Google Cast Setup

Google Cast Setup

The Google Cast setup process is fairly straight forward.  With Google Cast, you’ll be able to send videos to your Chromecast from your PC or MAC.  You can also cast your full desktop or music to your Chromecast or Chromecast audio devices.  Starting with Chrome version 51, casting is built in to the browser and no longer requires a separate Google Cast extension in order to cast videos.  Follow the steps below to go through the Google Cast setup process in Chrome 51 or newer.

1 – Download and Install Google Chrome

If you already have Google Chrome installed on your PC, you can skip this step.  If not, Chrome can be downloaded from here.  Once you click download, accept the license agreement to install the browser.



2 – Google Cast Setup in Chrome

Now that you have Chrome installed, you are ready to start casting videos.  If you are on a site like YouTube.com, you will automatically have the option to cast just like on your phone or tablet.  In Chrome, click the three vertical dots in the upper left corner then click the cast link.

Google Cast Setup

After you click Cast, you will be prompted to select select a Chromecast.  Before you continue, choose whether or not you would like to cast your full desktop, or just your current browser tab.  To do this, click the down arrow next to “Cast To”.  This will prompt you to select your source.

Google Cast Source   Cast source 

After you select tab or desktop, you will be prompted to select your Chromecast again.  In my case, the LG Chromecast 4K is the device that I wanted to cast to.  As soon as you click on the device, you should see your PC’s desktop or browser tab mirrored to your Chromecast.

3 – Stop Google Cast

After you are done casting, you may want to disconnect your PC from your Chromecast.  In order to do this, click the square Chromecast icon in the upper left corner of Google Chrome, then click the stop button to disconnect.





Stop Google Cast

This is a great feature to use for services that don’t fully support Google’s Chromecast.  It’s also nice to use if you need a quick, easy way to share your computer screen with a coworker or family member.

Featured

Chromecast Audio Multiroom Configuration

Chromecast Audio Multiroom Setup





Traditionally a whole house multiroom audio setup would cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  Up until recently, the only affordable option for whole house audio would require you to purchase a Sonos system.  If you wanted multiroom audio, you would have to spend over a thousand dollars on Sonos equipment.  Google has recently updated the Chromecast Audio and given listeners the ability to cast to multiple cast enabled devices.  This means that it’s now possible to cast your favorite Spotify playlist to multiple rooms in your house.  Here’s you go through the Chromecast audio multiroom setup process.

Chromecast Audio Multiroom Configuration

1 – Power up all cast enabled devices

Make sure all of your Chromecast Audio and cast enabled devices are powered up and connected to your network.  Follow our Chromecast Audio setup guide if you need help setting up your device.  If you have a Google Home device, you can cast music to your Chromecast Audio and Google Home at the same time.

2 – Create a Chromecast Home Group




Open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device.  If you don’t have the app, you can download it from the Google Play or iOS App store.  Once in the app, click on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner and click on Devices.

Google Home  google home hamburger  Google Home Devices

This will list all of your Chromecast and cast enabled devices such as Google Home.  Find one of your Chromecast Audio devices in the list and click the three dots in the upper right hand corner.  This will open a menu and give you the option to create a home group.

Chromecast Audio GroupThe next screen will give you the option to select all of your Chromecast Audio and cast enabled devices.  Select everything that you want to include in your Chromecast Audio Multiroom group and click save.

Chromecast Audio Multiroom3 – Chromecast Multiroom Audio

Now that you have your home group created, you can begin to listen to your favorite Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora song to all of your Chromecast Audios.




Open up a music app on your Android or iOS device and click the square cast icon.  Select your newly created home group.  In the example below, home group is the name of our Chromecast Audio multiroom group.

Play Music Cast

You should hear the typical Chromecast Audio chime and your music should start playing shortly.

