Good Bye Chromecast, Hello Google Cast!

Google recently announced that it has renamed the Chromecast to simply Google Cast and this came into effect in the app store earlier in the month. When we hear the term, “Chromecast”, we immediately think of perhaps the first generation video streaming HDMI dongle which turned out to become a huge hit. With the introduction of 2nd generation Chromecast, Chromecast audio and Cast enabled devices from companies such as Sony, LG, Bang and Oulfson, Sonos, and more, it makes sense to recast the technology to simply Google Cast.

Google Cast

Some noticeable changes.

You will no longer find the Chromecast app in the Google Play or Apple App store. Instead, it is simply Google Cast. Once installed, you will see noticeable differences. The app now has 3 tabs: What’s On, Devices, Get Apps.

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What’s On will introduce to you content which is trending or recently released. Today’s feature is the new Star Wars Rogue One Trailer which was announced this morning on Youtube. Right below, it gives me suggestions from Netflix and then WatchESPN and so forth. All apps which support Google Cast on my device.

Under Devices, it will show all the Cast enabled devices you have set up or used.

In the Get Apps tab, the Google Cast App will suggest other Cast enabled apps you can download. It will also suggest games which are Cast compatible.

This is likely the beginning of Google Cast and this lucrative market of streaming and on demand media.

 

How to set up Chromecast on your Windows 8 PC

Here is a short clip I put together that will walk you through setting up Chromecast on your pc. Setting up Chromecast is similar between Windows 8, 8.1, 10 and even Windows 7.

Here are my specs:

PC: Windows 8 – 64 Bit with Chrome browser. Built in WiFi capabilities
Router: ATT DSL Router
TV: Samsung 40″ HDTV (don’t remember model.. bought in 2007). Consists of 3 HDMI ports and 1 USB
Chromecast installer file: download here or download directly from google.

Stream any movie file from your computer to Chromecast

How to stream any (well almost) any movie file from your computer to Chromecast. If you are like me, sometimes you want to stream a movie clip from your phone, a slideshow you put together or some old movie file from a wedding. You can do this easily but this simple trick.

First, enable Chromecast extension onto your Chrome browser. Make sure your PC is on the same WiFi as your Chromecast.

Next, cast the current tab on your Chrome browser to your Chromecast. If you don’t see your Chromecast, you may need to troubleshoot by turning on your TV first. Wait for it to load and get connected to your WiFi network.

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Once you see your tab on your TV, locate the file of the media you want to cast. I tried this with a .mp4 file. Click on it then drag it onto your Chromebrowser, let go and the file will play automatically. Your url bar should point to the file location on your PC.

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If you want to stream videos from your phone, first transfer the video from your phone to your PC then you can stream it using the same method. If you want to stream directly from your phone, there is an app which will allow you to do it. I will blog about it next time!

If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment or post on the Facebook wall and I will be glad to assist.

How to add Chromecast Extension on your Chrome Browser

How to add Chromecast extension onto your Chrome browser. By adding the Chromecast extension, you can stream from many websites such as ESPN, FOX, CBS, Netflix, Pandora, and even movie files straight from your PC. This is great for people who does not want to install individual apps onto your tablet or smartphone in order to stream content. In my personal experience, I found that casting from Google Chrome website seems to be more stable and reliable. Besides, I’m usually on my PC when I am working on a project so it is convenient to be able to stream right from where I am working!

  1. First, make sure your PC has WiFi enabled and is connected to the same network as your Chromecast.
  2. Launch Google Chrome browser. If you do not have Google Chrome browser, you can install it from here.
  3. Once you launch Chrome browser, click the three horizontal bars just right of the url bar at the top.

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4. Next, click ‘Settings’ and you will see the below options.
5. Select ‘Extensions’ from the menu on the left. chromecast extension 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. From the Chrome Web Store, search ‘chromecast’. Select ‘Google Cast’ offered by google.com. Do not install any other Chrome or casting extension or app other than from Google unless you trust the source.

