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Checkout Google Chromecast

What’s so great about Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast is a very cool small device based on a simplified version of Chrome OS , which connects to the Wi-Fi local area network and is able to play audio and video streaming. With compatible apps installed on a smartphone or tablet, or on a PC with Google Chrome you can use it as a digital media player for your audio/video content on a high-definition display by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or your local network. It also allows you to stream your local videos from your Android device, computer, NAS, and other network locations to your big screen.

The big draw here is that it supports virtually any video or audio file type you have. Users select the media to play using Chromecast-enabled mobile apps and web apps.  Alternatively, content can be mirrored from the Google Chrome web browser running on a personal computer, as well as directly from the screen of some Android devices.

chromecast device

The device, a 2.83-inch (72 mm) HDMI dongle

How it works

chromecast tv

Stream a video to your TV

Streaming is actually carried out by the device and not the smartphone that simply sends the address of the stream and the metadata for the screen interface and playback control. Unlike Apple’s AirPlay, whose support is “cooked” in iOS , OS X and iTunes (on a PC), Chromecast is multi- platform and compatibility is at the application level. For example, the YouTube app Chromecast support on Android that iOS. The experience of use in this case is very similar to that of AirPlay, since the applications are able to automatically detect the presence of Chromecast on the net and all you need is to select the appropriate icon to start playing on TV.


Google Chromecast dongle connected with TV

How to make the most of Google Chromecast

Apps for Chrome

  • Google Cast:  The Google Cast extension enables you to find and play content on your Chromecast device from your Chrome browser.
Google Cast

Google Cast extension for Chrome

  •  Videostream lets you stream local videos (downloads, etc.) from your computer to your Chromecast in full 1080p!

Apps for mobile devices

  • LocalCast lets you stream videos from your phone’s Gallery (or from Dropbox or Google Drive) to a Chromecast.
LocalCast Android App

LocalCast Android App

  • PlayTo Chromecast lets you stream Photos, Music & Videos from 150+ websites, your phone or other media servers to your Chromecast. PlayTo supports website based media streaming, media from media servers and media on your phone or tablets.

Where Chromecast Wins Out

  • It’s a very smal device: Unlike other set top boxes, the Chromecast takes up virtually no space. If you have an open HDMI port and a place to plug in the power, you’ll never even see the little device.
  • Your phone is your remote: While remote controls have been one of the most beloved technological advances of the 20th century, they’re also very rudimentary and easy to lose. We tend to be much better at keeping up with our phones. While Apple TV users can download a remote app for the iPhone, the Chromecast remotes tend to be cross platform.
  • More importantly, your app is your remote: With the Chromecast, your “remote control” is the native app of whatever you’re watching rather than some direction pad and set of buttons. It’s an app designed for mobile, and instead of clicking around a menu, you’re picking your media from the app’s normal menus. It’s a much nicer experience. While not every company does this perfectly, the big names like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have done a good job. Note also that some devices like the Roku have smartphone-based remote control apps, but few are terribly well designed.
  • (Some) apps are group activities: It’s inevitable: when you have company over, one person wants to play a YouTube video, then everyone wants to join in. One of the neat things about how the YouTube app handles the Chromecast is that anyone can do so, and they can even add a video to a shared playlist to make things easy.
  • Tab casting is always a fallback: While the feature can be a bit wonky, the Chromecast is able to stream video from any Chrome tab on your PC to your TV. It’s not an ideal solution, but if you want to play videos from a less popular streaming site (say, a television network’s own video player), tab casting is always an option. On an Apple TV or Roku, if a service isn’t supported you’re just out of luck.
  • It’s insanely cheap: It should go without saying that the biggest advantage the Chromecast has is its price. Not only is it normally $35, which is about the cheapest you can get for a device like this, but you can often find deals where you get a discount or even a free Chromecast with the purchase of something else.


Categories: Android, Apps, Misc, Windows
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