JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Foxtel Presto adds Chromecast and Android support

Date

Gadgets on the go

Adam Turner is an award-winning Australian freelance technology journalist with a passion for gadgets and the "digital lounge room".

View more entries from Gadgets on the go

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

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

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.

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.

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.

10 comments so far

  • Chromecast is a total waste of $50. I purchased one a couple of weeks ago and have used it maybe once or twice.

    Commenter
    adrian8020
    Date and time
    July 01, 2014, 11:44AM
    • So is anything you buy if you don't have a purpose for it. If you watch a lot of downloaded media look into Plex, it's a free media server and has chromecast functionality.

      Commenter
      Lazor
      Date and time
      July 01, 2014, 1:14PM
    • Not in my experience. It is real value for money. It supports YouTube, digital concerthall (BPO's) and many other media apps. I primarily use it for webcasts. You can virtually watch anything on the net provided you use Google Chrome as the web-browser. Install the free chromecast extension on your Google Chrome and you are raedy to go. Drag and drop any film on your harddisk to the browser window and it automatically plays. I use an iMac, an Android tablet and an Android smartphone.

      Commenter
      Baudelaire
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      July 01, 2014, 3:36PM
    • Got two of those in kids TVs. This allowed me to disconnect Foxtel. Kids now can stream what they like from YouTube or in-house media server.

      Rudolf

      Commenter
      Rudolf
      Date and time
      July 01, 2014, 5:28PM
  • Google sells chromecast but you can't even cast from the google chrome iphone app. It's kinda pointless at this stage.

    Commenter
    David
    Date and time
    July 01, 2014, 1:05PM
    • Sounds a few improvement of the streaming conditions in Australia, but ...

      Once you wake up in the morning and see around the world - you realize we are still left far behind in the dust ... With Roku 3 leading and standing out in the pack, it is still a no brainer to save the time by joining folks from the states to enjoy the freedom of watching that we deserved.

      Google up the Roku and compare the facts, you would know what I mean.

      Commenter
      roku
      Date and time
      July 01, 2014, 2:22PM
      • Android phone and tablet users: If you own a WD TV Live Hub and have an optional WiFi dongle plugged into it, download the AllCast app onto your phone/tablet from the Play Store. It provides similar functionality to Chromecast and it's particularly great when used with the TV Portal app which streams every TV show and movie online to your phone.

        *You'll need root access.

        Commenter
        Jessica
        Location
        Mosman
        Date and time
        July 01, 2014, 3:06PM
        • Who knows "root access" and who cares while we are only interested in watching the content that we wanted to watch? Who want to know and learn "root access" or hack around before we can get entertained ? Why all the fuss that we need to do this? Also note that we are mums and dads, and we'd only want to watch content, not to watch the number powerful CPU cores configuration specification and the need to learn "root access".

          I think if anyone ever starts talking in technical terms to people in order to watch things, that is the end of the world, but not the edge of tomorrow.

          Commenter
          streamer
          Date and time
          July 01, 2014, 3:14PM
        • @streamer I appreciate your point regardless of the convoluted manner in which you expressed it. However, acquiring root access on your Android device is not strictly speaking a 'hack', it's a simple automated software process that affords you access to and command of administrative permissions.

          If you're familiar with the Linux kernel (Unix), as I'm sure you are, you'll know what I mean. Take a deep breath and dive in to the world of Android root access, the rewards are spectacular. The worst that can happen is you brick you device. *shrug*

          Commenter
          Jessica
          Location
          Mosman
          Date and time
          July 01, 2014, 6:16PM
      • Wow way to go foxtel...576i what a great surge in quality...they do realize no one uses old CRT televisions anymore don't they?

        Commenter
        KymBo
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        July 02, 2014, 1:34PM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.