From email and online storage to news and digital maps, Google makes your online life easier. With the Chromecast, it can also take over your TV.
The Chromecast Ultra and Chromecast With Google TV are the two versions of Google’s media-streaming device currently available. The latter added a controller and an on-screen menu to Google’s dongle, giving it a much-needed makeover. Many individuals, on the other hand, are likely still using older devices to cast; the Chromecast has been around since 2013. Many of today’s leading smart TVs have these features built-in.
Part of the Chromecast’s appeal is its portability and ease of use; simply plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and you’ll be streaming Netflix, Spotify, HBO Max, Hulu, and more from your phone or computer to your TV in no time. Not to mention apps for listening to music, exercising, and watching sports.
On Android 11 and 12, users with the Chromecast With Google TV will be able to use their phones as a remote for the streamer via the Quick Settings menu later this year. 9to5 According to Google, the remote feature will also be available on iOS via the Google Home app.
While the ultraportable gadgets are just plug-and-play, there are a few ways to make casting more spectacular.
1. Increase the size of your meetings:
We hate to bring up video meetings, but if you’re weary of staring at them on a small screen, turn them into entertainment and broadcast them on your television. You can still use your PC for your camera, microphone, and audio while casting your Google Meet meetings. Simply download the Meet app, access your meeting using Google Calendar or the Meet app, and choose Cast this meeting. In the Cast tab, you’ll be able to select the Cast device you want to utilize. Select the three-dot menu and click Stop Casting Meeting to stop casting.
2. Display Google Slides on Your Television
Because Google Cast is embedded into Chrome, you can show your presentation with Chromecast if you use Google Slides. Select Present on another screen from the Present menu in the top right corner of your presentation, then select your Chromecast device.
3. Connect Your Android Device to Your Television
Screencasting is available on Android 5.0 and higher smartphones (sorry, iPhone owners), though your mileage may vary depending on which phone you have (the screenshot above is from a OnePlus 5T). Open the Google Home app, tap your Chromecast device, then tap Cast my screen and then Cast screen at the bottom. When you’re finished, tap Stop mirroring.
4. Integrate Apple TV and Google TV
There may be a bitter battle between Apple and Google, but if you have a Chromecast, you won’t have to get involved. With the help of Google TV. In the Apps section of your home screen, you’ll see the Apple TV app, which includes Apple TV+.
5. Use an Ethernet Adapter to Get Rid of Buffering
The Chromecast is a useful device for streaming Netflix, YouTube, and other videos from your phone or tablet to your TV, but it requires a strong Wi-Fi connection to deliver buffer-free streams. However, not everyone has access to a super-fast Wi-Fi network, so Google has a $20 Ethernet adaptor for the Chromecast with Google TV. (An older-generation Chromecast adaptor looks to be out of stock.)
The adapter resembles the conventional Chromecast power cord, but it has a small Ethernet connection on the plug end. Connect an Ethernet cable to that port that is also connected to your modem, put the USB end of the adapter into the Chromecast, and connect the Chromecast to the HDMI port on your TV.
6. Play Music on Your Television
Why not use your great sound system connected to your TV to listen to your favorite music? Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music are just a few of the music-streaming services that may be cast to the Chromecast. Make sure your device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast, then select your Chromecast from the list that appears. Remove yourself from your music app and the Google Home app.
7. Guest Mode on Chromecast
If you have house guests for a week or party guests for an evening, you may want to give them control over what they watch without allowing them access to your Wi-Fi. Turn on Guest Mode on older Chromecasts. (On Chromecast with Google TV, a guest mode is not supported.) Toggle on Guest Mode by opening the Google Home app, selecting your Chromecast, tapping the settings cog in the upper right, scrolling down to it, and tapping it.
When visitors wish to cast something, they can use a compatible app to hit the cast icon, pick a Nearby device, and enter the four-digit PIN that appears on the TV or that you supply.
8. Don’t Follow
Because the Chromecast is only a conduit for material, it’s hard to turn off all tracking, but you may limit what it sends to Google. Toggle off a feature that references sending device stats and crash reports to Google in the settings menu of your Chromecast device.
9. Customize the Chromecast’s background with photos
Ambient Mode allows you to change the background of your Chromecast. You can use your own photographs or Google’s collection of art, landscape photography, and satellite images. Tap the symbol for your Chromecast in the Google Home app. Scroll down to Ambient Mode by tapping the gear icon. Choose whether your Chromecast should show images from Google Photos or a gallery of Google-curated images and artwork. For a low-bandwidth mode, tap Experimental. You may also customize the display by adding the weather and time, as well as the speed at which the Chromecast cycles through each photo.