Chromecast Ultra

Chromecast Ultra 4K Overview

Chromecast Ultra 4K

chromecast ultra logo




It’s been a few years since the Chromecast has been released and the demand for 4K televisions has increased dramatically.  Services such as Netflix, Google Play Movies, and Amazon Instant Video have all started to offer streaming media in glorious 4K.  Since 4K TV has become the norm, it’s no surprise that Google updated the Chromecast with 4K streaming capability.

What’s in the box

chromecast ultra box

Much like any other Chromecast, inside the box you will find the device itself as well as the power supply.  The one thing that stands out here when compared to the older Chromecast devices is that the power cable has a built in Ethernet jack.  That’s right, no more having to buy an adapter if you prefer to use a wired connection.  Since most 4k media requires at least 30 Mbps of bandwidth to stream, using the wired connection will keep your videos buffer free.  Aside from the Chromecast and power supply, their are also a few cards that give some tips on how to go through the Chromecast setup process.

So what’s new with the Chromecast Ultra 4k?

chromcast ultra comparison

The obvious answer to that question is that it can stream 4k video from services such as Netflix, Google Play movies, YouTube and more.   Sorry, no Amazon Instant Video here.  The following is a list of features that you will get with the Chromecast Ultra

  • 4K Ultra HD & HDR streaming capabilities
  • Faster load times than any other Chromecast
  • Ethernet connectivity (other devices are wifi only)

Do you really need to upgrade if you already have a Chromecast?

The answer to that question is totally up to you.  Do you have a 4K TV with no way to watch 4K content?  Then yes, you should buy the Ultra.  If you don’t have a 4K television, then the only benefits that you will see are faster load times and the ability to connect the device to your network via Ethernet.  At $69, it’s a tough decision when comparing to devices such as the Amazon FireTV and Apple TV.

Where can you buy the Chromecast Ultra 4K?




The Ultra is available at almost every retailer such as Walmart or Best Buy.  You can also buy the device directly from Google.

Chromecast Factory Reset Large

Reset Chromecast to Wipe Configuration

Reset Chromecast

If you are running into problems or you are giving your Chromecast to a friend, you may need to factory reset Chromecast.  The process is fairly simple and will wipe out any configuration stored on your device.  Please consider the following before you reset your Chromecast:

  • If you are having a problem and would like to reset Chromecast, simply try rebooting it by unplugging it and plugging it back in.  This can fix common connectivity issues.  If it doesn’t, continue to the next step to reset Chromecast.
  • Going through the factory reset process will only wipe out your Chromecast’s name and wireless configuration.  There is no data stored on the device that can’t be restored after you reset Chromecast.  Don’t be afraid to reset Chromecast if you need to!




Reset Chromecast – The Physical Way

No matter which Chromecast you own, there is a physical button that can be used to reset Chromecast.  Below is an image of each generation of Chromecast with an arrow pointing the the button that you will need to press.  With the Chromecast powered up and fully booted, simply hold the button for about 25 seconds until the solid LED begins flashing.  If your device is plugged in to a TV, the screen will go black when the factory reset process begins.  This whole process should only take a minute or two to complete.

Once the process is finished, the LED on the Chromecast should pulsate white.  You can also verify that the device has been reset through the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device.  Open the app and click on the devices link.  You should see the reset Chromecast listed and needing setup.

reset chromecast

 

Reset Chromecast from the Google Home app

If you have access to a device with the Google Home app installed, you can factory reset any Chromecast right through the app.  If you don’t have the app, you can download it for Android here, and iOS here.



Steps to factory reset your Chromecast

1 – Open up the Google Home app on your phone or tablet.

2 – Expand the menu and select devices.

Google Home Devices

3 – In the upper right corner of the Chromcast that you would like to factory reset, tap the 3 dots to open up settings. dots

Google Home Device Settings

4 – Once in the device settings, tap the 3 dots again to open up the reset menu.  Select the factory reset option and proceed to reset your Chromecast.

Google Home Factory Reset

5 – Once the reset process is complete, your Chromecast will need to be reconfigured if you are planning on using it.  Follow our Chromecast Setup guide for instructions on how to setup your Chromecast.

