The Google Chromecast is an electronic device that allows you to stream video from the Internet to your TV. It is similar in function to set-top streaming boxes like the Roku 1 or the Apple TV, although there are a few important differences that distinguish it from those options.
Getting Started With the Chromecast
As you can see from the picture above, the Chromecast is actually a small device, similar in size to a USB flash drive. You connect it to an HDMI port on your television, then you can turn on your TV and switch it to the input channel to which the Chromecast is connected.
You then complete a short setup procedure where you use a computer, smartphone or tablet to connect the Chromecast to your wireless home network. The whole process will only take a few minutes, and is pretty easy to follow. For more information about setting up the Chromecast, you can read our Google Chromecast review.
What Do I Need to Get the Chromecast to Work?
There are a couple of important things to know before you purchase a Google Chromecast. One of these things is that it does not have a remote control. You will be using either your phone, computer or tablet to control the content that is displayed on your TV through the Chromecast. It’s a pretty intuitive setup, though some people will prefer options that have dedicated remote controls. If you are looking for something like that in this price range, we recommend the Roku LT.
You are also going to need to have a wireless network in your home, and both the device that you are using to control the Chromecast and the Chromecast itself will need to be connected to that network. If you don’t have a wireless network, but you have a broadband Internet connection coming into your home, then you will need a wireless router like this one.
How the Chromecast Works
So now that you have everything set up, you are ready to start watching some content with the Chromecast. Turn on the TV and make sure that it is connected to the right input channel for the Chromecast. Open the app on your phone or tablet that contains the video you want to watch (such as Netflix or YouTube) or open a Web page from the Chrome browser on your computer, select the Chromecast as your display choice, then select the video you want to watch. That video will then start playing on your TV.
If the Chromecast seems like something that would be nice to have in your home, you can find out more about it here, as well as read some reviews and check pricing.