10. Display Google Photos on a TV
Chromecast can also be used as a modern replacement to old-school slideshows; no projectors are required. Google Photos now supports Chromecast, allowing you to stream photos from your phone, tablet, or computer to your TV. To connect, locate the Cast icon at the top of the Google Photos app and tap it.
11. Can you tell me where the remote is? It Doesn’t Make a Difference
Because the Chromecast connects to a TV port, you’ll need to change your TV’s input to move between the cable box, the Chromecast, and whatever else you have in your home entertainment setup. If your TV supports HDMI-CEC, however, it can make the transition as soon as you press the cast button on a supported app; no need for an old-school remote.
Some TV manufacturers may refer to it by a different name (Google has a list), but if your TV supports it, go to the TV’s settings and enable the HDMI-CEC option. It’s important to note that your Chromecast must be powered by a wall outlet rather than a USB port on the TV.
12. Put on your headphones and listen
Chromecast with Google TV features Bluetooth compatibility, which you can find in the Remote & Accessories area of the Google TV home page if you want to view something on your TV but don’t want the sound to bother others in the room (note that some stability issues have been reported).
LocalCast for Chromecast is a good option for older Chromecast devices. It allows you to cast a video to your TV while retaining the audio on your phone or tablet. On the Now Playing screen, tap Route audio to phone, and then connect in some headphones. This LocalCast function has been in beta for a long time, and the developer advises that there may be glitches, but it’s free, so it’s worth a try if you need to keep the noise down.
13. Seek assistance from Google Assistant
The Chromecast control is included with the device. A Google Assistant button is included with Google TV; use it to conduct voice searches or ask Google’s virtual assistant to open approved apps. Connect your older Chromecast to your Google smart home devices, such as a Nest display, and say things like “OK Google, play The Woman in the Window on Netflix.” Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and YouTube TV are among the other services that are compatible.
14. Creating a Family-Friendly Environment
Chromecast-enabled households Parents may create separate identities for their children on Google TV, so they don’t have to worry about unsupervised screen usage. Parents may control which apps their children have access to (such as YouTube Kids), choose a theme, and even regulate their children’s screen time. “When it’s almost time to switch off the TV,” Google claims, “your kids will be welcomed with three countdown warning signals until a final ‘Time is up’ screen emerges and concludes their viewing time.” Parents can PIN-protect their own profiles because their children are smart.
15. Make a TV Queue on YouTube.
The only drawback to using a Chromecast to view YouTube is that you have to get up and put down your device each time you want to watch a new video. Or maybe you don’t. Open the YouTube app, touch the Cast button, choose your Chromecast device, and watch a video. You’ll get a pop-up box with the choice to watch the video right now or add it to your queue. Add as many videos as you want to your queue, then sit back and relax. To view or amend your forthcoming video selections, tap the up arrow at the bottom of the screen.
16. Using Plex with a Chromecast
One of the most common criticisms of the Chromecast is that it doesn’t support local media playback, which means you can’t access cloud-based content. However, you can use Chromecast to stream music, movies, and images using the media management program Plex. Plex organises your dispersed content and allows you to watch it on a variety of devices like tablets, TVs, phones, and more. Sign up, download, and open the Plex app before sending your content to Chromecast.
17. Use Stadia to Stream Games
The Google Stadia streaming platform allows you to play console and PC-quality games on your phone, in a Chrome browser tab, or on a supported streaming device on your TV. That meant a Chromecast Ultra at the time of introduction, but in late June 2021, Google also added Stadia support to the Chromecast with Google TV for even more big-screen gaming options.
18. Vudu allows you to stream DVDs (for a Price)
You can use Vudu to convert old media to new if you have a lot of DVDs and no way to play them, or if you just want the convenience of streaming. Download the Vudu app (Android, iOS), login in or create an account, then select Disc to Digital from the menu, then scan the UPC code from the disc. Then, using the Vudu app on Chromecast, you can stream your DVDs for $2 per standard definition film and $5 per high definition title.
19. Chromecast Demonstrations
If spoilers never deter you, then the Chromecast Preview Program is for you. This will give you access to the most recent Chromecast features before they’re made available to the general public. The program is not a beta, according to Google, but rather a preview of stable features.
Open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device to sign up. Scroll down to Preview Program after tapping your Chromecast and the gear symbol on the top right. Select it, then press Join Program. You’ll be asked to accept to receive emails about new features if you do so. Return to this page and select Leave Program to opt-out.