If these intstructions aren’t working for you, check out Google’s official Chromecast reset guide here.

chromecast-audio

Chromecast Audio Setup

How to set up Chromecast Audio





If you have set up a Chromecast device before, then you will be pretty familiar with the process of setting up a Chromecast Audio.  The first step is to take the device out of the packaging and use the supplied USB cable and power adapter to power on the device.  The USB cable supplied with the device is the same as the charging cables that come with most Android phones.  Now that you have the Chromecast Audio powered up, plug in your speakers to the 3.5 mm jack.  You can use a pair of headphones for testing.

1 – Download the Chromecast App

This is really the second step (after powering up the device), but you will need to download the Google Home (Chromecast app) from either the Google Play store or Apple app store.  This is the same app that is used for the regular Chromecast.  If you are setting this up on your PC or Mac, you will need to use Google Chrome and the Google Cast extension in order to configure your device.

2 – Start Chromecast Audio Setup process

Once you have the Chromecast app installed, open it up.  You will see a screen like the one below telling you that the Chromecast Audio needs setup.  If you don’t see this, click on the DEVICES tab.  Click SET UP to start the setup process.  The next screen in the app will show you the Chromecast Audio device and a button to start the setup process. Tap SET UP again.

chromecast-audio-needs-setup       chromecast-audio-setup

3 – Play a Test Sound

Shortly after you click SET UP, the app will try to connect to the Chromecast Audio.  Once it successfully connects to the device, it will give you the option to play a test sound.  Tap the play test sound to confirm that you hear audio coming from your speakers that are connected to your Chromecast Audio.  If you heard the test sound, continue to the next step.  If not, check that the volume is turned up on your speakers.

connecting-to-chromecast-audio    chromecast-play-test-sound



4 – Name Your Chromecast Audio

The next step is to name your Chromecast Audio device.  This is so you know which Chromecast to connect to if you want to cast audio.  If you have multiple Chromecast Audio devices, I would suggest coming up with a relevant name for each device.  You also have the option to enable guest mode and to send data to Google.  Once you have typed in a name for your device, tap SET NAME.

name-chromecast-audio

5 – Connect the Chromecast Audio to your Wireless Network

In the example below, the name of my Chromecast Audio is Record Player and the name of my wireless network is Pizza.  For this step, you will need to know the password to your wireless network.  If you don’t know it, ask a family member or check on the wireless router that was provided to you by your internet service provider.  Tap the down arrow and select your wireless network.  Type in the password to your wireless network and tap SET NETWORK.  If you are having a hard time spelling out your password, tapping the show password box will show the text of your password instead of dots.

chromecast-audio-connect-wifi

6 – Update your Chromecast Audio

Chances are that after you’ve successfully connected your Chromecast Audio device to your network and it will need to be updated.  Don’t worry, it will do this automatically.  There is nothing you will need to do at this point other than wait for it to finish.

chromecast-audio-update-required     updating-chromecast-audio

7 – Cast Some Music!

Now the part that you’ve been waiting for!  It’s finally time to start casting some music.  Most music apps these days support the Chromecast so this should be relatively easy to do.  All you need to do is open your favorite music app, click the cast icon and select your Chromecast Audio device.  Click play and you are good to go!  In the picture below, you can see that I have the option to cast my music to Record Player (which is the name of the Chromecast Audio device).  Tap the name of your Chromecast and start listening!

chromecast-audio-connect

That’s it!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Chromecast-audio-and-Chromecast-2

Google Releases Two New Chromecast Devices

Google’s New Chromecast Device


It’s been nearly two and half years since Google released the first Chromecast and they have decided that it’s finally time to release a new version. During Google’s Nexus event back on September 25th, they showed off two new devices. First, an updated version of the Chromecast. The new version has been given quite the overhaul as far as looks go while still retaining the same great functionality that we have all come to love with the original Chromecast. The second device announced is dubbed as Chromecast Audio. This device allows you to plug speakers directly into the Chromecast through a 3.5mm jack which will then allow you to “cast” music directly to your speaker.

