Now more than ever, people are turning to their televisions for entertainment amid the coronavirus outbreak, with streaming services such as Netflix and Stan being the go-to places to access an ever expanding collection of movies and TV shows. If you have a Smart TV, it will already include access to these services with a special button on the remote control directing you right there, but for others, a device called a Google Chromecast can help.
The Google Chromecast looks like a small, round disc and can be connected to older televisions that don’t include smart functions. With the device, you simply find the content you want to watch or listen to on your smart phone and “cast” it to your TV.
It may sound a little confusing but once you’ve got it connected it’s incredibly easy.
The first step is to plug your Chromecast into your TV. In the box you’ll find a USB power cable, this will connect into an open USB port on your television.
Next you’ll need to download the Google Home app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store on your smartphone. It should only take a couple of minutes to download and once installed it will appear on your phone’s main screen.
In some cases you’ll automatically be prompted to begin the set-up process, but if not simply click the add icon (+), tap “set up device” and then “set up new devices in your home”. Next, you’ll be asked to “choose a home”, which is Google’s way of organising different smart products connected to your Google account.
Once this is selected your phone will search for any available devices and you’ll be asked what you want to set up. To connect the Chromecast you should select the TV option. A code should then appear on both your television screen and your smart phone; if they are the same tap “yes” to continue.
You’ll be guided through a few more steps such as selecting your wifi network and the video services you have. This includes things like Netflix, Stan and YouTube. If you like you can even give your TV a “name” to help identify it when streaming. For example, “lounge room TV” or “bedroom TV”.
Casting to your television using the Chromecast is the easy part. Simply open up the relevant app – such as Netflix or Stan – on your smartphone, select the show or movie you want to watch and click the Chromecast logo in the top right corner (it looks like a little TV screen).
The mobile app will automatically connect to your Chromecast and play the show or movie you wish on your television screen. Your smart phone will work as your remote control, with options to pause, play, stop and switch what you’re watching whenever you like.