Gone are the days where you need to rush home to your TV screen to watch a must-see TV like the World Series. Today, you have multiple means of watching the World Series. First, you can DVR it but that isn’t exciting. With the Internet, smart phones, and social media, it is almost impossible to avoid finding out the result if you watch the game at a later time. You can also follow game casts through Yahoo Sports, ESPN, or MLB.com where you can almost see pitch by pitch updates. However, if you want to watch near real time stream of the game you have a few (legal) options.
Unfortunately, none of these are free with the exception of Sling TV. With Sling TV, you can get a free 7 day trial but it requires a valid credit card and you must cancel prior. If you have a cable / satellite subscription, you can use Fox Sports Go for free with your cable / satellite sign in.
Google 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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AllCast 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.
First, you install AllCast app and select your Chromecast device.
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!
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