Smart TV’s have been around for quite some time now, but there is still the odd TV that doesn’t have smart capabilities. So sometimes the only option is watching movies and TV shows on your mobile or laptop, but there is a way around this. The Google Chromecast is a device which plugs in to your TV and connects to the internet. You can then connect your mobile phone, tablet or laptop to it and stream online content onto your TV.
It was first released on 24th July 2013 and revolutionised the way we streamed movies and TV shows online. It really did start off the age of online streaming and made it popular. Over 30 million have been sold globally so far and there have been more than 1.5 billion streaming requests made on Chromecasts.
You can stream content from platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Now TV, Facebook and more. The newest version streams in 1080p 60fps HD but they also offer the Chromecast Ultra which supports 4K resolution and HDR content. When you are not connected to the Chromecast by default it will show photo’s from your Google photos as a screensaver, but you can also customise it to only show images from select albums to avoid any embarrassing moments. You can also stream audio either on the normal Chromecast or there is a standalone Chromecast audio which is designed to connect to speakers via an AUX cable to turn them into smart speakers you can stream your tunes to.
I have been using a Chromecast for over 3 years now and have always found it really useful and a great piece of tech. The setup doesn’t take long at all, you just have to plug it to your TV, download the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet and then just follow through the on screen instructions. It’s really easy to stream to it too, you literally just have to go on to any of the compatible apps and click on the streaming icon and it will connect to the TV. You can then use your phone or voice on Google Assistant as a remote to select the movie or video you want to watch. You can also mirror your device screen onto the TV but I rarely find the need to do this as most movie and TV apps are compatible with Chromecast now. One thing I would say that I don’t use is the standby mode. When you are not streaming to Chromecast but it is still turned on it will display a customisable slideshow of photo’s from your Google Photos, the weather and the news too. Although it’s a good feature I always just unplug it when I’ve finished watching as I don’t really see the need for the TV to be left on once you have finished using it.
Overall it is a really great product to turn older TV’s into smart TV’s, although there is not much point in buying one if you already have a smart TV as it most likely already has the same streaming capabilities and more already built in.