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Chromecast launches in Canada for $39 (Available through Google Play and Amazon Canada)

chromecast

Google has launched its Chromecast HDMI dongle in Canada, along with 10 other regions around the world, for $39 via the Play Store and Amazon Canada.

Even if you’ve yet to see a Chromecast in action, it’s likely crossed your path as an Apple TV competitor. The spiritual successor to the Nexus Q, Chromecast allows users to stream music, video and photos from an Android or iOS device, as well as from Windows or OS X with a Chrome extension.

Google recently opened up the Chromecast SDK to all third-party developers, expanding its initial reach beyond a small subset of partners like Vevo, Netflix, Songza and Plex. For instance, popular Android podcast client, Pocket Casts, added Cast support, and many other media companies are integrating Chromecast into their iOS and Android apps. Rdio also recently hinted at adding support for the dongle but quickly retracted the statement.

Casting ability is dependent on region, of course, so Netflix will only be able to stream content to a TV that is already available in Canada. Unlike Apple TV, Chromecast does not mirror local content but creates separate streams from the web. This frees up your phone or tablet to do other things, offloading the processing power to the HDMI dongle itself. On the flip side, apps like AllCast allow for mirroring of local video, audio and photo content to a television.

Chromecast is easy to set up — just plug it into a free HDMI port on your TV or receiver and power it using an included AC adapter or microUSB to USB cord — and extremely intuitive to use. An iOS, Android, Windows or OS X app helps establish a connection to a home WiFi signal, and once setup is completed, compatible apps will automatically find the accessory and add a streaming option.

Every app I’ve used, from mirroring a Chrome browser window to streaming music in Songza, has been reliable and quick; all the early adopter bugs appear to have been fixed.

While perhaps not as flexible as Apple TV — it’s not possible to mirror one’s Android or iPhone to a TV like Airplay Mirroring — Chromecast provides a lot of value for its price, and is well worth the investment.

Source: Google Play, Amazon Canada

  • vn33

    Finally we Canadian gets Chromecast love!

    • Mohamed Abdourahman

      All that’s left is the google play edition phones.

    • TonyC

      Don’t forget Play Music, and content parity. It’ll be nice when the day comes that I can stop masking my location just to get what I want.

    • Brad Fortin

      I was going to say “and Google Voice” but it looks like they’re rolling that into Hangouts.

    • Josh Brown

      And don’t forget Google wallet.

  • aamd11

    Ordering now…

  • nhaler

    I didn’t even know what this thing was until now. Anything else of note, commenters?

    • wahwah

      Yea. Two apps: avia & bubbleupnp. That is all.

    • mastjaso

      Plex. Plex is the greatest thing ever. Way worth the money for plexpass though it’s not required for chromecast anymore.

  • MXM4K

    I’ve had one for a few months now. It’s definitely a fun toy. Haven’t used it as my daily driver quite yet (versus my WDTV Live Player), but it’s definitely a worthy device that is more than worth its cost.

  • wahwah

    Why? Its not like all 5ghz routers don’t also have 2.4. That and its not like you need the extra bandwidth either.

    • 2kfire

      There’s less crowding on the 5 GHz band because it has more channels available. This means less interference, which means a more reliable connection.

    • wahwah

      In theory sure. However in reality its a non issue. Especially when you use the 2.4 side of your router solely for the chromecast.

    • 2kfire

      Unless everyone else in your apartment building is using 2.4, or someone turns on the microwave, in which case it doesn’t matter how close or far your router is.

    • wahwah

      It doesn’t matter man. With how little bandwidth it uses plus the fact that any stream is buffered you will never see issues due to common 2.4 related problems. It just doesn’t happen.

    • 2kfire

      I just gave you two cases in which it does happen, high density areas (apartment buildings) and high interference (microwaves).

      Like it or not, 5.8 GHz helps in those situations. I used to experience both, then I wired my PS3 and set my phones/tablet/laptops to connect to 5.8 and all is great now.

      Not saying it’s a deal breaker, just agreeing with the OP that it would’ve been better.

    • Lexcyn

      Yes it does. For example, I have a soundbar that runs on 2.4Ghz. If I have my soundbar turned on and the Chromecast running, all streams are super choppy and not in HD. If I turn that off, it’s fine. So yes, in my situation 5Ghz would fix all my issues.

