Chromecast: 18 Tips & Tricks For Better Use

Apparently, the Google Chromecast is a very simple object, but it still unmined potentials to drag a few practical tips from.

Did you have a Chromecast at Christmas? Under its simple air, the accessory of Google contains many secrets. Here are some tips to take full advantage of it.

#1 Use your photos as wallpapers

When you’re not using your Chromecast, it turns your TV into a giant digital photo frame. If you want to use your own photos, download the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device, click on your Chromecast in the list of your devices.

Tap the three dots at the top right of the app> Sleep mode settings> Google Photos> slideshow to view.

You also have the option of adjusting the display speed of new photos, from 5 seconds to 10 minutes, and you choose to display other information on the screen, including the weather and current time.


#2 Browse apps compatible with Chromecast

You know the classic apps that support Chromecast – YouTube, Netflix, etc. But other services are available. To find out, just open the Google Home app on your phone and click on the “Explore” tab. Scroll down and you’ll see items for Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.


#3 Screen mirroring from your smartphone or tablet

Chromecast’s flagship feature is video streaming from YouTube, Netflix, and any other application that supports it. However, if you are an Android user, you can duplicate the display of your smartphone on any TV. Just pull down the notifications panel and click on Cast.

Select the Chromecast you want to use, and your screen will be streamed to the TV. Unfortunately, this does not work well for streaming local videos, as the frame rate is usually quite low and the audio goes out of sync very easily. What works best is to show your locally stored photos or browse the web.


#4 Screen mirroring from your PC

If you want to do the same with your computer, just install the Chrome browser. The functions are integrated in Chrome, you no longer need the Chromecast extension.

To use this feature, open Chrome and click the Cast button to the right of the URL bar and select your device.


#5 Local content delivery

Since your desktop mirroring usually has a fairly low frame rate, you’ll need to use a different method to stream videos and local content to your Chromecast from a computer.

On a Mac, simply drag a video file to a Chrome tab or press Cmd + O and locate a video. In Chrome on Windows, go to File> Open or press Ctrl + O and locate a video file to open it in Chrome. From there, activate the Cast function.


#6 Connect it directly to the USB port on your TV

If you have a TV made in the past 10 years, it probably has a USB port on the back. Since the Chromecast is powered via USB, you can simply plug this cable into the open USB port on your TV instead of having to plug its power cord into a power outlet. In most cases, this USB port will be enough to power your Chromecast.


#7 Turn on your TV

You can use a Chromecast to turn on your TV, as long as it supports HDMI-CEC. Just activate it in your TV’s settings menu. Then, if you’re using your phone or computer to launch something and your TV is off, the Chromecast will turn it on before you start broadcasting.


#8 Activate guest mode

If you have friends or family and they want to stream something on your TV, you can make it easier for them. Just activate Guest mode by opening the Google Home app, going to your Chromecast device settings, activating Guest mode. Chromecast sends a four-digit PIN code to different devices.


#9 Control playback with a remote control

The worst part about streaming video to your TV from your phone is having to unlock it just to pause the video. However, if your TV remote control has play and pause controls, you can just use them to control Chromecast without having to pick up your phone.

Also, if you have a Google Home speaker, you can use it to control your Chromecast. Just say: OK, Google, “pause” or “read”.


#10 Video in the queue

When using the YouTube app, you can prepare the videos you’ll watch by adding them to the queue. Find a video, tap on it and you’ll see the “Play” and “Queue” buttons.

You can also tap the three-dot button next to a video, then tap “Add to Queue”. You can view your queue by dragging the play bar at the bottom of the screen.


#11 Enjoy Chromecast, even on vacation

If you’re going on vacation and want to watch your own content, rather than hotel content, you can expand your options by bringing your Chromecast as well as a small travel router and your laptop.

Once in the hotel room, plug your router or computer into the room’s Ethernet jack, set up a wireless network, and connect your Chromecast. You can watch YouTube, Netflix, or whatever you usually watch via your Chromecast, while on vacation.


#12 Stream videos from Facebook

It’s easy to stream Facebook video live to your TV, or any Facebook video, by the way. When watching a live broadcast on Facebook, just click or touch the Cast button at the top of your screen.


#13 Play music

If you have a speaker on your TV, you can use it by streaming from music services such as Google Play and Spotify. In Spotify, Choose your Chromecast streaming device. From Google Play, just press the Cast button.


#14 Broadcast games

You can also play mobile games with your Chromecast. To find games compatible with Chromecast, open the Google Home app and search for games under the Search apps tab or or open the Google Play Store mobile store, go to Apps & games> Categories> Google Cast> Games and press “Other”.

Once you’ve installed and opened a Chromecast compatible game, find and tap the Cast logo to stream it to your TV. You can then use an Android or iOS device as a controller. For multiplayer games, you can use multiple phones as gamepads.


#15 Stream videos from YouTube, Netflix and others using your voice

If you’re the proud owner of a Google Home, you can use it to stream content to Chromecast scattered throughout your home. You can stream music from supported streaming services, photos from your Google Photos account, and videos from Netflix, YouTube, HBO Now, and other sources.

Netflix and HBO, however, require that you link your accounts first. Make sure you’ve renamed your Chromecast to something easy to say and remember.


#16 Check the weather forecast using Google Home

Google has a Chromecast feature useful for Google Home owners. Want to see the weather forecast instead of just hearing it? “Google, show me the weather on my TV.” The volume will temporarily decrease and the current conditions with a five-day forecast will appear above all that is playing actively.


#17 Factory reset or restart

After setting up your Chromecast for the first time, you usually don’t need to change any settings or hardware again. If you have a problem, you may need to reset the device’s factory data (FDR). This can be done in two ways:

• Press and hold the button along the edge of the Chromecast for about 25 seconds. If it’s a first generation Chromecast, release the button when the light changes from solid to flashing. The second or third generation Chromecast LED indicator begins to flash orange; release the button when the LED turns white.

• In the Google Home app, select your device, tap the gear icon to open Device Settings, then scroll down and tap Remove device, which removes it from the Home app and resets it to the factory.


#18 Get an Ethernet adapter

If streaming via WiFi does not work well enough, you can choose to use a wired connection. Google offers an Ethernet adapter for the Chromecast for 15 euros. It comes standard with the Chromecast Ultra.

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