These days, almost everyone who enjoys watching movies and television have a Netflix or Hulu subscription. From binge watching their favorite shows to checking out new programs, these services are what keep millions of people glued to their PC, laptop, or mobile device.
Yet, one of the major downsides of these services is that when watched on such devices, viewers are limited by the screen size as well as by the battery life of the device. What is needed is technology that can help audiences watch all their favorite shows directly on a wide screen LED TV. For that reason, people everywhere are discovering why Google Chromecast is the answer.
From Flop to the Top
Of course, Google’s first foray into the world of streaming devices wasn’t always a hit. In fact, when it first debuted in 2013, it was a complete miss. Since then, however, Google has diligently worked to update its streaming devices for the future which has led to a faster, newer version of the original device as well as a version just for audio. Chromecast Ultra for 4K Ultra HD support is the latest in advanced Google technologies and currently available at the Google Store.
Regardless of which Google Chromecast device you choose, each type remains one of the most convenient ways to provide users with a simple solution to watch all their favorite TV shows, movies, and listen to music as easily from a mobile device or computer as on the big television screen.
The popularity of Google Chromecast devices has skyrocketed since its debut in 2013 and users far and wide have discovered just how convenient it is. Those who have yet to learn just how great it is may have some questions about Chromecast. They may wonder how it works or just what exactly Chromecast does. This guide should help cover all those questions and give users a better idea of why Chromecast might just be a good option – especially for those considering this type of device over cable.
What is Chromecast and how does it work?
Simply put, Chromecast becomes a gateway for mobile streaming apps to be cast to your television. When users select the Chromecast icon from the streaming app on their device, the content they want to watch is then cast to the Chromecast device. Once the movie or TV show you want to watch is detected, it is streamed directly onto your television screen.
The users’ smartphone then becomes the remote control – instead of the actual device on which to watch the program – and will not devour your entire battery life. Of course, if you use Chromecast with your Chrome browser, the device will show the program playing on the browser. Meaning, Chromecast devices run a basic version of Google’s Chrome OS. The memory is limited and the hardware specs are narrow. However, a lot of power is not actually necessary because the devices are not much more than overzealous gateways to streaming content.
Plug and Play
Using a Chromecast is extremely easy and does not require an extended installation process. Using the Chromecast is simple and the only thing needed to make it work is for users to plug it into their TV’s HDMI port. From there connect it to the home’s internet network. The easy instructions provided can explain the process further. It is just as easy as plugging in your DVD player – it does not require advanced set up or instructions beyond basic understanding. Once it is installed, the device then becomes a portal for users to stream apps from their device and cast them to their television.
What is Casting?
For that reason, understanding how casting works is incredibly easy. From the apps on either your mobile device or computer, you basically hand off or “cast” the content to the Chromecast. This begins by tapping the Chromecast symbol on the app. From the information received, the Chromecast then searches for the TV shows or movies on the web and then streams it directly from the service. Rather than use up the phone or tablet’s battery, the streaming is fairly low energy as it uses the device as a remote, allowing the mobile device or computer to stay charged longer. One exception to this rule does exist: when the Chromecast mirrors a user’s Chrome browser on a computer, the Chromecast depends completely on the user’s computer as the source for what it displays. The AllCast App is the other exception (we’ll explain this later.)
As one of the leading technology companies, Google, Inc. offers internet-related products and services which include software and hardware. Since launching their device allowing users to enjoy video streaming from their high-definition television sets, users are discovering the freedom they have from only watching streaming content on their computers. Google introduced The first generation Chromecast device almost five years ago. It was inexpensive, useful, and compact. As with the original device, powered by USB cable put into an HDMI port, users have enjoyed connecting using their smartphone or mobile device as a remote control and gaining access to audio and video content from Google Play Store, Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix.
As proven here, the Google Chromecast device is extremely easy to use, inexpensive and provides a clear picture. It’s no wonder people are choosing to cut the cord and enjoy their favorite shows on demand via streaming content.
Introducing the Chromecast family
For a mere $35, you can enter the world of 4K Ultra HD TV. This is still your best bet and the device comes in three cool colors – lemonade, black, and coral. They feature three built-in antennas, support for 802.11ac and 5 GHz bands, and have a malleable HDMI cord.
If high-resolution content is what you crave, then the $69 Chromecast Ultra is an option for you. This device brings so much more than a higher pixel count to your streaming content, it also supports the two most popular versions of HDR (including the Dolby Vision and HDR10) and runs well with pretty much all TVs that are available to support 4K HDR. HDR content allows for better contrast, highlights that are much brighter and color that is much richer.
The Chromecast Ultra is almost two times faster than the original device. They added 4K Ultra HD movies to Google Play and joined Netflix as a top source supporting 4K Ultra HD. However, Netflix charges more to gain access to their 4K library.
Lastly, Chromecast Audio from Google offers an easy way to turn pretty much all powered speakers into devices that stream audio. Like their video-streaming siblings, the Chromecast Audio works by casting audio from streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and the many other audio services. Yet, in place of an HDMI connection, the Chromecast Audio can connect via 3.5mm audio jack, or through a digital Optical option. Keep in mind, however that you’ll need an additional mini-Toslink adapter or a cable to make that happen.
What devices work with Chromecast?
The good news is that all of Google’s Chromecast devices are able to run on all types of devices. From Android tablets and smartphones, iPads and iPhones, and Chrome for Windows and Mac OS X. Unfortunately, those with still use a BlackBerry or Windows phones are out of luck because the Chromecast is not compatible. However, an app called Tube Cast does offer some partial YouTube functionality for Windows phones through Chromecast.
Google Chromecast works on smartphones iPhones and Androids as well as iPads, tablets, Chrome for Windows and Mac OS X. Additionally, an app called Tube Cast lets viewers watch limited YouTube streaming for Windows Phones.
This product is highly recommended if you want to enjoy streaming from your television without breaking the bank. And with the Google Chromecast, you can easily turn your TV into a personal dashboard while making the most of your viewing and listening experience.
What apps work with Chromecast?
Google’s Chromecast supports more than 300 different apps which allow users to stream movies, play games, and participate in a plethora of entertainment. Including everything from HBO to checkers. Developers continue to craft more Chromecast-friendly apps each day make these devices as popular as ever.
Some of the most notable apps used with Chromecast include:
- HBO Now
- Google Cast
- Vudu & Crackle
- Showtime & Showtime Anytime
- HBO Go & HBO Now
- Sling TV
- Plex Media Server
- Chrome Browsers
Of course, that list is only a small amount of the many popular Chromecast-supported apps. For those developers who enjoy crafting apps with the software developer kit (SDK), the possibilities are endless for Chromecast’s apps. Sadly, Google itself does a really bad job of listing all the possibilities and options for third-party apps. Of course, there’s an app to help get around that! An app for Android curates Chromecast-compatible apps in a much richer, categorized list.
Inexpensive, Simple and Powerful
Google’s offers a cheap, simple way to stream all your favorite shows and movies right to your TV. It’s easy to see why so many people have decided to make the switch. The Google Chromecast is only $35 and gives you quick access to multiple streaming services. With the Google Chromecast viewers gain access to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Google Play and even streaming audio like Spotify.
Viewers are even able to throw content from their Chrome browser right on to the big screen for big entertainment. With Chromecast you can lay on your couch and watch content on your TV rather than be squinting at your phone.
Inexpensive, portable, and available for use with pretty much any device, Google Chromecast is a cord cutters dream!