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Google's Chromecast coming by Spark's Lightbox

It is about to get easier to watch Spark's Lightbox internet television service on the family television.

Lightbox chief executive Kym Niblock said Lightbox would support Google's popular Chromecast streaming media player within weeks, giving subscribers a cable-free way to get Lightbox on to any modern television.

"It is something that a lot of customers have asked us for," she said.

Chromecast, which went on sale in New Zealand in December priced at about $60, is a small device that plugs into an HDMI socket on a television and can fetch video from a user's home wi-fi network. It also requires connection to either a USB socket on a television or mains power.

Sky Television has said it is looking at adding Chromecast support to its Neon internet television service which launched last month. The New Zealand version of Netflix, which launches on Tuesday, is also expected to support the device at some point.

Niblock said most Lightbox subscribers were watching it on the family television at some times during the day, even though for most people that currently involves plugging a laptop into their television using an HDMI cable.

Google's Chromecast coming by Spark's Lightbox
Google's Chromecast coming by Spark's Lightbox
Lightbox had added about 1000 hours of television programming to the 5000 hours it had when it launched in August, she said.

The internet television market is expected to get increasingly competitive once United States giant Netflix joins Lightbox, Neon, Quickflix and Ezyflix in the market next week, especially as Netflix will not charge GST.

Niblock said Lightbox would compete by "buying smarter" and believed it would benefit from being a local company.

"We never expected to be alone. We are in no way a poor relation and sit at the table as a full competitor.

"There is a lot of terrific content that is for sale out there and it isn't always going to make its way on to one place," she said
.
Lightbox top content includes Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, Vikings and "a science-fiction type historical drama cum bodice ripper" Outlander.

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