One of Google’s latest creations the Chromecast has been on the market for a few months now and I have finally jumped on the bandwagon. Part of the main reason I held out was mostly due to my own ignorance on how flexible this product really is. I thought Chromecast was only supported with Android devices and I already have a device made by HTC that my HTC phones can use to send content to a TV.
With Chromecast connected to the TV in my living room, friends and family alike can share whatever content they desire regardless of the platform they are sending it from. For instance, someone with an iPhone can interact with Chromecast once they have downloaded the app from the Apple app store and have connected to my wireless network. I recently discovered I can send content from my PC or laptop to Chromecast which kind of gives me a second monitor or extended view of my computer. More on that near the end of this article.
After unboxing my Google Chromecast I looked for installation and setup instructions and was surprised there was not much included. There was enough guidance to get Chromecast connected to the TV. What I wanted to know was what do I do after it’s all plugged in? Here’s a little help from my experience so far.
- Connect Chromecast to your TV via HDMI input.
- Plug the mirco end of the USB cable that came in the box to Chromecast and plug the other end into the TV or included power adapter to bring Chromecast to life.
- Change the TV input to the match the number of the HDMI input you plugged Chromecast into.
- Go to http://chromecast.com/apps on your mobile device to find a link to your matching app market and install the app.
- To configure Chromecast from your computer follow this link: PC Setup
- Launch the Chromecast app on your mobile device and follow the setup instructions on the screens.
Note: You will need to know the name and password for your wireless router to complete the setup process.
What to do after installation:
The Chromecast app for Android has a section to Discover Apps that can be sent to Chromecast. A few from that list are:
- HBO Go
- Google Play Movies and Music
From those apps you will see an icon at the top that resembles a rectangle with three signal waves in the lower left corner. Press that button to send the content to your TV.
From your computer open the Google Chrome browser and install the Google Cast extension from this list. After the extension is installed you will see the same rectangle with three signal waves in the bar next to your URL.
I recently read this article about creative ways to use Chromecast and think it is worth a read to get the most out of Chromecast in your home. 8 Creative Uses for Google’s Chromecast
I can see how Chromecast is an added value to any household with a computer or smartphone. We don’t subscribe to a TV service like Comcast or Dish so we are pretty limited to sources like Netflix and ABC Go, but this gives us an additional way to interact with our TV’s. I think Aimee would appreciate the ability to stream music when hosting a party the most.
Do you have Chromecast already? Have you found a unique way of sharing content with Chromecast? If so, please share it in the comments below!