    • Mathieu

      You simply have to change the channel of your wireless network so it won’t interfere with your soundbar…

    • Lexcyn

      I’ve tried, it doesn’t work that way with this soundbar. If you do a quick search for Polk Audio Soundbar + WiFi you will see what I mean… it’s unfortunate.

    • Mathieu

      That’s why i don’t love wifi and wireless… it’s sad about your problem.

    • mastjaso

      Yeah, you’re being a little ridiculous here, there are 3 2.4GHz routers in my house, plus microwaves, that spectrum is clogged the hell up, our 5GHz network runs way better.

    • Nestea80

      Why are you so stubborn and can’t admit that you’re wrong? Instead, you just make stuff up. Stop spreading lies.

    • Michael Bazdell

      I currently have a Chromecast and where it’s positioned in my house in relation to the RT-AC68U router, I get about 7Mbps on 2.4Ghz but I get around 150Mbps on 5Ghz. So that means I can’t stream full 1080p from my Plex server to the Chromecast.

    • southerndinner

      I have a dual band router. 5 GHz provides a wayyyy better connection in my crowded townhouse complex. I got about 1/4th of the network speed on 2.4, full speed on 5GHz. There are a ton of people using 2.4 in a small area.

      don’t spread misinformation

  • John

    I love my 2 Chromecasts, but I think the Roku Stick coming out next week offers more (including dual band 5Ghz)

    • Mark Roberts

      Like what? I’m on the fence myself.

  • selonmoi

    I picked up a Chromecast in the US back in October. Amazing little device, and well worth the price!

    For me, Plex is really the killer app. Keep all your TV and movie content on a computer, run the Plex server, and then you can browse it all on your phone and fling it to your Chromecast to watch on the big screen. Everything is beautifully organized with show graphics, music, and episode summaries.

    Through in Netflix and YouTube, and Chromecast is a winner!

    Now we just need Rdio to add Chromecast support and/or Google to finally launch Play Music in Canada.

  • Dave Ykema

    Still don’t know why this is a big deal….

    • wes

      its cheap and makes my gfs dumb tv a smart tv for almost nothing.

    • Derek S

      Also, going up against the Apple TV, Casting can be done from both Android and iOS apps, while Apple TV mirroring can only be done from Apple devices.

    • alphs22

      Unless I’ve missed out on something big, Chromecast can’t mirror like Apple TV yet. The exception being Koushik’s beta software only on a Nexus 5.

    • Derek S

      You’re correct, no full mirroring (yet), casting is done from within each app. I still prefer the full mirroring, so I’m still using my iPad + Apple TV most of the time. Keeping an eye on Chromecast development though.

    • 2kfire

      Not disagreeing, just pointing out that your solution costs a little more ;-)
      As stated above, I think the best part of this thing is the price, which is why people can forgive its two major flaws, no mirroring and no 5.8 -nudges user “wahwah” ;-)

    • wes

      It does mirror the desktop. Its experimental but it works. Check YouTube.

    • wes

      Like to previous ppl, it does full mirroring with a PC and chromecast extension. Check youtube.

    • wes

      you can mirror from a desktop using chrome extension

    • Francois Roy

      The only thing it’ll mirror is a single Chrome tab; not the entire desktop.

    • wes

      You can mirror the entire desktop. You have to change the option. Google it. Its on YouTube. Audio and video can be sent to TV. Was working on an excel document.

    • alphs22

      Yeah, 1 Chrome tab. LOL. Does a poor job at that too, streaming video is choppy.

      It gets the job done when you want to cast, but when it comes to mirroring it’s a far cry to Apple TV’s mirroring. I’m surprised Google is so far behind in this space.

      Paid $35US for mine when it came out. I would have gladly paid double or triple the price for a Chromecast with Apple TV’s capabilities, sans remote, rather than the version being sold now.

    • wes

      You can mirror the whole desktop not just one chrome tab. U have to select the option. There’s a bit of lag but then again its considered experimental at the moment. It actually was fine when I tried it. Can work from my laptop and mirror screen and audio to TV.

    • Josh Brown

      Depends on the quality of the computer. I have never had lag or choppy video.

  • deltatux

    Hurray, it’s finally here! Hope retailers will pick them up too :D!

  • William Donald Morton

    I wish this would stream without the need of a phone or other computer. LIke a WD TV Live…

  • DaSmuggla

    finally… just Ordered It

  • WiZZLa

    lol those suckers bought it from TeamBuy a few weeks ago for $51, some still haven’t received it yet, and they have no guarantees.

