I have to admit, Google’s Chromecast has been one of my most successful tech purchases of recent times. If you’ve never heard of it – really ?! – it is an HDMI dongle, that is a sort of key, which plugs into the HDMI port of the TV and allows you to project various types of content on the latter: videos, photos, Web pages, the screen of your smartphone / tablet and even games. Its main strengths are the cost (just 39 euros for the base model and 79 euros for the one with Google TV or its predecessor, Ultra, with 4K support), ease of use and wide compatibility.
Chromecast works with all televisions equipped with HDMI input and is compatible with a wide range of different apps and operating systems: it can be controlled from Android smartphones and tablets, from iPhones and iPads even from the computer (via the Chrome browser or other software such as VLC ). Among the apps that officially support it are the likes of Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and the list could go on and on.
So, what do you think? Would you like to know more? Well, then read on and find out how easy it is to set up Chromecast . I bet you will be amazed by the simplicity and immediacy of this great little device. I just have to wish you a good reading!
- Chromecast initial setup
- Using Chromecast
- Chromecast setup
Chromecast initial setup
The initial Chromecast setup process takes very little time. First connect the key to the TV (inserting it into any of the available HDMI ports), power it via an electrical socket or USB cable (Chromecast base only).
Warning: if you have a Chromecast with Google TV or Ultra you cannot power it via USB cable, you must necessarily use the power supply supplied with the device, which also includes an Ethernet port to connect the dongle to the cable network (recommended option for playback of content in 4K, which need a very fast and stable connection).
Once this is done, turn on the TV and select the HDMI source to which you connected the Chromecast: you can perform this operation using the appropriate button on the remote control or on the TV. Once the HDMI source is reached, the Chromecast setup screen is shown to you, which we recommend that you visit the following website to complete the setup (not essential to go on).
If you’re setting up a Chromecast with Google TV , you may be prompted to pair the remote by pressing the remote controller key combination you see on your TV.
Now, to activate your Chromecast, you need to use a smartphone or tablet on which to install the Google Home app , which is available for Android and iPhone / iPad . To download it, open the links mentioned above and press the Get / Install button (on iPhone and iPad you may be asked to verify your identity).
When installation is complete, start the app in question, press the Start button located at the bottom right and log in to your Google account . Once this is done, you will be prompted to consent to requests for access to the device features, including that of enabling both Bluetooth and the location of your smartphone / tablet.
Once this is done, the Google Home app scans for compatible devices nearby: if the Chromecast is detected, a message on the screen will ask you if you want to proceed with the configuration. Make sure at this stage that the name of the Chromecast indicated by Google Home is the same as the one that appears on the TV.
At this point, press the Yes button and wait for the connection to the dongle to be made. Make sure that the alphanumeric code returned by the Google Home app is the same as the one that appears on the TV and press the Yes button . For the Google TV, you can also simply scan the QR code on the TV.
Then tap on the wording No, thanks and choose one of the rooms listed from the list. In case the one where the Chromecast is present is not present, tap on the Add a custom room item to create one. Then click on the Next button and then on Continue to continue.
Now, in the screen that is shown to you, select the wireless network to which the Chromecast must connect from time to time and press the Next and OK buttons . At the end of the synchronization procedure, press on the states Next (twice in a row), No thanks and then on Continue (twice in a row). Finally, click on the Ignore tutorial button and then on Finish tutorial to skip the Chromecast tutorial and complete the configuration.
If you have already installed Google Home on your Android device and you have other associated devices, you can perform the above procedure by pressing the + icon located at the top left of the Google Home screen and then pressing the Configure device item .
As just explained, Chromecast must necessarily be connected to a wireless network to work and to be configured correctly. In case you were wondering how to install Chromecast without WiFi , I point out that this thing is not possible. The only potential solution you have from yours is to create a hotspot with your mobile phone (or a portable modem) and, therefore, use Chromecast via the data network (but in reality it is always a Wi-Fi network, in this case generated by the telephone or modem acting as an “intermediary”). For all the details, I recommend reading my tutorial dedicated to the subject.
Do you want to install and configure Chromecast on PC ? I’m sorry, but this is not possible, as you need an Android device with the localization and Bluetooth features enabled to locate the dongle. You can try using Android emulators on your PC to install the Google Home app and proceed with the setup, but you may have difficulty locating the Google dongle.
Once you have completed the initial device setup process, using Chromecast is really a breeze. All you have to do is start playing the content you want to send to the TV from your smartphone, tablet or PC, press the transmission icon (the screen with the Wi-Fi waves next to it) and select the name of your Chromecast from the menu that opens.
For the operation to be successful, the device on which you launch the content to be played on the TV and the Chromecast must be connected to the same wireless network. It is also necessary that the app (on smartphones and tablets) or the software (on the PC) used have support for Chromecast. Among the sites and apps that support Chromecast, I point out YouTube and Netflix , but the list is constantly expanding. Even VLC and many other local players support file transmission Chromecast.
As mentioned above, Chromecast not only allows you to cast videos, music or games to your TV, it can also be used to play everything that happens on your Android screen or computer desktop on your TV.
To cast the screen of your Android smartphone / tablet to the TV , go to the Settings menu > Device Display and select the Cast screen item from the screen that opens. Alternatively, start the Google Home app , select the Chromecast on which you want to cast and then press the Cast screen button (twice in a row).
To perform the same operation on the iPhone / iPad , you need to use third-party apps, such as Replica , which uses the screen recording technique to project the iPhone / iPad screen on the TV via Chromecast. You can use it for free (with advertising banners) by starting it, authorizing the use of Bluetooth , selecting the Chromecast to use and pressing the Start transmission button .
To transmit from the PC to the Chromecast, on the other hand, open Chrome , click on the icon (…) located at the top right and select the Cast item from the menu that opens to select the Chromecast dongle; from the Sources menu you can choose whether to share the browser tab only or the entire desktop.
Even Edge is equipped with this feature and its operation is identical to that of Chrome. What changes is how to reach the dongle management panel: in its main screen, press the icon (…) and select the items Other tools> Cast multimedia elements to device .
Finally, I point out that on Chromecast with Google TV , unlike the classic Chromecast, the apps can be installed directly. Therefore, for some apps and services you can simply install the app without having to transmit content from your smartphone or other devices from time to time. Playback can then be controlled with the supplied remote control.
After having seen together how to configure and use Chromecast, it is time to find out how to configure Chromecast in order to manage the Google “stick” in the best possible way. To set up the Chromecast, you need to use your smartphone or tablet. Then open the Google Home application , select the device icon and press the gear icon located at the top right.
At this point, you can configure the accounts connected to the key, set the name , address , home , room and Wi-Fi network to be used and manage the more advanced settings, such as those that allow you to enable the HDMI mode at 50 Hz , the guest mode , ambient mode , adjust the time zone , time format , language , allow others to control the content being broadcast and remove the device from their “home”.
In case you were wondering, the guest mode is the one that allows the use of the Chromecast by anyone who is within range of the device, even if not connected to its own wireless network. It works through a security code that is displayed on the TV and you can decide whether to activate it or not using the appropriate lever. The ambient mode , on the other hand, is the one that allows you to view slideshows of photos, weather information and other content on the TV in moments of inactivity of Chromecast.
Finally, if you want to restart Chromecast, press the button (…) located at the top right and select the Restart item from the menu that appears. To restore the device to its factory state, instead, press on the Reset factory data item .