On this page, you can get information about How Do Google Chromecast Work. Introduced to the world in 2013, the Google Chromecast has slowly crept its way into households, with the streaming dongle proving to be a useful addition to those looking to make the most of their audio or visual setups.
But while it may have been around for multiple generations, for those who are yet to plug one in, what exactly does it do, and is it worth it? Find out with this Canstar Blue guide.
What Is a Chromecast?
Chromecast is a line of streaming dongles by Google. They can be plugged into any television or monitor through a standard HDMI port. Once configured, you can stream audio and video wirelessly to a bigger screen from your phone, computer, or even a Google Home device.
Google Chromecast connects over Wi-Fi and is usually controlled by another device like a smartphone, instead of a dedicated remote. However, the more premium Chromecast with Google TV does come with a remote to offer a more complete TV experience.
Whichever Chromecast you opt for, there’s no steep learning curve. You boot it up, pair it with the network, and you’re up and running in a few minutes–remote or no remote.
A Chromecast basically acts as a bridge between your TV and your phone or tablet. It draws power from a Micro-USB input, the adapter for which Google bundles in the box. It makes for a perfect gift for Android fans.
How does a Chromecast Work?
A Chromecast built on top of Google’s own proprietary protocol called Cast. It’s designed to let devices, such as your smartphone, easily mirror their content onto a screen or a smart speaker. Announced back in 2013, Google Cast has since been integrated into nearly every major app and platform.
Whenever there’s a Cast-enabled receiver like Chromecast on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone or computer, the compatible app will show a Cast icon. You can tap that icon and beam the content you’re watching directly to the Chromecast.
Since the Chromecast itself is also paired with the internet connection, your phone shares the URL of the content. Because of that, the process is almost instant, and you won’t face any delays.
The Chromecast with Google TV offers a more traditional TV experience. Rather than solely Casting content from another device, you can also play content directly on the device. Though, this is more thanks to the operating system and remote, rather than any hardware changes.
Which Platforms and Apps Support Chromecast?
Google Cast is technically platform-agnostic, since it’s based on Wi-Fi. Therefore, if the developer decides to add compatibility, the underlying platform won’t be an issue.
For instance, you’ll find the Cast button on YouTube irrespective of whether you’re browsing the website on your computer through Google Chrome or the app on your smartphone. Even owning an Apple device won’t set you back!
Beside Google’s own YouTube, many platforms have Cacastst compatibility including Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, and more.
There are a couple of services which don’t offer cast support. Prime Video is one example, but that’s only because Amazon itself has a Chromecast competitor called Fire TV.
What Can a Chromecast Do?
Chromecast lets you stream both audio and video to your television from a phone or computer in up to 4K resolution. In addition, you can mirror just about anything else like pictures from Google Photos.
Plus, if you’re using Android or Google Chrome, you can mirror your screen to demonstrate a presentation or show something else on a bigger screen. It doesn’t have an online service either. You can also cast local media files to Chrome through apps.
What’s more, a handful of games can even be played through Chromecast. That feature can come in handy for when you want to engage in a multiplayer round with friends at a party and also display it for others to watch.
Tips & Tricks for Chromecast
Aside from streaming TV shows and movies, Chromecast may also let you be productive with your time – whatever that means – and is able to be used for presentations and other work-related tasks, as well as some non-work-related entertainment. Some notable features include:
- Presentations: Make presentations using Google Slides and cast your slideshow through the in-built Chromecast function.
- Photo Slideshows: Bore your family with pictures from your latest Thailand trip; Chromecast allows you to cast your photos onto the TV via Google Photos.
- Games: Many games found in the App Store or Google Play Store can be cast through Chromecast onto the TV for the whole family to enjoy.
- Stream Without Annoying Your Housemates: Apps such as ‘LocalCast’ work with Chromecast to cast video to your television while keeping audio on your device; this allows the use of headphones, so you can binge Netflix til the wee hours of the morning without annoying anyone.
- Play Local Media: Several apps, such as Plex, can work with Chromecast to play local media from connected devices and cast them to your TV via cloud technology. This is a huge bonus as Chromecast by itself does not support local play.
- Let Guests Stream: Have guests over but don’t want them knowing the Wi-Fi password? Chromecast can be changed to Guest Mode and anyone with a compatible app can use it without the need of your network credentials.
- Google Home: Chromecast can be synced to Google Home, which basically allows you to control your streams via voice. This makes it easy to choose something to watch while getting dinner ready in the kitchen, without having to fuddle with your smartphone.
Chromecast by itself is a very nifty tool for those new to streaming. Despite this, certain features are lacking – such as the ability to play local content. Several apps have filled that void, however, and when used in conjunction with Google’s device can deliver powerful and fun home entertainment and productivity solutions.