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Devices: Gadgets

Google Chromecast Tips and Tricks

Google Chromecast Tips and Tricks
Google Chromecast Tips and Tricks

Google Chromecast Tips and Tricks

The Chromecast is a handy gadget for streaming Internet content to your TV

Chromecast’s Offers: Google often gives away free content to Chromecast users. Check out Chromecast’s Offers page to see all current offers: www.google.com/chromecast/get-offers.

Quality: When casting from the Chrome browser, you can change the quality of the content streamed. First, click the Cast icon on the top right side of your browser, then select Options. A tab will open, allowing you to change the settings. You can choose from standard – 480p, high – 720p, and extreme – 720p high bitrate options.

Google Slides Presentations: Users can show their presentation with Chromecast. First, install the Google Cast extension in the Chrome browser. Next, make sure the device you’re using and the Chromecast are on the same Wi-Fi network. Then, go into the presentation and select the drop-down arrow on the Present button. Lastly, click on the Chromecast, and you’re done!

Ethernet Adapter: The Chromecast requires a good Wi-Fi connection to deliver streams that don’t buffer. If you have a slow Wi-Fi network, Google has an Ethernet adapter for the Chromecast. This adapter looks like the Chromecast power cord, but its plug end includes an Ethernet port. Users can connect an Ethernet cable to their modem, plug the USB end of the adapter into the Chromecast, and attach the Chromecast to the HDMI port on their TV.

Pictures on Home Screen: Users can show their own photos or choose from Google’s selection of images to switch up their Chromecast background. In the Google Cast app, go to the Devices tab. Select the Chromecast you want to customize. In the top-right corner, tap the menu and select Backdrop Settings. Pick a photo from Google Photos, Facebook albums, or Flickr. You can also display news, weather, art, or satellite images.

Photos: Chromecast can use Google Photos to cast your pics from Google Photos on iOS, Android, and the PC to your TV.

Games: The Chromecast can be used to play family games, such as Trivia Bash, Just Dance Now, Sonic Jump Fever, and more. Users can download games to their Android or iOS device to use their phones or tablets as controllers, while the game runs on their TV. Dozens of games for Chromecast can be found in the Google Play store.

Music: To play music through your TV with Chromecast, you must download Google Play Music. Next, open the app, select the cast icon, and choose Chromecast from the device list. Then, select the song you wish to play. Google’s subscription payed services are also available, which includes free streaming radio and YouTube Red.

Chromecast Audio: If you want quality of sound that your TV speakers can’t provide, Google’s Chromecast Audio device hooks into your speakers and streams music from nearby devices via Wi-Fi.

Spotify: For Spotify Premium subscribers, the option exists to cast tunes through their Chromecast. When the device is on the same Wi-Fi network as the Chromecast, open the Spotify app, play a track, and select Devices Available. Next, select the Chromecast.

Quiet Time: You can download Local Cast for Android, if you want to watch something on your TV without disturbing others. This app lets you cast videos to your television while keeping audio on the device. Tap “Route audio to phone” on the “Now playing” screen, and plug in some headphones.

Local Media playback: The Chromecast doesn’t support local media playback, so users can’t tap into content you have saved in the cloud. With the media management app, Plex, they can stream music, movies, and photos via the Chromecast. Plex also organizes the scattered content and lets users watch it from tablets, TVs, phones, and more.

Android Selfie: On Android, you can cast whatever you see on your phone to the TV. See the Chromecast support page for a full list of devices available for this service.

Chromecast on Vacation: Using your Chromecast on the go will enhance your experience far beyond the limited channels available on the hotel’s TV. Make sure to pack a portable wireless router, like the ZyXel MWR102 Travel Router ($17.29 at Amazon), and plug it into the Ethernet port in the wall. Then, plug your Chromecast into the HDMI port on the TV and connect it and the device you’re using to cast to it. (If you’re at a Marriott, you might be able to get Netflix without the Chromecast, however.)

Keep Up With Apps: New apps are being added all the time to the Chromecast, which means that the gadget is gaining new abilities and content. To find out what its latest tricks are, visit Google’s Chromecast page and click on New. An app helps you find popular content from Cast-enabled apps. You can go to a single place to browse or search content from across apps you already use.

Kid ‘n Play: YouTube Kids lets children watch age-appropriate videos from the Google-owned video site. The app restricts content on the app, even on search. Tech-savvy kids can now cast their favorite videos to the TV.

GuestMode: When you have guests, you might want to let them decide what to watch without giving them access to your Wi-Fi. You can turn your Chromecast to Guest Mode in the device settings, and anyone with a Google Cast Ready app that’s open within about 25 feet of the Chromecast will be able to cast.

Remote Control: You’ve probably used your phone as a remote for your cable or Chromecast, but you might not know that you can use it to bypass the process of having to change the input to cast if your TV supports HDMI-CEC. Google the model of your TV and the trade name for HDMI-CEC that matches the brand: Samsung — Anynet+, Sony – BRAVIA Link or BRAVIA Sync, Sharp – Aquos Link, Hitachi — HDMI-CEC, AOC — E-link, Pioneer – Kuro Link, Toshiba – Regza Link or CE-Link, Onkyo – RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI), LG — SimpLink, Panasonic – VIERA Link or HDAVI Control or EZ-Sync, Philips — EasyLink, Mitsubishi – NetCommand for HDMI, Runco International – RuncoLink.

Amazon Video: There’s no easy way to stream Amazon Video since Amazon has its own streaming device. There is a workaround, though, as long as you keep a computer with the Chrome browser handy while you’re watching on your TV. Open the browser and install Google Cast. Once that’s done, open a browser tab to Amazon Video, click the browser icon, select your Chromecast, and then click Cast This Tab. The downside is that you’ll have to go into the browser to control the video.

RabbitTV: RabbitTV Plus aggregates free content that can be found online and organizes it in a way that will be familiar to anyone who uses a streaming service. While it’s not revolutionary, it can save less savvy users frustration and time. You can watch RabbitTV from your TV. With the RabbitTV Plus app (Android, iOS), smartphones and tablets can be used to browse the channel guide and act as a remote.

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