Rejoice VLC fans! One of the most popular video players will release Chromecast support with the next update. If you recall, playing video files was a huge hassle a few years ago as you had to have the right media player for the type of file you were playing. Even so, you may need to install the particular codec or even purchase it to get the picture and sound correctly. When VLC was launched, it provided simplicity. It seemingly played any type of videos or media files at will. It had a easy to use interface allowing you to control your video and also to manage libraries. another huge benefit is that it was extremely light and took very little resources. Great for people who had HTPC (home theater personal computers). VLC for Chromecast will likely launch in version 3.0. Once it is available, we will post a guide on how to use it.
If you own a Chromecast, Google is giving away $6 in Play Store credit for movies, music, or apps. All you need to do is go to this url in your Chrome browser: https://cast.google.com/chromecast/offers/
You do need to agree to allow Google to check your device ID with them to search for available offers. I was able to find other offers from DramaFever, epix, 90 days of unlimited play music streaming, and the X-Men movie also!
Your Chromecast may have poor video quality when casting a Chrome tab to your TV. This is usually due to two things which can cause freezing, stuttering, or pixelating on your TV. Here are some things you can try to fix poor video quality on your Chromecast.
Computer performance causing video issues with Chromecast:
Check the power settings on your computer which you are casting the tab from Chrome. Check to make sure your computer does not go to sleep or go into power saving mode which is set by default on most laptops. Close down any unused applications, programs, or windows. Temporarily reduce it from the default high definition 720p to 480p through the Options Menu on the Cast icon.
Network Issue causing poor video quality Chromecast:
The performance of Chromecast highly depends on your WiFi connection. Your WiFi connection in turn depends on the speed of your Internet. In my experience, you should have at least 3mb Internet speed and faster. WiFi routers varies but your TV and Chromecast should not have too many walls in between. For example, if you have your WiFi router located one end of the room, you will likely experience issues trying to connect it to a Chromecast at the opposite side of your house or basement. You can try to move your router or purchase an extender or repeater to extend the range of your WiFi network. You can also try to use the HDMI extender to distance the Chromecast device from your TV. If you are casting a tab from a PC / Laptop, make sure it has good strength indicating on the WiFi connection. You can also check if the WiFi channel is overlapping with another device through WiFi manager apps available on Play Store and App Store. If you have multiple users streaming through Youtube or other services, it may hamper the performance.
How to factory reset a Chromecast:
If you tried all of the above and still have video quality issues regardless of casting from a tab or casting from an app, as a last resort, you can try to do a reset on your Chromecast to see if clearing the cache will resolve your issue. In order to reset, you can do it two ways.
Sling television stunned CES this year in Las Vegas by announcing a streaming service for some of the top premiere TV channels usually reserved for satellite and cable services. They are currently offering a 7 day free trial if you sign up now.
With Sling, you will be able to access channels such as ESPN, HGTV, Disney, CNN, TBS, Travel, Food network, adult swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family and more for just $20/month. All you need to do is install the Sling TV program or app onto your PC or smartphone or tablet. You can install the program on your PC / MAC using normal method. The app for iOS is on the iTunes store. However, the app is yet available in the Google Play store for Android devices which is a bit surprising. Instead, you can download it by checking the ‘Unknown sources” then click the apk file through your Android device to download and install it directly. You can download the Sling TV apk for Android at their link and also available here.
On top of the listed channels, you can also add on packages such as Sports Extra, News and Info Extra, Kids Extra for $5 each. Enticing but it will soon breach into the price of a typical cable or satellite service.
Does Chromecast support Sling TV App?
There is no native support but you can use screen cast (mirroring) to mirror the Sling TV app to your TV. The audio will work.
Do you need credit card to sign up for the free Sling 7 day trial?
Yes you do! When you click the free 7 day trial, you will be required to enter your credit card details. If you do not cancel on the 7th day, you will be automatically enrolled to their $20/month plan.
Is there a commitment for Sling television?
There is no commitment. You can cancel any time which makes it even more so advantage.
Can I use the Sling TV credentials to sign into the WatchESPN app?
Not now but it looks like it is coming soon.
