Televisions used to be great for just one thing—watching TV. But a more connected world brought with it Smart TVs, devices that can access the web, stream Netflix, and even mirror your smartphone's display. And with this level of connectivity, OEMs like Samsung saw it fit to place targeted and interactive ads on your screen.
The Google Cast feature that serves as the primary interface for the Chromecast and comes bundled with Android TV devices like the Nexus Player is a marvel of modern technology. But as these things go, troubleshooting issues can be difficult with something so groundbreaking, especially when you consider that there are two parts to the equation—the casting device (your phone, tablet, or computer) and the receiver.
Amazon thinks that by simply removing an app from their Appstore, that they will stop users from accessing it. But with Android OS powering their Fire TV Stick and Fire TV, there really isn't anything they can do to prevent us from sideloading an APK onto the streaming media devices.
If you're a U.S. expat living, traveling, or studying abroad, or just someone who typically uses virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to access the North American video libraries of services like Hulu or Netflix, you were probably surprised to see that these video streaming services don't work on your Chromecast or Chromecast 2.
Amazon's Fire TV set-top box has been out for over a month now, and the hacks are starting to come together. Sure you can play your Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and Netflix content without any issue, but what about your personal media, like movies and music?
Reddit is one of the internet's greatest sources of funny and interesting videos. Its user base is extremely active, and a system of upvotes and downvotes ensures that the best content always rises to the top.
Screen mirroring was a long-awaited feature for the Chromecast, now available for select devices (and even more with root). While great news for those who couldn't wait to play games, watch movies, and browse pictures on a big screen, it did mean that you had to keep your device's screen on the entire time it was being mirrored.
Chromecast is so small and portable that it would seem to be a perfect device for making PowerPoint presentations. But even now that you can mirror your Android device's display, there are still a few issues.
The new Chromecast represents an evolution of Google's smart TV dongle as well as the Android TV platform. In addition to a remote control and the ability to install apps, Chromecast with Google TV hosts the debut of Google's innovative Google TV interface, which will eventually make its way to Android TV.
You can't always have your media on the same network as your Chromecast. Say you're at a friend's house or even out of town—it sure would be nice to cast your videos when you're out and about, wouldn't it?
I loved the original Star Wars trilogy when I was a kid, but loathe all of the current DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming versions available today. Ever since 1997, every version of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi has had horrendous CGI effects added in that George Lucas deemed necessary to bring his "ideal" version to life.
This tutorial is for everyone who has been waiting for a solution to stream web videos to a Chromecast by using an iPhone or iPad. It is easy as a cakewalk.
Although lots of the bigger hotel chains are lessening the restrictions they put on their room TVs, some smaller ones are still taking measures to prevent you from plugging in computers or streaming devices into an HDMI port. However, there are a few steps you can take to bypass these restrictions and watch your own media in a hotel that has restricted TVs.
Android TV devices have had those beautiful Chromecast background images as their screensaver for quite a while now. Envious of this feature, Apple copied the idea for a similarly-styled screensaver in their newest Apple TV, but with one big twist—they used videos instead of still photos.
Podcasts have been around and popular for close to a decade now. For the uninitiated, podcasts are like radio shows that can be downloaded directly from the web and listened to on any device. Up until now, only paid apps allowed podcasts to be casted via Chromecast, but with the latest update to Xavier Guillemane's Podcast Addict, you can now do the same thing for free!
With the development kit fully open, the functionality of our Chromecasts seem to expand with each passing day. From a portable gaming system to your own personalized news station, our little gadgets have a lot going for them.
Google Chromecast is only 35 dollars. That's about 2 and a half drinks at a decent bar in Los Angeles. So, my roommates and I looked to make the investment. The small box arrived in the mail and the setup couldn't be easier. Simply, plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV and pair the two devices. Done and Done. Having the ability to stream anything on our computers or cellphones right to the TV was the main reason for getting Chromecast. Now, for streaming through the Chrome browse...
Netflix is more popular now than ever, but it still has a ways to go before satisfying everyone. Whether it's a lack of availability, buggy or unattractive apps, or just not being able to find anything to watch, lots of people have their complaints.
With its growing popularity, it's clear that the Chromecast isn't going away anytime soon, with options for casting games, cloud files, music, and much more. But not all content providers are in a hurry to add support for the device, and SoundCloud is one of them. While My Cloud Player is by no means an official SoundCloud app, it comes pretty darn close.
