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What is Chromecast? [2021 Guide to Google’s Streaming Device]

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Chromecast, Roku, and Fire TV Stick are completely understandable if you’re confused by the number of streaming devices available today. Have you ever wondered what a Chromecast is? Well, we’re here to get through all the jargon and explain exactly what Chromecast is, how it works, and what you can do with it.

Important point: Chromecast is Google’s cheap, lightweight, user-friendly streaming device with thousands of apps like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and more. Currently, you can choose from two Chromecast devices, Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV. The latter has more advanced features and is worth an additional $ 20. Chromecast devices can be used for everything from streaming movies, music and TV shows to displaying photos. You can also use your TV as a second computer monitor with Chromecast and Chrome browser.

If you want a home cinema experience but don’t want to spend cash on your smart TV, pick up popcorn and read.

Is there a monthly fee to use Chromecast?

There is no monthly fee after you purchase a Chromecast device. However, some apps, such as Netflix, aren’t available for free and you’ll have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. Of course, other apps like YouTube are still free.

What is Chromecast? How does it work?

Chromecast is a streaming device that connects to your TV and the Internet, allowing you to stream content on your TV. You can easily stream music, video, or photos to your TV screen using a protocol called Google Cast.

If I have a smart TV, do I need a Chromecast?

Smart TVs already have many popular apps like Netflix, so if you already have one, you’ll rarely need a Chromecast. However, smart TVs are a more expensive option, so we recommend that you consider Chromecast instead.

Does Chromecast have voice control?

The latest models of Chromecast and Google TV have voice controls. You can execute voice commands and match voices for a personalized UI experience by pressing the Google Assistant button on the remote control.

What is Chromecast?

Chromecast is the name of Google’s streaming device or dongle. A streaming device is hardware that connects to your TV or the Internet, allowing you to stream and cast content such as movies and music on your TV.

Traditional Chromecast devices are cast-only.

Chromecast model

Currently, there are two Chromecast models available in the Google Store: Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV. Traditional Chromecast allows you to stream content from your mobile device or tablet to your TV. It only acts as a cast device.

The latest models are even more advanced. When Google released Chromecast on Google TV, it went a step further with a whole new user interface.

There is also a third Chromecast model named Chromecast Ultra that is currently sold as part of the Google Stadia Premiere Edition.

Chromecasts with Google TV will cost $ 20 more than traditional Chromecasts.

We’ll talk more about it in future Chromecast Buyer Guides, but for now, let’s explore the basics of how Chromecast works.

How does Chromecast work?

If you want to spend the night at Stranger Things or The Crown but want a full-screen home cinema experience, we recommend considering Chromecast. It uses a protocol called Google Cast to display content on a large screen to maximize viewing time.

One of the great things about Google Chromecast is how easy and streamlined the setup process is. If you have a TV with an HDMI port, phone or tablet, or WiFi network, thank you. (Watch out for future guides on how to set up Google Chromecast.)

What is Google Chromecast used for?

Google Chromecast is primarily used for streaming movies and shows, but it’s far from its sole purpose.

Music streaming

You can also use Chromecast to stream your music. This is great if you are planning a party and want to see your Spotify playlists on a big screen. (If you want to know how to avoid geoblocking when using Spotify, check out the article on how to unblock Spotify.)

Cast a photo

If you want to share your holiday photos with family and friends without squinting, you can cast them to your TV with Chromecast. To do this, you need the Google Photos app. Alternatively, you need to go to photos.google.com in your laptop’s Google Chrome browser. For more information on how to keep your photos safe, see our Best Online Storage Guide for Photos.

Device casting

Casting from your laptop to your TV using Google Chromecast is another great feature. This means that the TV can also act as a second monitor. You need to make sure that you have the Google Chrome web browser installed. Visit the Chromecast Support Center for specific instructions on the different ways to cast from your laptop.

