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Foxtel Presto adds Chromecast and Android support

Aussie Chromecast owners have more to watch as Foxtel's subscription movie service comes to Google's tiny media stick.

Foxtel's Presto movie service launched back in March, offering all-you-can-eat access to Foxtel's movie library for $19.99 per month. That's twice as expensive as local competitor Quickflix, but in return you gain access to more recent movies which are currently screening on eight of the Foxtel movie channels.

Google's Chromecast streaming media player, which now works in Australia with Foxtel Presto, EzyFlix and Quickflix.
Google's Chromecast streaming media player, which now works in Australia with Foxtel Presto, EzyFlix and Quickflix. Photo: Bloomberg

Now Presto has added support for Google's Chromecast media player, with the Chromecast icon appearing in the Presto app when it detects a Chromecast connected to your television. To watch the movie on your television, tap the Chromecast icon and select your Chromecast as the playback device.

To encourage Chromecast owners to embrace Presto, Foxtel is offering a one month free subscription to Australians who have purchased a Chromecast since May 28. Unlike a traditional Foxtel subscription, there's no lock-in contract with Presto.

The biggest frustration with Presto was the inability to watch movies on your television, as it only worked in a desktop browser or on Apple's iPad. Now Presto has joined EzyFlix and Quickflix in adding Chromecast support to its iPad app, as well as launching an Android app – also for tablets but not smartphones. Presto is still limited to standard definition streaming.

Meanwhile Quickflix is adding Chromecast support to its Android app later this week. Unlike Presto, Quickflix and EzyFlix also offer smartphone apps with Chromecast support. Quickflix is also built into a wide range of home entertainment devices, while EzyFlix is currently limited to Samsung Smart TVs but is preparing to expand to other lounge room devices.

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The ABC's iView has also committed to adding Chromecast support, with Bigpond Movies amongst the other Australian video services believed to be eyeing off the Chromecast.

Like several other Chromecast-compatible video services, once a tablet is streaming Presto video to the Chromecast, the Chromecast makes a direct link to the Presto servers in order to improve the picture quality. It takes a few seconds for this handover to complete, at which stage the picture improves considerably. At this point the tablet merely acts as a remote control and it's even possible to quit the app and have the movie keep playing.

Presto users can now register up to four devices, which includes the Chromecast, and watch different movies on two devices simultaneously. Along with its all-you-can-eat movie library Presto also offers new release rentals. The rental selection has improved slightly since launch but is still dominated by B grade titles.

Read more posts from Adam Turner's Gadgets on the Go blog.

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