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.
Here is my unboxing video for the brand new 2015 Google’s streaming device Chromecast
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.
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.
Google launched the highly anticipated updated Chromecast today during their 2015 Sept event which is available for sale right now at their site. This may not have been a surprise as Chromecast has been a huge hit and it was due for a hardware update since it was first launched July 2013. What was surprising was the launch of Chromecast Audio. Chromecast Audio plugs into the back of your speaker using a 3.5mm jack which you can stream directly from your Android device (phone or tablet) to your speakers. Previously, you had to stream via your TV which is connected to your TV which didn’t work well for people who only wanted to stream music. Now you have an option. The content streaming market is heating up with Amazon’s updated Fire TV and Apple’s own Apple TV. I will do a side by side comparison shortly!
First, the new Chromecast is updated with new software and hardware with new colors – black, coral, and lemonade. One thing that did not change is the price. Google went away with the dongle and redesigned Chromecast and now looks like a hockey puck. The Chromecast will have a built in HDMI extension which will make it easier to connect to your TV. Another major change is the improvement in WiFi. The Chromecast will now support 802.11ac and 5Ghz bandwidth as well. It also has built in adaptive antenna system to maximize WiFi signals which has plagued a lot of people in the first generation Chromecast.
New Chromecast also has capability to cast more data resulting in less buffering.
Chromecast Audio looks similar to the Chromecast except it has vinyl-esque grooves on the top. There aren’t too much details on Chromecast audio but it does have a 3.5mm audio jack as well as RCA and optical connector. It also has the adaptive WiFi antennas used to maximize the connection and quality of the music.
Through Chromeast Audio, you can make your speaker “smart”. Link this in with apps such as Google Music, Pandora, or Spotify, then you will be able to stream seamlessly. When you click the cast button from these apps, you will see a speaker icon to cast to which will be your Chromecast Audio device such as below. For the time being you cannot cast to multiple audio devices.
Existing Chromecast app was limited to setup, backpage, and maybe looking for offers. The new Chromecast app has more features.
Google has incorporated content discovery feature called, “Whats On”. Through this, you can review content that is trending or live events which may interest you.
There is a new tab which will allow you to remote control different devices seamlessly as you go through different rooms.
Will allow you to search within installed Chromecast supported apps or introduce you to new apps. You can also search related content from apps such as Youtube or other apps.
This new feature pre-loads app data as you open the app which will aid in reducing load time by up to 80%. It also pre-loads the following episode which you are likely to watch as you have finished watching one episode. Google simulated this for Netflix but will enable this for all partners.
Google released a remote display API for Apple and Android based mobile devices. This will allow developers to update game apps so you can play using your TV with one screen and for example set up the game controller on the mobile device.
You can also play simultaneously with other players such as Monopoly where each device will have the players own screen.
Chromecast users who also subscribe to Spotify can soon rejoice. Google released hints that Spotify support will be included in a slew of updates this month including a rumored updated Chromecast (source 9to5.com). If so, they are a step behind as Amazon just announced their 2nd generation Fire TV which will stream 4K content and support Alexa. Google’s Chromecast has been a smashing hit and a major update will be welcomed. Will it be enough to make people buy an updated Chromecast when the first one works so well?
Update! 9to5 further announced that there is strong indication that the updated Chromecast will have special features and updated app to support music streaming. It also includes a feature called, “What’s On”. Is this Google’s attempt to take viewership away from traditional over the air and premiere TV?
We should get more details as we approach the big reveal on Sept 29th where Google will announce it’s latest Nexus phones as well.
Google updated their photos recently giving numerous features such as UNLIMITED backup for lower quality photos. This is done automatically when you set up auto-backup. For original size pictures, you are limited to 15GB. This has been handy and it competes with other offers such as Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud, and other services such as Dropbox and Box. However, Chromecast users who enjoyed casting directly from Google Photos were dissapointed and somewhat shocked that the updated app lost support for Chromecast. Word is that Google is working to re-enable and there is no info on why the support for Chromecast was dropped.
Meanwhile, here are some features from Google Photos:
- Visual Search – Capability to sort and search by tags or people by face if you enable this feature.
- Auto Backup – Set auto backup and no need to manually backup your photos again! Take pictures and sign in when you are on your PC or tablet to see and edit the pictures.
- Save space – Everything is in the cloud so you do not need to worry about running out of space on your phone.
- Bringing photos to life – Google Photos can automatically create slideshows, collage, or videos by associating similar photos or photos taken at a particular location or time.
- Editing – handy tools where you can do basic editing like cropping, filters, rotating the photos.
- Sharing – share individual photos, albums, or via url link which you can email or text.
- Rediscover – go back in time and look at what you did weeks, months, years back.
Have you had the need to cast a presentation, video, or some slideshow onto multiple screens using Chromecast and wish there was an easy way to do it? Google does offer this feature but there are several apps that enable you to do this. We recently came across a situation where there will be a dinner banquet and we wanted to use the hall’s multiple HDTV across the venue. The TV’s were not connected to a single source but had WiFi network. What we wanted to do was to cast a video to multiple HDTV receivers. After some research, we went with AirParrot. AirParrot does exactly this.
Through their software, you can control your source and destination(s). You can also select audio only and not send the video. There are also some controls to pause or blank the screen. Not only can you select output for Chromecast, you can also select Apple TV as well.
Google is giving out a free movie rental to celebrate 2 years of its hit Chromecast streaming device! To claim the free movie rental, all you need to do is open your Chromecast app from your device and navigate to the settings page. From there, click on the menu and you will see the ‘Check for Offers’ option. It will ask if you authorize Google to check your serial number for offers. Your TV should display how many offers are available for your device. On your device, you should be redirected back to the Google Play store to save your offer. The offer can be saved and used by the end of this year. Enjoy!
Interesting development in the world of the Emmys. Traditionally, the Emmys have produced film, VHS, and DVDs for viewers to cast their vote by watching movies delivered via Chromecast! Previously, they had to ship the movie to its members homes or office so they can watch and post their vote. Instead, now they will have the benefit of a Chromecast which is likely to have the nominated movies preloaded for them. I don’t know what this will mean in terms of piracy as there has been instance in the past where a member uploaded the movie and the DVD signature to out the people involved. Streaming via Chromecast digitally will also allow the movies to be shown the way it was intended by the directors.
Emmy has over 18,500 members and this will be a significant savings in that front. Google will also be putting together a voting platform built into the Chromecast app for Emmys and will be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Google secretly made available an Ethernet adapter for Chromecast on their Play Store recently. The Ethernet adapter was sold on their website without much fanfare with no noticeable link from the devices page on their Play store. This is a great accessory for people who have access to a router but have dodgy or poor WiFi wireless capabilities. This adapter will essentially enable you to plug in an Ethernet cable for your Chromecast. The cost is $15 which is not that bad but considering the Chromecast itself is $35 then it is a bit steep. The Ethernet cable plugs into the power adopter which in turn will relay your network connection through the USB port. Cool!
If you order now, there is a 2-3 week wait until it ships.