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What is Google Chromecast: Everything You Need To Know About

May 12,2022 - (Free)
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Are you curious to know “what exactly is Chromecast?”. The straight forward answer is here: The Google Chromecast is a streaming media dongle that connects to your television and makes it simple to use a variety of streaming services, including Google Play, Netflix, and YouTube.

Everyone who is interested in learning more about Chromecast streaming devices, including you, should read this guide.

google-chromecast-3rd-generation

Google Chromecast is a device that allows you to cast content from one device to another. It’s simple to use and set up. We’ve broken down with all important information about Google Chromecast, how it works, and what it can do for you.

What is Google Chromecast and how does it works?

In technical sense, Chromecast is a family of TV dongles that connect to your TV’s HDMI port to add smart features. Since all Chromecasts now use the same screen and video sharing technology, movies, TV shows, and other content may be streamed from your laptop, phone, or tablet directly to a large screen via the Chromecast. The new Chromecast comes with Google TV apps and a remote. With a new software update.

Well, consider a Chromecast if you’d like to watch Stranger Things or The Crown in the comfort of your own home, but prefer the full-screen, home cinema experience. With Google Cast, you can stream content from your phone or tablet directly to your TV and maximize your viewing experience.

With Google Chromecast, the setup process is incredibly simple and straightforward (check out our guide on how to set up Google Chromecast). All you need is an HDMI-equipped TV, a smartphone or tablet, and access to a WiFi network to get started (though there is a way to use Chromecast without WiFi, too).

Because of this, the new Chromecast is one of the best streaming devices available. Whatever Chromecast you choose, you’ll be able to stream virtually anything (including Netflix binges and other popular streaming services) on your home’s biggest screen.

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Top Features of Google Chromecast

Aside from streaming movies and TV shows, Google Chromecast has many other uses.

Stream music

You can also use Chromecast to stream music, which is great for parties where you want to show off your Spotify playlist. (To learn how to unblock Spotify, see our How to Unblock Spotify article.)

Cast Pics

Chromecast lets you cast your holiday photos to your TV instead of squinting over a phone. You’ll need the Google Photos app or a laptop with Google Chrome to do this. Learn more about storing your photos online in our Best Online Photo Storage guide.

Device Casting

Google Chromecast also allows you to cast from your laptop to your TV. So your TV can be a second monitor. Just make sure you have Google Chrome installed. The Chromecast Support Center has detailed instructions on how to cast from your laptop.

Gaming

If you use Chromecast with Google TV, the new interface will appear on your TV screen. This means you can control media with the provided remote without using your phone or tablet, but you must use your phone/tablet for setup. Users of the latest model will be pleased to learn that it also supports gaming (check out our list of the best Chromecast games).

How many variants of Google Chromecast till date?

Google released the first Chromecast in 2013, followed by the Chromecast 2 in 2015 and the Chromecast 3 in 2018.

Google released the Chromecast Ultra in 2016, which works like its predecessors but can cast 4K streams. Chromecast Ultra supports both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, ensuring a strong connection for those demanding streams. Chromecast Ultra is still used to stream Google Stadia to TVs.

Chromecast Versions Launch Date RAM Storage Resolution Launch Price
1st Gen July 24, 2013 512 MB 2 GB 1080p 35$
2nd Gen Sep 29, 2015 512 MB 256 MB 1080p @30fps $35
Audio Sep 29, 2015 512 MB 256 MB N/A $35
Ultra Nov 6, 2016 4K $69
3rd Gen Oct 10, 2018 1080p @ 60fps $35
Google TV Oct 6, 2020 2 GB 8 GB 4K $49.99

Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV are currently available on the Google store. As a casting device, the original Chromecast can stream content from your phone or tablet to your TV.

An even more advanced model has just been released. Chromecast with Google TV introduced a completely redesigned user interface. The Google Stadia Premiere Edition includes a Chromecast Ultra as well as two other Chromecast models: Chromecast and Chromecast Mini.

The new Google Chromecast faces stiff competition from the similarly priced Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Roku Streaming Stick 4K.

You must have a Wi-Fi network in your home to use the Chromecast device to stream media to your television. You can do the following with your wireless router.

What You Need To Have Chromecast Working On TV

Stream from a smartphone

Streaming content can be done on a smartphone or tablet. An app compatible with Google Cast must be installed on your device before you can use this feature.

Use it for local storage

This can be streamed if you have a music or video library. If you have an external hard drive, NAS (network-attached storage), etc., you can share folders. On your home network, you must ensure that it is available as a shared resource.

Streaming from the internet

Use Chrome or a Chromium-based browser like Microsoft Edge if you’re streaming audio and video from your laptop or desktop computer. By using this method of streaming, you’ll have the added benefit of tab casting, which allows you to project what you see on your phone or tablet onto a larger screen.

Chromecast Remote & Voice Control

Chromecast with Google TV comes with a small remote, and Chromecast Ultra can be controlled by a Stadia controller. “Open Amazon Prime Video” or “play (insert favorite Amazon Prime Video series here)” are examples.

On Chromecast with Google TV, press the Google Assistant button to give voice commands. It also has voice-matching. It works by teaching Google Assistant your voice so it can tailor the interface to you.

While the original Google Chromecast lacks voice control, the Google Home app can control the streaming device.

What Can I Watch on My Google Chromecast?

A wide variety of app formats are compatible with Chromecast. As a starting point for your consideration, we have compiled a list of some of the more well-known ones. Visit the Google Store to investigate all of the available choices, both paid and unpaid.