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7. Click ‘add to chrome’. The below pop up will appear. Go ahead and select ‘add extension’.

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8. You will see a banner pop up saying Google Cast – Chromecast extension has been installed. Click onto the cast icon on your chrome browser and you will see a request to ‘Help Improve Cast’. It is enabled by default, uncheck it to disable this feature unless you are want to be a willing contributor.

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9. If you click on the cast icon, you will be able to select your Chromecast that is on the same WiFi network.

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10. Once you cast, you have options to mute volume, change quality of video, or to stop casting. Changing the video quality is useful if your Internet connection is not so great and you want to downgrade the streaming quality to prevent streaming issues.

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Use Android Pay 10 times and get Chromecast for Free

Google rolled out another promotion by pushing its Android Pay app. Users of Google Pay can win a Chromecast if you use it to pay 10 times. This promotion is dubbed TAP10. If you use your phone to pay by ‘tapping’ your phone using NFC 10 times, you can receive a free Chromecast. That’s not all. You can win rewards such as a free song along the way. The promotion ends on Feb 29th. On the 1st, 2nd, and 6th tap, you can earn a song of your choice from Google Play Music.

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Google adds games for Chromecast

This holiday, Google increased games on their popular Chromecast. This is great for the holiday when your kids are at home and don’t want to spend more money on expensive games! Amongst the list of games is Rovio’s Angry Bird Friends! You can also play in tournaments.

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The games work with both Android and iOS platform as long as you have the Chromecast app. There are a lot of boardgames by Hansbro such as Monopoly, Scrabble. Monopoly Here & Now

See a sample list of all the apps that are available. Most games you can play for free but will require payment for multiplayer or additional stages.

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To see the full list of available games, go to chromecast.com/apps

 

 

Buy the new Chromecast for $10!

If you are looking for an excuse to buy the Chromecast, this may be it. Google is offering $20 Play credit when you purchase the new Chromecast. Depending on where you buy your Chromecast, that makes it only $10-15 dollars! You can spend the credit on movies, apps, music albums, and more. To redeem, simply download the Chromecast app, from the left menu bar click “offers”. Your Chromecast must be installed and reachable from your app in order for the offer to be available. Google will ask you and check against the serial number to see what offers you qualify for. Make sure you understand the terms before agreeing to other offers. Some may be free for a period but start billing after expiration.

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How to upgrade to the new 2015 Chromecast Windows

Here is my walk through video on how to upgrade your 2013 Chromecast to the new 2015 Chromecast for Windows. This video will walk you through the full step by step in setting up a new or current Windows machine for Windows 7, 8 or 10. I will walk you through installing the Windows Chromecast app program, removal of existing Chromecast, installing of new Chromecast, and updating your device.

New 2015 Chromecast 2 Arrives!

Surprise! Mr. Fedex delivered my new Chromecast today and I couldn’t wait to unbox it and have a look.

First, the packaging is not made of quality material. It feels very cheap and the actual box is made of some recycled material that came apart once I removed the label. This doesn’t concern me much as I am not paying for the box. If the previous generation Chromecast is of any indication, this one should more than live up to the hype.

The actual device looks much different than previous generation. Google has gone away from the USB dongle form factor. The new Chromecast almost resembles a small hockey puck or a headphone. If you extend out the HDMI extension, it can almost pass as an Christmas ornament. If you have the need to remove or move the Chromecast, the HDMI extension attaches to the body through a magnet and it quite firm.

20151001 ccc ftvOn the rear of the new Chromecast, it has these inscriptions: Model NC2-6A5 | FCC ID: A4RNC2-6A5 | IC: 10395A-NC26A5 | CAN ICES-3 B/NMB-3 B | Made In China

Then at the bottom: Designed by Google | 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043.

It also has other symbols indicating HDMI, do not dispose and others such as serial number.

I did have a bit of an issue setting it up but this is likely due to my WiFi and not due to the device.

I’ll shortly update this post with an unboxing video as well as an install guide.