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If you’re using Chromecast on Google TV, you’ll have access to a new user interface on your TV screen. This means that you need to use your cell phone / tablet for setup, but you can use the included remote control to control the media directly without using your cell phone. Users of the latest models may be pleased to know that this is another feature the game offers.

Can I use Chromecast on my TV or mobile device?

Chromecast is compatible with Android smartphones or tablets running Android 6.0 or later, and iPhones or iPads running iOS 12.0 or later.

For TVs, the general rule of thumb is that you only need an HDMI port. If you have an older TV with composite (red, yellow, green) inputs, you can purchase an HDMI-Analog Converter (RCA) to use Google Chromecast.

According to the Chromecast Support Center, the exact requirements for your TV after reviewing the details are:

High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) 1.3 or later HDCP 2.2 with 4K content support

Chromecast with Chromecast Ultra and Google TV can stream up to 4K. The Support Center has the following requirements for viewing in 4K:

4K compatible TV high-speed Internet connection (20Mbps or more)

For HDR content, you will need an HDR-enabled TV. When it comes to WiFi, Chromecast supports all wireless networks with WiFi 802.11ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz).

Chromecast remote control and voice control

Chromecast with Google TV provides a personalized experience.

Chromecast with Google TV comes with a small remote control, and you can also use the Stadia controller to control your Chromecast Ultra. As an example of a voice command, you can open or play Amazon Prime Video (insert your favorite Amazon Prime Video series here).

With Chromecast with Google TV, you can execute voice commands by pressing the Google Assistant button. There is also a voice match function. It works by accustoming the Google Assistant to your voice, so it allows you to customize the interface specifically for you.

Traditional Google Chromecast doesn’t have voice control, but you can use the Google Home app to control your streaming device.

Chromecast with Google TV, Roku and Apple TV

One of the differences between Chromecast and Google TV-like devices is the setup. Chromecast with Google TV is set up using an Android or iOS device. Firesticks and Rocks are set up using the TV remote control. With AppleTV, you can use either an iOS device or a remote control. All devices are designed for painless setup, but some users may prefer a streamlined Google Home app experience.

Each device interface has its own streaming experience. For example, the Fire stick has a lot of Amazon Prime Video content, which makes it suitable for Amazon Prime subscribers. The Rokus interface is notorious for being easy to navigate. Chromecast with Google TV personalizes and organizes all your content. This will definitely give you an edge. Again, it mainly comes down to personal taste.

If you want to know more about other streaming devices, the Firestick vs Roku article is a great resource. There is also a Roku beginner’s guide.

Chromecast App: What can I see on Google Chromecast?

Chromecast is supported by many apps. We have put together a list of some of the most popular ones to give you ideas. Check out the Google Store for all paid and free options.

NetflixHuluDisney + HBO MaxAmazon Prime Video YouTube Xfinity StreamParamount + ShowtimeGoogle Play Movies

You can also buy a movie from the Google Play store, open the Google Play app on your mobile phone, and cast it to your TV. (Our regular readers may have read a bit about Chromecast in the article How to Watch Netflix on Chromecast.)

There are dozens of Chromecast compatible apps in the Google Store.

Please note that these apps are not included in the cost of your Chromecast device. Google may offer bundles, but those subscriptions are completely separate. At the time of this writing, Google Chromecast-Netflix bundles are available in some countries. With this offer, you’ll get a Chromecast with Google TV and 6 months of Netflix for $ 89.99.

You may have heard that many streaming services like Netflix have regional restrictions. If you want to learn how to get around this and monitor what you need, when you need it, check out our Netflix Best VPN article. If you like these apps, there are also articles on Best VPNs for Hulu and Best VPNs for Amazon Prime Video.

Final idea: Google Chromecast

If you’re looking for an easy way to stream your content, but don’t want to invest in a more expensive smart TV, Chromecast is for you. We hope this guide will help you understand what Chromecast is and what you can do with Chromecast.

Do you have a Chromecast or plan to buy it soon? Which model? Please let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. As always, thank you for reading.

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