Arguably Chromecast's biggest feature since its launch, screen mirroring functionality started rolling out to select devices earlier this week, and in a word, it's awesome.
The idle screen for the Chromecast is certainly beautiful. Full of many high-definition pictures taken of various parts of the world, it's almost a shame that we have to dismiss this screen in order to cast content.
You suck at karaoke. Most of us do, but that doesn't stop any of us from hitting up the karaoke bar. It's not about who sounds best; there's American Idol for that. It's about having a great time without incurring negative judgement; the worse you are the better time I'm having.
Recently, Google unleashed the Chromecast development kit, which lets developers add Chromecast streaming functionality to their own apps. However, there aren't many apps with Chromecast capabilities yet, and big companies and devs are still working on polishing their final products.
When the Chromecast first came out about a year ago, developers were quick to find a way to root the streaming device. Google was almost as fast, however, in updating the Chromecast's firmware to close the loophole that this method used.
Netflix was my proverbial gateway drug to cord-cutting, as I'm sure it was for many others. Yet as much as I truly love Netflix and its service, there are some annoyances I have with the interface of the desktop web version.
At its core, the Chromecast is essentially a web browser on a stick. When you cast content from your computer or smartphone, all you're really doing is telling the Chromecast which website to load.
Is social media ready to make the jump to the big screen? The developers behind the Android app Stevie think so.
Much like the Chromecast, Android TV devices such as the Nexus Player and Nvidia Shield TV have always had those beautiful background images as their default screensaver. However, unlike the Chromecast, these "Backdrop" images, as they're called, weren't always customizable on Android TV.
The biggest problem with Netflix (which is hardly a real problem) is the overwhelming amount of content available for streaming. Browsing through profile-specific categories might help narrow down your search on something to watch, but some of those categories come and go without warning, and it's impossible to find them again—but not anymore.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2015: The root process has changed for the Nexus Player now that the device is running Android 6.0 Marhsmallow. I've updated this article with detailed instructions on the new root process, but the video below still depicts the old process for Android Lollipop.
Chromecasts can make for some fun nights. Whether you're setting up a collaborative YouTube watch list, letting everyone add to a giant party playlist, or playing games like Cardcast and Big Web Quiz, Google's streaming media stick is a hit by all accounts.
Using a combination of my phone, laptop, and an arsenal of apps and plugins, I can send pretty much anything to my Chromecast. However, nothing is ever perfect, and the file type that was still giving me headaches were torrent and magnet files.
The future of game night is digital. Your Chromecast is great for watching Netflix or YouTube, but get more use out of it by making it the centerpiece for your next fun get-together.
When it comes to playing music at parties, the whole process can be a bit like a dictatorship. One person, usually the host, chooses all of the music and controls playback, essentially forcing everyone else to listen to the songs that they like.
The older I get, the more my Friday nights involve watching Netflix at home with a bottle of Maker's Mark and a box of Oreos. Netflix is a big part of my life, and I'm not alone. YouTube and Netflix make up over 50% of all activity on the Internet, so it might be worth your time to understand why Netflix seems to cause so many headaches and what can be done about it.
Apple likes to make their products simple. However, sometimes that simplicity leads to a confusing user-experience. Take the Apple TV, for example. How do you turn it off? Just press the power button, right? Sorry, there is no power button. Okay, so it's like an iPhone and has a nondescript button designated as a power button, right? Nope.
Your Apple TV is just that — your Apple TV, which means you probably want to personalize it a bit, to make yours stand out from everybody else's. And the easiest way to do this is by renaming it. If you live in an apartment building, this will help differentiate your Apple TV from your neighbors' when trying to use AirPlay.
Whether you're anxious to tune into this Sunday's Super Bowl 50 to see Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, or to see if you win some money on your silly prop bet, or just want to tune in for the commercials, there are a handful of ways to catch the Big Game without an antenna or cable/satellite subscription. When & Where
It's a breeze to send videos and music from your phone straight to your TV with an Apple TV or Chromecast, but these devices don't support all file types. While MP4 videos and MP3 music files are the norm these days, I still have a ton of AVI and FLV files that I'd like to watch on a big screen.
Google's Chromecast has been out for almost two years, and I can safely say it has changed the way I use my TV. At first it was a hassle to even get local media to play on it, but now casting has branched out to torrent streaming, which was a real game changer. Unfortunately, most apps only let you stream one video or song at a time, or you can't add magnet links or torrents to a playlist of local content.