You can set up as many Chromecast on the same WiFi. However, you must select different names for each device. It is also a good idea to ensure that your WiFi network is password protected. When you introduce a new Chromecast to your network, simply repeat the instruction when you first initiated your Chromecast. One thing to be careful of is to ensure you choose names which is easy to remember. As you cast the screen from the content you are watching, all available devices will be visible when choosing a Chromecast. Also note there is no way to block someone from casting content to someone’s screen. In other words, if your sister is using Chromecast to cast something from her iPhone’s Youtube app to her TV, you can accidentally stop her cast and put something to her TV through your Android phone.
Here is how you can reboot and do a factory data rest on your Chromecast remotely. You may run into an issue where video quality isn’t great and you want to do a simple reboot. In order to reboot, you simply go to your Chromecast App, click onto your device in question, go to menu and you will see the below options. You can do the same to factory data reset a Chromecast. Whether you want to return the device or give it to your cousin Vinny, you will want to perform a factory data reset on your Chromecast before you do so.
If you want to physically reboot or do a factory reset, you can do the following. To do a reboot, simply power cycle it. Remove the power source (usb) and plug it back in. To do a factory data reset, hold down the power button on your Chromecast while is is powered for at least 25 seconds until the led light starts to flash.
You can also do a reset and factory reset through the app on your PC. Go to the app and open your Chromecast device. You should see the below in the options menu. Click reboot to quickly clear the cache to see if it resolves your issue and click factory reset if you want to clear all personal data.
Casting any website to the TV through Chromecast. One of the best feature of Chromeast is the ability to cast any website to the TV from your computer. This is handy when you want to display a particular website to your TV. Example may be a a website which doesn’t support Chromecast. For example, I can watch the Los Angeles Lakers through casting a tab on Google Chrome browser with no problems. I get audio and the video quality is decent at HD. It helps that I have a fast Internet connection and within range of my WiFi router. Here are some requirements:
-PC or Laptop that is WiFi enabled
-Google Chrome browser (version 28 or later)
-Chromecast extention on your Chrome browser
-May have issues if the website uses a plugin such as Silverlight, Quicktime, or VLC.
For the time being, you may only cast from Google Chrome browser from PC and not from iOS or Android.
From today until Feb 4th, Groupon has the Google Chromecast available at a $10 discount for only $25. Note this is refurbished but it comes with 90 days warranty from Google and free returns from Groupon. Shipping is free but there is tax depending on your state.
If you look at reviews and the features on our site, Chromecast continues to improve and add content as well as supported apps. Even thought it is over a year old, it still goes head on with newer streaming sticks such as Fire TV stick.
If you missed the holiday deals, this is a great way to get your first Chromecast or to gift to someone!
iPhone and iPad users can stop being jealous of their Android counterparts. AllCast has finally enabled iOS users to cast their photos, music, and videos to their TV screen. Previously, if you had an iPhone or iPad, your only option to share your screen to the TV was through Apple TV. Now you can launch Allcast and show people photos, share music, videos with a click of a few buttons. What you can also do is to use your iOS device and access a shared folder on the network and stream a movie file.
Once your Chromecast is recognized by the app, you can immediately access your content. If you choose to, you can access your profile on Google+, Instagram, files on Dropbox, Media Server on your network, and Google Drive.
Upgrading to AllCast Premium will remove ads, splashscreen, and the video limit.
You can also select the preferred video size at the options page.
Below is an example of a photo being shared through AllCast from an iPhone 6. Very easy!
Google announced the launch of Google Cast which uses the same technology to stream music to speakers, sound bars, and audio / visual. Similar to Chromecast, you cast the audio stream by pressing the cast icon and selecting a Google Cast Ready speaker. Google Cast will be supported through Android, iOS or web. Current list of apps include the following:
I think we all can admit that this is exactly what we had in mind when we wanted to stream music over our Chromecast. The music quality output from our TV is subpar. Essentially, this allows you to stream music from your phone or tablet directly to a device designed to play music. Google Cast supported devices will launch in Spring of 2015 and some name brands are already on the list such as Sony, LG, Denon and more.
See their promo video here.
See more at g.co/castaudio