Wellington man loads up on Google Chromecast - the TV gadget that's outsellng smartphones and tablets

The top selling gadget on Amazon.com right now is not a smartphone or a tablet, but Google's Chromecast.

Chromecast is a thumb-size $US35 wireless video streaming gadget you plug into your TV. It makes it easier to watch a movies and shows from an internet service like Netflix on a regular television (see more on Google's Chromecast site here).

Sadly for fans of new technology, competition and consumer choice, Chromecast is not for sale to New Zealanders.

Presumably that's because the apps and services it supports, such as the Netflix (which offers all the TV shows and movies you can download for $US8.95 a month) are not officially available to New Zealanders.

Nevertheless, it seems Chromecast isn't just wildly popular with Americans.

Talking to NBR ONLINE from the US earlier this week, where he was attending a telecommunications trade show, Wellington man Steve Biddle said he's bought eight Chromecast sticks - one for himself and seven on orders from friends back in NZ (plus a couple of Roku streaming boxes to boot).

Another option for the Chromecast-curious: sign up for NZ Post's YouShop service, which on-ships goods from Amazon.com and other US retailers, allowing you to shop as if you were an American citizen, unhindered by buying restrictions that protect old-world distribution monopolies rather than copyright.

Chromecast isn't the only game in town for getting content from a PC or tablet to TV, or directly to your TV (Apple's $149 Apple TV, available locally, will give you access to iTunes movies - plus, if you sign in using a US account, TV series and Netflix and Hulu apps).

But it's good to have another alternative, especially for those on the Android side of the fence.

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