What is Google Chromecast? Things You Need to Know

Google Chromecast is one of the most used casting devices around the world. Due to its affordability and easy to operate, it is the primary choice for many users. The Chromecast device was launched in 2013 and it is the first casting device that is used for mirroring media files to the TV. Even though there is a lot of competitors available, the Chromecast has its name. When compared to its competitors like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Firestick, the Chromecast is easy to set up and cast, it also has some advanced and unique features for the user’s convenience. Read this article to know more about Chromecast.

Tabulation:

What is Google Chromecast?
Chromecast Types
Setting up Google Chromecast
Cast Enabled Apps and Sites
Google Chromecast Problems and Solutions
Alternatives to Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast Review
Final Verdict

Read: How to Setup Chromecast on Windows PC?

What is Google Chromecast?

Google Chromecast is a small streaming media adapter from Google that enables the users to cast online media such as Pictures, Videos, Music, etc on your TV. The device can be plugged into the HDMI port of the TV and a cable connected to the USB port supplies power to the Chromecast. It is used to mirror your favourite movies, videos and music from mobile/tablet or computer to any connected screens. Once the stream begins, you don’t need to have the app opened, So that the device can be used for other tasks. Chromecast can stream contents from various sources including YouTube, Netflix, Google Play music and movies, Hulu Plus and Chrome browser. Overall, the Chromecast converts your ordinary TV into a Smart TV. By converting your TV as a smarter one, you can stream your favourite online media.

What is Google Chromecast
What is Google Chromecast

Types of Chromecast

In addition to first, second and third generations, Chromecast also has other two versions such as Chromecast Audio and Chromecast Ultra. Check out the following table for more detailed specifications about Chromecast generations.

What is Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast Types

Chromecast 1st Generation

  • Release Date: July 24, 2013
  • System on a chip: Marvell Armada 1500 Mini 88DE3005-A1
  • Memory & Storage: 512 MB RAM DDR3L & 2 GB of Storage
  • Streaming Quality: 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps
  • Launch Price: US$35

Chromecast 2nd Generation

  • Release Date: September 29, 2015
  • System on a chip: Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006
  • Memory & Storage: 512 MB RAM DDR3L & 256 MB of Storage
  • Streaming Quality: 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps
  • Launch Price: US$35

Chromecast Audio

  • Release Date: September 29, 2015
  • System on a chip: Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006
  • Memory & Storage: 512 MB RAM DDR3L & 256 MB of Storage
  • Streaming Quality: N/A
  • Launch Price: US$35

Chromecast Ultra

  • Release Date: November 6, 2016
  • System on a chip: Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3009
  • Streaming Quality: 4K Ultra HD High dynamic range (HDR10, Dolby Vision)
  • Launch Price: US$69

Chromecast 3rd Generation

  • Release Date: October 10, 2018
  • Streaming Quality: 1080p @ 60fps
  • Launch Price: US$35

Setting up Google Chromecast

Setting up Chromecast is very simple. All you need to do is to plug in the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port and the power source. Then install the Google Home app on your device and start the setup. You can Cast through Chromecast on all major platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.

What is Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast Setup

What Apps and Sites are Cast Enabled?

Casting media to television is the easiest way to enjoy all your mobile apps on your big screen TV. You can use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control for everything that you cast to your TV, including playback & volume controls. From the Google Home app, just tap the What’s On option to browse the content from the Cast-enabled apps that you have already installed on your device. Furthermore, you can tap the Get Apps option to find the Cast-enabled apps that aren’t in your device. Here are some of the major apps and sites that support Chromecast by default.

What is Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast Apps

Cast Enabled Apps

  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • HBO Now
  • Hulu
  • Angry Birds with Friends
  • Watch ESPN
  • Google Photos
  • YouTube
  • PBS Kids
  • Twitch
  • Pandora
  • BBC iPlayer and many more

Cast Enabled websites

Many websites have built-in casting feature. You can easily know the cast enabled websites by finding the cast button on the video player of the website. Here are some of the cast-enabled websites.

  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  • Google Play Music
  • Google Play Movies and more

Click here to get the entire list of Cast Enabled Websites

Google Chromecast Problems and Solutions

Here are some of the common Chromecast Issues and best fixes for them:

  • Chromecast Detection Issues
  • Cast button not showing on apps
  • Chromecast not Connecting to WiFi
  • Chromecast Control Issues
  • Chromecast Video Quality Issues

Chromecast Detection Issues

This is the most common problem faced by Chromecast users. If you face the same problem, check whether you have connected your device to the same network. If you still have the issue, try restarting your device, this will reconnect to the network.

Cast button not showing on apps

Sometimes your phone doesn’t show up the Cast from the option on a compatible app, So Chromecast won’t cast. In general, you can find the Cast button on the top right of your cast supported apps. In case, you didn’t find the button, make sure your device is connected to the network. If your device is offline then it won’t detect anything to cast to and it won’t provide cast icon.

Read: How Setup and Use Google Chromecast Without WiFi?

Chromecast not Connecting to WiFi

This problem may occur due to the WiFi range, So try to move the device closer to your WiFi router. Still, it struggles to find a connection, then connects the Chromecast to the different device, because some devices aren’t compatible or don’t have the latest software update to support the Chromecast.

Chromecast Control Issues

While casting with Chromecast through your smartphone, you may lose control of casting. In this scenario, you can’t stop the cast or use other control options. You can resolve this issue by restarting your phone. If this fails you can power off your Chromecast and then try again it will work.

Chromecast Video Quality Issues

Chromecast is capable of playing high-quality videos and it will play the videos in the highest available quality by default. If you face video quality issues, then the problem is with your network connection. Just check the network connection and the HDMI settings on the TV.

Read: Chromecast for Opera – Download and Setup Guide

Alternatives to Google Chromecast

Chromecast is simple and easy to use the device for casting media. But still, people are looking for alternative devices that have even more functionality. Here are some of the best Chromecast alternatives.

Apple TV

Apple has created a higher-end streaming device called Apple TV. The device has superior hardware and software. It also has a dedicated remote that lets you control the media easily. It offers several features, but it’s quite expensive when compared to Chromecast. If you want the extra features and fluid responsiveness then it can be the best alternative for Chromecast.

Apple TV

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Firestick is another alternative that can replace Chromecast. Due to its most affordable nature, it has reached many parts of the world in a shorter period. The device is easy to operate that lets the users stream without any hassle. In addition to casting, it also supports apps and allows you to download apps right on to the device. So you can use Amazon Fire TV as an alternative to Chromecast.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku is another streaming device, that is not as popular as Chromecast, but it holds its name in the best selling devices. You can stream around 1200 channels and the other cool thing is that it is available with the 4K resolution videos in HDR quality. Even though the device is not as affordable as Chromecast, it provides some additional functions. It can replace the Chromecast by its functionality.

Roku

Read: How to Setup and Use Plex on Chromecast?

Google Chromecast Review

Google Chromecast is one of the cheap and best devices that are available now. In terms of functionality, the device provides far enough for the users. It also has different versions. Chromecast Ultra can stream high-resolution 4K videos. Chromecast 2nd and 3rd generation can stream 1080p videos at 60fps. The support of Google Assistant enhances makes it easy to use for the users. The device can be connected to all major platforms, which gives higher accessibility to your favourite contents. But it doesn’t have the on-screen menu and dedicated remote control. Overall, it has all the necessary features for casting to your devices and its a better value for money.

Final Verdict

Hope this guide will be useful to you and described everything you need to know about Google Chromecast. Choose the best Chromecast device that is suitable for your needs and enjoy all your favourite contents on your big screen TV.

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