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • The Xfinity Stream
  • YouTube
  • Paramount+
  • Showtime
  • Movies available on Google Play

You can also purchase movies through the Google Play store, then launch the Google Play app on your mobile device to cast them to your television.

Please keep in mind that the purchase price of your Chromecast device does not include the cost of these applications. Even though Google sometimes offers bundles, your subscription to each one of them is completely independent. At the time of this writing, it is possible to purchase a Google Chromecast and a Netflix subscription together in certain countries. For the low price of $89.99, the offer gives you a Chromecast with Google TV as well as six months of Netflix.

You may have heard that many streaming services, including Netflix, have restrictions in place regarding the regions in which their content can be viewed.

What is the difference between Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV?

To put it another way: A whole lot of apps for only twenty dollars. The integration of Chromecast with Google TV makes Google’s streaming device a great deal more comparable to its traditional competitors, namely Roku and Fire TV sticks.

The fact that there is even an interface to speak of is most likely the most significant distinction. Because there are 6,500 Android TV apps available for use with the Chromecast with Google TV, you are not limited to relying solely on Chromecast support.

Oh, and software updates are also being made available for the Chromecast with Google TV, whereas it would appear that the other Chromecasts are not receiving these kinds of updates. The Chromecast with Google TV has now delivered storage optimizations (which should give users more storage space), as well as improvements for Dolby Vision, HDR HLG, and DRM-protected video, all of which are made possible thanks to these software updates.

Because there is a full remote for controlling your stream, you can put down your phone and pay attention to what’s happening on your television instead of constantly switching between apps on your smartphone.

The highest resolution that can be reached with a Chromecast is 1080p, but the Chromecast with Google TV offers 4K video resolution along with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+.

What is the basic difference between Choromecast and Chromecast Ultra?

The Chromecast Ultra, which had a retail price of $70 and was capable of broadcasting content at resolutions of up to 4K with HDR color technology, is no longer available for purchase from Google.

Both of these devices are exactly the same in every way, including the way channels are selected and how they function in general. It is important to note, however, that although the Chromecast Ultra features an integrated port for an Ethernet cable, it cannot function without a separate power supply because it does not have a USB port that is built into the TV itself. You can also view how the Chromecast Ultra compares to its rivals by checking out our head-to-head matchup between the Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku.

Compare: Chromecast with Google TV vs. Roku vs. Apple TV

The installation process is different for Chromecast with Google TV compared to that of similar devices. Your Android or iOS device will be used during the setup process for Chromecast with Google TV. A Firestick or Roku can be configured using a TV’s remote control. You can control AppleTV with either an iOS device or a traditional remote control. Although the setup process has been simplified for all of the products, some customers may find that they are more satisfied with the experience provided by the Google Home app.

Streaming content can be accessed in a variety of ways, depending on the device interface. For instance, because Firestick offers a significant amount of content from Amazon Prime Video, it is an excellent option for people who already have a subscription to Amazon Prime. The user interface of Roku is well-known for its intuitive design. The fact that Chromecast with Google TV can personalize and organize all of your content is unquestionably an advantage offered by this device. Once more, it boils down largely to a matter of individual taste.

The comparison guides that we have created between the Firestick and other streaming devices, such as the Roku and Chromecast, are excellent resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about other streaming devices. In addition to that, we offer an in-depth comparison guide that examines the Roku, the Firestick, and the Chromecast.

Chromecast Technical Specifications

Chromecast 1st Gen Chromecast 2nd Gen Chromecast Ultra
Memory 5212 MB RAM DDRL3 5212 MB RAM DDRL3 N/A
Display 1080p 1080p 4K Ultra HD & High Dynamic Range (HDR10, Dolby Vision)
Storage 2GB 256 MB  N/A
Length 72mm x 35mm x 12mm 51.9 mm x 51.9 mm x 13.49 mm 58.2 mm x 58.2 mm x 13.70 mm
Weight 34 g 39.1 g 47 g
Connectivity HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet (With optional power adaptor) HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet (With optional power adaptor) HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet (With optional power adaptor)
Power Supply Micro-USB Micro-USB Micro-USB

FAQ

Is there a Chromecast alternative?

AllCast is the best Chromecast alternative for those who don’t want to shell out cash for a Chromecast dongle.

Is there a Chromecast monthly fee?

A Chromecast does not require a monthly fee. But apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ require monthly fees. There are free alternatives like YouTube, Peacock, Tubi, and Crackle if you don’t want to pay for the content.

Where can I purchase a Google Chromecast?

Chromecasts are available both online and at your local electronics store.

Is it possible to use a Chromecast to stream content to multiple televisions?

One Chromecast can be connected to two televisions at the same time if an HDMI cable splitter is used.

Chromecast factory reset: how do you do it?

Open the Google Home app, select your device, then Settings > Google Home. Then select Reset device > Factory reset > Reset device on Android or Reset device on iOS by tapping More (three vertical dots). Alternatively, you can use the device itself to perform a factory reset on a Chromecast. Keep in mind that factory resets are permanent and cannot be reversed.

How to connect a Chromecast to Wi-Fi?

To get your new Chromecast up and running, simply plug it in and go to the Chromecast setup page. In the Google Home app, select your device > Settings > Wi-Fi > Forget > Forget network, and then connect to the new Wi-Fi network.

Is a USB power supply necessary for Chromecast?

Yes, the micro USB port is used to charge the device. If you don’t have a USB port on your TV, you can use the wall adapter that comes with the device (if your TV has one).

Can I switch my Chromecast to another TV?

Yes, you can move the device from one TV to another in your home without having to change any settings or perform a setup procedure. You’ll need to set up a new wifi network if you take it on a trip or elsewhere.

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