  • luvmygadgets

    We don’t have any streaming services worth a @&%! here in Canada… no HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus… we have a watered down version of Netflix. For a smart TV owner that already has Netflix/YouTube apps… the only big draw for me would be to cast streaming video from the Chrome browser on my PC… does anybody know if casting video from a website such as dpstream is actually watchable ? How’s the buffering, image quality and lag ? Does anybody have one ? Would appreciate any feedback…

    • JP Bourgeois

      Yes, it’s watchable. I’d say every hour or so there’s a 5-10 seconds lag and it comes back to normal. 20 mbps down and 2 mbps up
      My wife watches the Amazing Race through CTV and enjoys it.

    • luvmygadgets

      Thanks :) If I can actually use my laptop while watching movies instead of leaving it next to the tv hooked up with an hdmi cable I’ll be happy !
      Edit: Just curious… have you tried to cast anything playing at 720p ?

    • JP Bourgeois

      I didn’t see any significant changes with 720p. I just tried through Plex for a minute and no problem, same with 1080p. But I have yet to watch a full movie in 1080p (just got it last week).

    • JP Bourgeois

      Sorry for the late reply, but yes. Through Plex, I’ve played both 720p and 1080p and it was smooth. I probably did also through tab casting. The point is, I don’t remember a option where it was so bad I told myself I wouldn’t try it again. Pictures is the only one still needs to get improved.

  • Jordih

    8 months too late. I paid twice what they are, still easily worth it. I use it every single day.

  • Karl Dagenais

    Wonder if the DNS is still hardcoded. Only complain I have about mine.

  • ineptone

    I added one to my Play Store cart as soon as I saw this article title. But, in the end, I didn’t pull the trigger because it seems so incredibly limited when compared to something like AirTame – which unfortunately doesn’t ship pre-orders until July. I just don’t know if it’s worth the money, and limited functionality, to ditch a single HDMI cable for a Chromecast.

    • Jesus McDongswoggle

      I agree. I use a PS3 for Netflix and sports streaming apps. I’m also able to connect my phone and tablet to it to do basically the same things chromecast lets you do. If I didn’t have a PS3 then chromecast would be a good investment

    • FlamesFan89

      Yeah, that was my thought. To be fair, I really haven’t looked fully into what a chromecast can do, but from what I can tell, I can do everything it can through my PS3. I’m not sure I would see any benefit from a chromecast.

    • Josh Brown

      I used a ps3 before and trust me the Chromecast is way better. On the ps3 you have to open the app first. It will not switch between video automatically. With Chromecast everything is controlled from your phone. It becomes a very natural remote.

  • Ricky Cheung

    It’s free shipping on Amazon! Estimated delivery March 26.

    • Ricky Cheung

      I think you can only cancel your Play order within the first hour. You can always return it after receiving it. For me it was $39.00, either way, it’s still cheaper than Play’s price + shipping.

  • Francois Roy

    Wonder if an american pre-paid card would do the trick..

  • John Park

    Me too. I’ve had it since it launched I didn’t even use an american credit card I just said it was from US when I added it. Mind you I was in the US when I was able to add it using T-mobile with my unlocked S3 at the time.

    • K Diddle

      Ditto – signed up when I was in the US on a business trip, don’t have it connected to a cc yet either, so I’m using the free stuff but it works fine from Canadaland.

  • Zee

    Been using mine since September. Great purchase for only $39. Now with plex media streaming it’s even better than before. New apps keep getting released and the product keeps improving. Amazing for a small little dongle.

  • John

    Not any more, thats only for the Roku Ready version. Get the HDMI version, which uses USB for power just like the Chromecast

  • Stephen O’Brien

    Continues to frustrate me that the play store cannot figure out how to ship to the Capital of the Northwest Territories, is there a way to complain to someone who cares?

  • Wild

    Great it’s about time. I will get one for my new 4K TV … wait

  • Cavbenn

    So would this work with a US IP service like unblock-us? Would a Canadian still be able to view US apps (hulu) using chromecast in Canada?

  • TonyC

    That’s a great example of having to mask your location. I’ve got Play Music from day one too. My point was it will be nice when those services roll out to Canada so that you don’t have to do any tricks to get it.

  • Anil Kumar

    Can chromcast being marketed by Amazon canada be used in India without any difficulty

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