Chromecast 2 Overview

new-Chromecast-2-coral

As you can see by the picture above, the look of the new Chromecast has departed quite significantly from the original Chromecast.  There are three color options available, Black, Lemon (yellow), and Coral (pictured above).  Instead of being one solid plastic device, the HDMI connector is now attached to a cable.  This should help those of you that have a tight fit between the HDMI port on your TV and the wall.  Aside from looks and colors, Google has also helped improved the WiFi capabilities of this new device.  According to Google. the bandwidth throughput is more than double the speed of the original Chromecast if your device has a poor wireless signal.

Chromecast-wifi-graph

Google has promised that the new Chromecast will be able to start streaming videos faster.  You will no longer have to wait 5-10 seconds for the your Netflix videos to start.  During Google’s event, they showed off this feature.  The new Chromecast did indeed start videos almost instantly.  Since the Chromecast itself is such a simple design, there isn’t much that Google could change.  A few features that we were hoping they would add is 4k streaming and 120hz.  Maybe they are saving these features for next year?

Chromecast Audio

chromecast-audio

The second Chromecast that Google announced will allow you to easily stream music from your PC/Tablet/ or Phone to any speaker set.  This means that you can dust off your old high end Bose speakers and start using them again.  The Chromecast Audio works by connecting to your wireless network and sending the music stream directly to the Chromecast Audio device.  That’s right, no more bluetooth to rely on.  More importantly, the Chromecast Audio will offer an affordable alternative to music players such as SONOS.  The Chromecast Audio also supports an optical connection for those of you who prefer a higher quality listening experience.

Both the Chromecast Audio and new Chromecast are available to purchase from most online retailers (excluding Amazon.com) or you can buy them right from the Google’s Store.

Chromecast Setup – How to setup your Chromecast

Chromecast Setup

It’s an exciting day.  You just bought or received your Chromecast and you are ready to go through the Chromecast setup process.  One of the reasons that the Chromecast has been so successful is because of how easy it is to use and setup.  Follow the guide below and you will have your Chromecast setup in no time!

Step 1 – Plug your Chromecast into your TV

This is relatively self explanatory but in case you need help, this is what you need to do.  Plug your Chromecast into an open HDMI port on your television.  Any TV made within the last 10 years will most likely have HDMI ports.  If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI input, then you will not be able to use the Chromecast.

back-of-tv

Step 2 – Power up your Chromecast

Once you have it plugged in, connect one end of the supplied power cable into your Chromecast, and the other into a USB port on the back of your TV.  Most modern day televisions will have a USB port for accessing video content off of a hard drive.  If your TV has a USB service port, chances are this will work to power your Chromecast.  If your TV doesn’t have a USB port at all, then you will need to use the supplied power adapter to power your device.

**TIP** If you user your TV to power the Chromecast, it will need to boot up every time you turn on your television set.  This may be OK for most people, but if you don’t like waiting for it to beet, simply use the external power supply that came in the box.

back-of-tv-chromecast

Step 3 – Download and install the Chromecast App

Whether you have an Android or iOS device, you will need to install the Chromecast app.  If you are setting this up from your PC, you can download the Google Cast extension for Chrome from here.  Head over to your favorite app store and search for Chromecast.  Once you have found the app, click install. Google Play iOS App Store

Google Play Chromecast

Step 4- Begin the Chromecast Setup process

Now that you have your Chromecast plugged into your TV and the app downloaded to your device, you are ready to go through the Chromecast Setup process.  Power on your TV and change the input to the HDMI port that your Chromecast is plugged into.  You should see something like the picture below that shows the Chromecast booting up

chromecast-booting

While the Chromecast is booting up, open up the app you installed on your Android or iOS device.  The app will ask you to accept Google’s privacy and terms before it will allow you to continue the Chromecast setup process.  Accept the terms and the app will automatically start searching for your Chromecast.

