Chromecast: what it is, how it works and what you can do with it
Let’s explain everything you need to know about Google’s Chromecast, explaining what this device is, how it works, and what you can do with it. It is one of the most successful and well-known hardware products in the company, which greatly facilitates the sending of your mobile content to the TV.
Let’s start by explaining exactly what Chromecast is with its basics, and then we’ll go deeper to explain to you in a simple way how this device works. Finally, we’ll end up with a list of over ten features of all kinds you can do to get the most out of it.
What is Chromecast
Chromecast is a device manufactured by Google,and with which you can send content from your mobile, tablet, or PC to the TV on which it’s connected. With this, if you have found a video on YouTube that you want to share with the rest of the room or watch on the big screen, you can do so in an extremely simple way.
The device itself is what is called a dongle,which is very similar to a USB skewer, but with HDMI connection and a small computer inside to do its functions. What you have to do is simply connect this HDMI skewer to the TV,link it to your home WiFi connection and send content.
And these are two of its main advantages, you don’t even need to connect by cable to the device from which you want to send content or you don’t have to browse any internal skewer operating system as with the Amazon Fire TV Stick and some of its alternatives. Just tap the sync button with your mobile device’s Chromecast and you’re done.
But that doesn’t mean your Chromecast is fully wireless, as it has a power cord with which you have to connect it to a plug. Once you’ve done so and set up, you’ll be able to send content from Android devices starting with version 4.0.3 for mobile or tablet, iOS starting with version 7.0 for iPhone, iPad and iPod, Chrome browser, and computers running the ChromeOS operating system.
How Chromecast works
To understand how Chromecast works you have to understand two concepts. The first is DLNA a technology to communicate devices over a network that is configured within your home network, which means that all devices will need to be using the same WiFi or Ethernet subnet. Everyone will need to support DLNA, and there must be a server-side device to deliver content, while the rest act as receivers.
Y el segundo concepto es el de Miracast, una funcionalidad que permite mandar mediante Wi-Fi Direct (tecnología que sirve para la conexión punto a punto de manera sencilla entre dos dispositivos) dos dispositivos Android prácticamente en tiempo real, y con un retraso ínfimo.
El Chromecast es un dispositivo que utiliza una tecnología en la que se mezclan los conceptos de DLNA y Miracast, un protocolo al que han llamado Google Cast. Con él, el Chromecast permite que podamos iniciar y controlar la reproducción que está realizando a través de otros dispositivos de forma inalámbrica.
The icon that identifies this technology and the supported apps is the one you see above. All you have to do is set up your Chromecast from the Google Home app, and once you’ve clicked on this icon you see above within the supported app from which you want to send content and choose the Chromecast you want to send it to.
Once the connection between your mobile, tablet, and computer and Chromecast is established, your device automatically becomes the remote control. In apps like Netflix or YouTube, you only have to tap on the content you want to watch, and instead of playing on the device itself, it will do so directly on the TV where you have the Chromecast.
What you can do with a Chromecast
Here’s a little list of everything you can do with your Chromecast. You have everything from basics like watching videos or playing music on your TV to others like being able to send your computer screen to watch it on TV or being able to play some compatible games.
- Watch your favorite videos and movies on TV: It’s the main function of Chromecast, being able to stream to your TV the videos you’re watching on mobile. Apps like Netflix, HBO, or YouTube, in addition to the official ones on multiple TV channels, allow you to send content to your Google device so you can enjoy its content on TV.
- Watch group videos: One of the possibilities that the YouTube app has with Chromecast is to create an automatic playlist. It does so automatically, and you simply have to tap from any device that uses the same WiFi on the videos to get the option to queue it. This feature makes the small Google device a perfect complement for parties and meetings.
- Play live videos from Facebook: But in the age of social media and instant messaging are not all deferred videos, as more and more platforms allow them to be broadcast live. In fact, live videos from Facebook and other pages also implement the default Chromecast button from any browser without the need for extra apps, so it’s another type of content that you can enjoy on your Chromecast.
- Your TV as a musicchain : Spotify and other sound apps are also compatible with Chromecast, so you can turn your TV into an audio player that doesn’t depend on any videos on YouTube. And if already to finish your TV is connected to a sound system or powerful or quality external speakers, then the experience is already unbeatable.
- Radio and podcasts on yourTV : You also have other audio options beyond music. For example, apps like TuneIn Radio allow you to listen to a lot of online radio stations and send them to your Chromecast. You can also listen to podcast with the aforementioned Spotify and apps like iVoox or Pocket Casts.
- Karaoke at home with your Chromecast: It’s not karaoke where you have microphones and a score, but if that competitiveness trait isn’t essential for you you have apps like Musixmatch that **will turn your TV into karaoke. It is an application that you can sync to show on the Chromecast the lyrics of the songs that are ringing.
- Turn your phone into a desktop console: On Google Play,the Android app store, you have an entire section of Chromecast-enabled games. This means that the small device also allows you to turn your phone or tablet into a console that you can play on your TV as if it were a desktop. This allows you to play games like the mythical Risk.
- A whiteboard for the little ones: There are other apps, like CastPad that turn your phone or tablet into a whiteboard and broadcast everything you do on it to tv via Chromecast. The application has a free basic version with an interesting color palette with which to color the screen in multiple ways.
- A video surveillance system with your mobile: If you need to use a surveillance system, but don’t feel like investing in it without knowing the extent to which you need it, you’ll be glad to know that Chromecast can also help you turn your phone or tablet into a surveillance camera. For this purpose, for 4.49 euros you have the tinyCam Monitor app for Android, which will allow you to monitor your home with any Android device that has a camera. It can upload videos to the cloud, supports temperature and humidity sensors, and is fully compatible with Chromecast.
- Get a gym at home: The Android catalog also has several apps like Runtastic Six Pack Abdominales, Fitstar Personal Trainer or Cody – Fitness video training. These are training apps with one common point: they can be used with Chromecast to take advantage of your TV.
- A kitchen assistant :If you have a TV in the kitchen, Google Chromecast can also help you step-by-step prepare that dish you’ve always wanted to try. Apps like iFood.TV for iOS and Android are an example of how to get the most out of it, since on the one hand on mobile you can see the ingredients and descriptions and on the other on TV the videos.
- Wake-up call for your couch naps: Are you one of those people who usually falls asleep on the couch without realizing it? Well, you’ll be glad to know that your Chromecast can also do the wake-up functions thanks to projects like Wake Me Up Cast,which allows you to choose a particular video and program it to start playing at the time you choose.
- Group review your text documents: Are you typing a text or article and want to share it with yours all sitting around the TV? Apps like EZCast allow you, among other things, to stream text documents, spreadsheets and even PDFs on your Chromecast.
- Project the screen of your Android or browser: Android has the option of Send Screen to sync with your Chromecast and be able to watch on TV exactly the same as on your device screen. In addition, Chrome supports Googel Cast,so you can send the tab of your browser or the entire desktop. All you have to do is open the browser options menu and choose the Send option, andyou’ll automatically start searching for the nearest Chromecast.