for many many years now. I cancelled my satellite in the early 2000's. I never plan to return unless the quality changes back.
  3. Angry Bill posted on 03/19/2014 04:25 PM
    The media release sounds sexy, of course. But I won't go near the thing for quite some time, until they fix all the things inherently wrong with doing this in Canada. A lot of the content that people want to watch will not be available in Canada over this thing. Using the old tricks like the Hola extension with Chrome won't work, either. The Google DNS servers are hardcoded into the device's OS. Can't fool 'em.

    So I won't be spending a dime on any technology that limits what content I choose to view. I'll stick with my Linux box running XBMC, hooked up to my big screen with HDMI.
    1. Mark7 posted on 03/19/2014 05:45 PM
      @Angry Bill Your viewing setup is superior to this little toy. Even if I was interested in this product I would still boycott it. It is because of the fact that we again are getting insulted by the US. The 3 months of free Netflix is not applicable here upon purchase. Grrrr
    2. Jack posted on 03/19/2014 05:50 PM
      @Angry Bill That sounds like a nice setup. Mine's similar, aside from the Linux. And yeah, Hola is a big part of my Netflix experience.
    3. john posted on 03/25/2014 01:18 PM
      @Jack Linux is a good os i recommend it big time . nobody can track u with that os .
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