Chromecast-accept-terms  chromecast-app-scanning

Step 5 – Configure the Chromecast to connect to your wireless network

Once the app detects your Chromecast, you will be prompted to start the Chromecast setup.  You may find that your Chromecast is currently named something random (Chromecast9239 in our case).  Don’t worry, you can change this while setting up your Chromecast.  Tap the Set Up button in the app and confirm that you see the same code displayed in the app and on your TV.

chromecast-app-set-up  Chromecast-app-code

This is what you should see on your TV

chromecast-setup-code-tv

Step 6 – Finish the Chromecast setup process

You are almost there!  Hopefully you see the same code in your app as your do on your TV.  If you don’t, try restarting either the Chromecast, or your phone.  After you have connected your phone to your Chromecast, you will be asked to name your device.  Normally I like to name it something relevant such as the TV make or the room where my TV/Chromecast are located.  In this case, I have the Chromecast hooked up to my Samsung TV.  This naming scheme is useful if you have multiple Chromecast setup in your household.

chromecast-name

After you name your device, you have the option to configure Guest Mode.  This will let your friends and family members cast videos to your Chromecast without being on your wireless network.  Of course they will need to enter a pin code before they are allowed to do this.  After you decided if you want to enable guest mode, click next and setup the wireless configuration.

chromecast-app-wireless

Hopefully you know what your wireless password is.  If you don’t, ask a family member to see if they remember what it is.  If you can’t figure this out, you will need to go into your router to change the password.  After you have entered in your password, tap on Set Network.  Your Chromecast will now connect to your wifi network.  You are now ready to begin casting videos!

Chromecast-connecting-to-wifi  chromecast-app-finished

Step 7 – Cast a video!

Now that your Chromecast is setup, you can start casting videos to your TV!  The easiest way to test this is to cast something from YouTube.  Make sure your TV and Chromecast are on and open up the YouTube app on your device.  Start playing a video and press the square cast button in the corner of the screen.

chromecast-youtube

Select your Chromecast

youtube-select-chromecast

 

That’s it!  You have finished the Chromecast setup process!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Chromecast-box

Chromecast Setup – What’s in the box?

Chromecast-box-contents

Chromecast Setup – What’s in the box?

One of the most desirable features of the Chromecast is how easy it is to setup and use.  It is no surprise that because of this, there is actually very little included in the Chromecast box.  When you open the box flap, you will find instructions on how to go through the Chromecast setup process on the left, and on the right the Chromecast.  Lift up the Chromecast and you will find the four items below

Chromecast Setup Box Contents

Box Contents:

1 – Chromecast power cable
2 – Power adapter
3 – HDMI extension cable
4 – Product information book

Chromecast Power Cable

The USB power cable included with the Chromecast provides power to the device.  If your TV has a USB port on the back (even one designated for service) you can use it to power your Chromecast.  The only downfall to this is that your Chromecast will power on and off with your TV.  This means that you may have to wait about 20 seconds before you are able to use your Chromecast after powering on your television set.  If your TV doesn’t have a USB port or if you simply don’t want to use it, you can use the included power adapter.

Power Adapter

As mentioned above, the USB cable can be used with the power adapter to power your Chromecast.  The power adapter is optional if you have an available USB port on your TV that you can use to power your Chromecast.  If you use the power adapter, your Chromecast will stay powered up as long as the adapter is plugged into the wall.

HDMI extension cable

Google was nice enough to realize that the Chromecast might stick out too far if your TV is mounted on the wall.  Most modern TVs have their HDMI ports located in a way where you won’t need to use the HDMI extension cable.  If your Chromecast sticks straight out of the back of your TV and your TV is wall mounted, then you may need to use the extension cable in order to avoid putting a hole in your wall.

Product information book

Well if you are reading this website, then you definitely don’t need the product information booklet.  The booklet gives you a high level overview of the Chromecast and the contents of the box.  The booklet also contains a few warnings as well as warranty information.  It is good to note that the Chromecast has a one year warranty.

Chromecast Setup

Now that you know what’s in the box, you can go through Chromecast Setup process to start casting videos to your TV.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.