20 Things You Didn't Know Your Chromecast Could Do
Google helps simplify your online life -- from email and online storage to news and digital maps. But the search giant can also take over your TV with its Chromecast, a streaming dongle that got a colorful makeover last year.
The Chromecast was atop Amazon's list of best-selling electronics for two years until Amazon stopped selling streaming devices that don't support its Prime Video streaming service. Not to worry, the gadget is still available directly from Google, as well as Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Staples.
Part of its appeal lies in its pure portability, but there's also the price: just $35 to wirelessly stream Netflix, Spotify, HBO, Hulu and more from your mobile device or PC to the TV. Not to mention apps for music, working out, and catching up on sports. When the Chromecast was released in July 2013, it quickly sold out, and is still going strong. Sales have now topped 30 million.
While the ultraportable device is pretty much plug and play, there are a few tips and tricks that can make casting more magical. Check them out in the slideshow.
Game time decision
Pretty as a picture
TV as a DJ
If you want 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.
Life is but a stream
Can I stream that?
Apps, meanwhile, are being added all the time. To find out what its latest tricks are, visit Google's Chromecast page and click on New.
Kid 'n play
- 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
If you have it, then use the TV remote and go to Settings and select the HDMI-CEC option and enable it. Now when you cast to your TV, you don't have to change the input. You can start casting to your Chromecast from another device and the Chromecast will send a signal to the TV, forcing the TV to switch to the Chromecast. The TV remote control will now also work to pause, play, rewind and fast forward whatever you're watching on the Chromecast.
Not for all audiences
To sign up, open the Google Cast app on an Android or iOS device. Tap Devices, locate the one that you want to use for the program and select it. Now select Device Settings, then Preview Program. Use the slider to select whether or not you want to receive email notifications of updates as they are pushed to your Chromecast device. When you're done, select Join Program, then review everything you've selected and tap OK, Got It.
You may not be successful in enrolling; should you not see Preview Program under settings, then Google isn't accepting members at the moment and you can try again later.