In our increasingly technology-obsessed world, one of the more common gadgets that a lot of people are using nowadays is the Chromecast. Since its very first version was launched by Google in 2013, it has seen a steady rise in the number of users adopting it. More than 55 million units of the device have been sold since its launch, with more than 36 million users using Chromecast or Chromecast built-in devices as of 2017.
But what is Chromecast?
While the name may tend to confuse many people due to the device partially sharing its name with the ever popular internet browser Google Chrome, Chromecast has nothing to do with the browser.
Chromecast is a range of digital media players that are designed as small dongles, which can be used to play an assortment of media content that are streamed from the internet on a television or audio system. The user is able to control what gets played on the television or the audio system via their mobile phone or computer, through mobile or web applications that support the Google Cast protocol, or if the user gives commands through Google Assistant. Content can also be played or shown from the Google Chrome browser on both computers as well as on certain Android mobile devices.
In other words, this handy little device is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to stream just about any form of content on your TV!
What can you do with Chromecast?
Chromecast allows you to cast movies, television shows, photos and videos from Google Cast enabled applications to televisions. This can be done through Android mobile phones and tablets as well as iOS driven devices such as iPhones and iPads. It also works through the Chrome browser on Windows driven PCs, Chromebooks and even on Apple’s Mac computers through the Chromecast setup Macbook. Entire websites or browser tabs can be cast onto television screens from both Windows computers and Macs. However, the best part about this is, there is no separate user interface, and nor is there any remote control, as all of this can be controlled directly from the mobile phone, tablet or computer!
How to set up your Chromecast?
Setting up your Chromecast is very simple. Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Plug in and your Chromecast
The first step you need to do to get your Chromecast up and running is to plug it into the HDMI port of your television and the USB wire into a compatible port or a power outlet. A small point to bear in mind is if you are using a Chromecast Ultra which is 4K compatible, you will need to connect the adapter to a power outlet as USB ports will not be able to provide it enough power to run properly. In order to set up your Chromecast, you will need to download the Google Home application, which we cover in the next step. So, plug in the Chromecast and wait for it to turn on.
Step 2: Download the Google Home application
You will be able to download the Google Home application from the Google Play Store or from the Apple App Store, depending on whether you are using an Android device or an Apple device. However, most Android mobile phones and tablets should have the application already installed. In case you are using your Chromecast to stream content from a computer, you will not need to download the Google Home application. All you need to have is the Google Chrome browser. Go to Google’s Chromecast website, and there are easy-to-follow instructions there to guide you.
Step 3: Connect to your Chromecast
There is one minor difference in how to connect your Chromecast depending on whether it is a first generation Chromecast or one of a subsequent generation. The first generation Chrome looks like a longer dongle while newer generation Chrome look like discs. For a first-generation Chrome, you will need to connect to the ad-hoc Wi-Fi network that gets created. The newer generation Chromo support Bluetooth, so when you begin setting it up through the Google Home application, you will be connected via Bluetooth. Do ensure that Bluetooth on your mobile device is turned on.
Step 4: Configure your Chromecast
Now that you have connected your Chromecast to your mobile phone, you need to launch the Google Home application and complete the configuration process. It is fairly simple, as you will be guided through prompt messages that take you through the setup process.
Once all that is done, you’re good to go! Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the application, and you can begin streaming. You can launch the content of your choice by selecting the service or player, and once it starts playing, tap the casting icon in the corner of your screen and it shall start playing on your TV. That’s all there is to it!