Thursday, 25 July 2013



#SundarPichai #Android43 #Nexus72 #Chromecast #Apple #iPad #BBC #BBCiPlayer #UKTVLicense

Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Chromecast is such a great idea and US residents are so very fortunate to be getting the first bite of that cherry!

Quite some time ago I wrote an article on how we in the UK can legally avoid paying the TV license. The current fee for colour TV license is £145.50 and for those rocking a black & white television set is an amazing £49! What’s the situation like where you’re from? It’s only the BBC that requires TV owners to pay the fee as they claim the licensing revenue is used to fund their programs. There are a few flaws in this system:
1. The BBC programs do not reflect the multicultural aspect of the UK.

2. If one genuinely does not watch the BBC channels how would the license enforcers (yes, people do come around to make sure that you have paid the license fee) know what channels you are watching?

3. Some BBC programs are funded through the UK Lottery and European Commissioning.

However, the BBC stipulates that as long as you don’t watch their programs live i.e. you watch their programs through the iPlayer then you don’t have to pay the license. You’d be surprised at how many British people do not know this. Many British people are so used to the thought of a private BBC police force kicking down the door and confiscating TV and video equipment that they wouldn’t think to look into the legalities of avoiding the hefty license fees. The other side of coin is that so many UK residents illegally do not pay the license.

I can’t say what the quality of cable TV is like in the rest of Europe and the US but I can tell you that in the UK the quality is very, very poor. There are more repeats on cable than from eating a dodgy meal! I am on the Virgin Media cable and if it was not for the benefits of having items like the Internet, landline and mobile thrown in I wouldn’t have bothered with cable – it’s that bad!

However, Virgin wants to charge me extra to have YouTube on my list of duff channels! Ok, they aren’t all duff but for the 400-odd channels there must be about at least 6 channels that I would actively watch!

Chromecast can and will play a vital role in alleviating folk from paying the TV license fee! I am certainly going to get the Chromecast HDMI dongle as soon as it is available in the UK; I can see it selling out because at $35 (around £22) it is an absolute steal! As you may already know there are similar ideas that involve purchasing yet another box that requires more bloody cables! And if you buy into certain technological brands you’d have to opt for more of their equipment to enjoy TV their way. Chromecast does none of that.

I have read somewhere that the success of Chromecast in the UK lies with the BBC iPlayer app adopting the Chromecast transmitter in future updates. That’s not true. If you go to the BBC iPlayer website through the Chrome browser then you’d be able to transmit what’s on the Chrome browser to the Chromecast enabled TV.

I have noticed that Google specific apps have been updated for Chromecast compatibility and therefore Google already knows that Chromecast will be worldwide success. I am expecting that the likes of Netflix UK will be adopting their app to accommodate Chromecast. I am also expecting BBC to adopt Chromecast too.

In fact Google has given app developers the Google Cast code to place in their apps and therefore I am also expecting to see developers of media players to include Chromecast in their apps. So, expect to be able to play your videos and slideshows produced with your favourite Android and iOS devices.

At the time of writing Blackberry and Windows mobile will not be getting a Chromecast compatible app. However, if Blackberry adopts Android apps it may well be possible.

I can’t wait for Chromecast to come to the UK! You ought to be feeling the same way too if you are paying the high BBC TV license fee!

What do you reckon?   

Take good care!

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