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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Watching Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast is unlike the other streaming media players discussed here. What makes Chromecast different is that it doesn’t have its own native interface or home screen or anything like that. It doesn’t even come with a remote control.

Instead, Chromecast lets you to broadcast (“cast”) content from your phone to your TV. You open the streaming service or app on your phone that you want to watch, select the Chromecast icon in that app, and then what’s on your phone is cast to your TV, via the Chromecast device.

Chromecast works with Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. You also can cast content from any computer running the Google Chrome web browser.

Comparing Chromecast Models

As of early 2019, Google offered two Chromecast models. The basic Chromecast offers 1080p HD resolution and sells for $35 USD. The Chromecast Ultra adds 4K Ultra HD with HDR, as well as an Ethernet connector, for $69 USD.

p0150-01.jpg

Google Chromecast. (Photo courtesy Google, www.google.com.)

Both Chromecast models are technically dongles; they’re not sticks per se, but disc-shaped devices that connect directly to (and hang off of) your TV’s HDMI input. They are not set-top devices.

Table 6.3 compares the two Chromecast models. Learn more at store.google.com/category/connected_home.

Table 6.3 Comparing Google Chromecast Models

 

Chromecast

Chromecast Ultra

Voice-controlled remote

No

No

1080p HD

Yes

Yes

4K Ultra HD with HDR

No

Yes

Dolby Atmos sound

No

No

Wi-Fi

Yes

Yes

Ethernet connection

No

Yes

Price (USD)

$35

$69

Using Google Chromecast

You set up and configure your Chromecast device (and connect it to your home Wi-Fi network) from the Google Home app on your mobile device. You control any given streaming service from within that service’s app on your phone or tablet, or with voice commands via any Google Home smart speaker or connected device.

Most streaming mobile apps are compatible with Chromecast. The big exception is Amazon Prime Video, which is excluded due to the ongoing Amazon/Google feud. All the other major streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube, cast just fine to any Chromecast device.

  1. common-01.jpg On your mobile phone or other device, open the app for the streaming service you want to watch. For example, to watch Netflix, open your phone’s Netflix app.

  2. common-02.jpg Navigate to the TV program or movie you want to watch and tap the Cast button. (In some apps, you might need to select and start watching a video for the Cast button to appear.)

  3. common-03.jpg Select which device you want to cast to.

  4. common-04.jpg The streaming content displays on your TV screen. Use the streaming app on your phone to stop, start, pause, resume, fast forward, and rewind what you’re watching.

  5. common-05.jpg Tap the Cast button again in your phone app to stop casting.

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