Smart TVs are awesome, but sometimes with that awesomeness comes a heavy price tag. So if you’re looking for a way to make your ordinary TV smart we recommend you invest in Google’s Chromecast. This little device is pretty simple: you get a dongle and plug it into the USB port of your TV and then use your smartphone to stream shows and movies directly onto your TV screen.
As children say, “easy peasy lemon squeezy” right? However, there can be a few apparent limitations to your Chromecast streaming experience so we’re here to provide you with tips and tricks to let you know how to make the most out of your Chromecast:
1. Cast and Work At the Same Time
Casting from your laptop or smartphone? Worried you’re going to disrupt your video feed? Don’t sweat it because once you start mirroring a video from your phone or laptop you’ve basically finished up setting the casting process which means the TV is not streaming directly from your device, but is actually now streaming the video content directly from let’s say the Netflix or YouTuber servers.
So go ahead and check Facebook, Instagram or Twitter while you stream away!
2. Ambient Mode
Ambient mode basically refers to the pretty picture you see on your TV when it’s not casting anything. The ambient mode can often instill a soothing vibe with its beautiful high-quality images. Did you know that you could actually customize the image even setting it to pictures of you and your family.
This process is quite simple: you just need open your Google Home application, tap on Chromecast and click on the gear icon after which you will find “Ambient Mode.” You can then choose to have images displayed either from your collection of personal pictures stored in Google Photos or have Google pull out some images of good taste for you.
Furthermore, apart from the aesthetic pleasure derives from a nice background, Ambient Mode can also be useful in that you can choose to have the weather and time displayed on your TV. This is a pretty handy feature if you’re careless about checking the weather.
3. Mirror Your Android Device to Your TV Screen
Yes! It’s finally possible to mirror your android screen onto your TV. The only catch is you need to have an android phone that has 4.4.2 or above. To begin mirroring first of all make sure that your smartphone is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast.
After this the process is fairly simple. Simply open the Google Home application, then select your Chromecast device after which you select cast my screen. With this feature you can almost watch anything you want on your TV! And once you’re done you can just select the Stop mirroring option on the Google Home application.
4. Apple TV is Now Yours Too
If you have a Chromecast With Google TV then you’re in for a real treat because now you can now stream Apple TV shows and movies. If you haven’t already then sign up for a subscription for Apple TV+ and if you’re extra lucky and just bought a MacBook, iPhone or iPad you’ll get a free year’s subscription for free! Still not sure if you want to sign up for Apple TV+ then don’t worry because there is a 7-day trial you can sign up for instead.
Getting the Apple TV+ app is pretty easy. You can select the Apps tab and then use the Search For Apps bar to search Apple TV or, even easier, use your Google Assistant to simply issue a voice command asking Google to look up Apple TV for you. Once your select install and download the app you can then use it to watch select movies and shows in HDR and 4K resolution.
5. Protect Your Privacy
While it might be impossible to completely prevent all tracking, you can restrict the data sent to Google by going to the settings menu and checking the Help improve Chromecast option. You can then choose to turn off the option that sends Google crash reports and stats about your devices.
6. Meetings on the Big Screen
Perhaps you’re in a meeting with lots of people or perhaps you would like to use your laptop to refer to some talking points while in a meeting, either way having your Google Meet meeting on the TV can be incredibly useful. By making sure your device is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast you can then open the Google Meet app or your Google calendar app and select Cast this meeting.
After this click on the device you would like to use to cast. And you’re all set and on your way to viewing everyone on the big screen. As for your camera, audio and mike you can still use your laptop to perform all those functions in your meeting.
On the Whole
Having a Chromecast at your disposal is an extremely useful device, and now with the tips and tricks we’ve shared, we hope you can make the most out of your investment in this device. Be forewarned though that if you don’t have a good internet connection your streaming quality may suffer so be sure to check out Xfinity TV packages and Xfinity internet deals for optimum TV and Chromecast usage.
About Caroline Eastman:
Caroline is doing her graduation in IT from the University of South California but keens to work as a freelance blogger. She loves to write on the latest information about IoT, technology, and business. She has innovative ideas and shares her experience with her readers.