Google releases 1.19a firmware update for Chromecast

Google announced it released the latest firmware 1.19a.63621 to all of its Chromecasts. This firmware fixes the following issues:

Most of these issues were reported on the Google Cast Help Forum between March early May. However, some of these issues appeared to be caused by the 1.18 firmware update that was launched in March 9th. The good news is that Google is still committed to resolving bugs and updating firmware for the first generation gen Chromecast for all you who are still holding off on buying a new one. Of if you are like me who are using both the 1st and 2nd gen Chromecast as they both still work find on other TV’s.

Google Home Announced at Google I/O

Google-Home-OKGoogle just concluded their annual I/O conference. Google’s I/O is a 3 day conference is designed to bring together developers around the world to showcase its upcoming products in software, mobile, and technology. One of the more interesting product Google showcased is Google Home. Google Home is the answer to Amazon’s surprisingly successful Echo powered by Alexa. Google claimed Home is their very own assistant. During the 2016 I/O showcase, Google played a video of how Home can be used during a typical morning routine of a family. You can see the video here:

There were only two features that were unique to Google’s Cast enabled devices which are not available to Amazon’s Echo. First, is the ability to issue command to all Google Cast enabled speakers. The father in the clip issued, “Google, turn on music to all the rooms.” as a way to wake up the kids in the house. The other feature was to issue a show command which triggered a Chromecast to play a video. There was also a sequence where the father asked Google to check the traffic and upon reporting the traffic, the shortest route was sent to the phone.

For the time being, Google has offered scarce details on Google Home. It guaranteed integration to Cast enabled devices and services such as making dinner reservations and text messaging. It will be interesting to see the availability as well as the price. Google indicated that they purposely limited its functionality of the Home but it must have some wow factor to get people to jump from Amazon’s Echo or have both the Home and Echo in the same house.

The battle of the smart home is on!

No Cast Devices Found – Solution

Imagine if you got off work, made dinner, ate, and cleaned up. You sit down and relax hoping to catch up on Netflix exclusive TV show and you get the “No Cast Devices Found” error. You just watched it the day prior. You try to power cycle the Chromecast and reboot your phone just in case. Same. Here are some things you can try according to Google’s Device Discovery troubleshooter:

-Make sure TV is on and source input is set to HDMI connected to Chromecast

-Reboot Chromecast using the Chromecast app or by unplugging the USB power cable

-Make sure you are on the same WiFi network. Your source cannot be on different WiFi networks including 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

-Check to make sure your device triggering the cast is in sync. If not sync the clock.

-Check other devices if it can see the Chromecast

-Reboot your router

-Ensure AP isolation is disabled on your router’s settings

-Last resort, perform a factory reset on your Chromecast

If it still doesn’t work, contact Google support

https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6025971

Chromecast Unable to Connect to 5Ghz Wifi – Solution

wifi_5ghz

Many users are having issues connecting their Chromecast 2 to their 5ghz WiFi network. One of the major selling point for the next generation Chromecast is that it supports both 2.4 and 5GHz. If you mix up the two during setup or streaming, you will not be able to connect. Google has several recommendations. First, make sure you are on the same network from the device you are using to setup through the Chromecast App. This is essential if you want to setup your Chromecast through 5GHz but say you are using a device that can only support 2.4Ghz.

Next, make sure your router’s WiFi setting is set to mixed mode. Do not set to exclusively to a single band.

If you are still having issues, make sure your WiFi network name does not have any special characters in it. There have been reports that Chromecast doesn’t work well with special characters.

If you are running DD-WRT, make sure you are updated to the latest firmware and reboot the router. If you are still having issues, leave a comment!

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. 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.

chromecast extension 1

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.

Angry Birds Friends

 

 

 

 

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