If you are a tech enthusiast, you must have heard of the Google Chromecast device. One of the most revolutionary devices from Google’s line of products, the Chromecast is a series of digital media players. Up till now, it has 5 models:
- 1st generation launched on July 24, 2013
- 2nd generation and Chromecast Audio launched on September 29, 2015
- Chromecast Ultra launched on November 6, 2016
- 3rd generation launched on October 10, 2018
- Chromecast with Google TV launched on September 30, 2020
Google Chromecast is truly an astounding innovation. It has gained so much popularity that in less than 7 years of its inception, it has already sold up to 30–55 million units!
What is the Google Chromecast?
The Chromecast devices are basically small dongle-like contraptions that can play both audio and video content right off of the internet onto your TV screen or home audio system. Simply choose what you want to play through your cell phone, through your PC, or by sending a command to your Google Assistant.
However, only content that has the Google Cast feature supported can be played. But good news for you; your favorite streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc. are all compatible with the Chromecast. So go ahead and start streaming!
Factors to Consider Before Buying Google Chromecast
When you purchase Google’s Chromecast, it comes with the device, a power cable, an adapter, and its own instructions manual. However, there is a list of things mentioned by Google Support that you should need for being able to use the Chromecast without facing any hindrances. Here are some of the important points:
- The Chromecast itself.
- Google Home application updated to the latest version.
- Google app latest version (only available on Android. Download from here)
- Google account to log in from.
- Display device equipped with HDMI input port, for instance, a high-definition television (HDTV).
- An Android smartphone or tablet.
- The smartphone or tablet must support a 5 GHz connection to pair the Chromecast on a 5 GHz connection. Note: WPA2-Enterprise network is not supported.
- Meet the minimum Operating System (OS) requirements to run Google’s Home app.
- A stable internet connection.
- Access to a secure wireless network. Ensure you have the wireless network password handy.
How to Setup Google Chromecast Device?
Here are the step-by-step details that most people often get confused with, particularly how to connect Chromecast to Wi-Fi:
1. Plug-in the Google Chromecast Device
The first thing you need to do right after unboxing is to press the power button and turn on the device. Right after this, plug it into the USB power cable that is included in the box. Then, connect the Chromecast device to your TV’s HDMI port. Finally, plug the power adapter into an electrical socket.
A Welcome screen will prompt on your TV screen.
2. Download the Google Home App and Connect to Chromecast
As soon as the Chromecast is connected, your TV screen will show a prompt that instructs you to download Google Home on your phone. The app is available both for iPhone and Android phones on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
In order to connect Google Chromecast to your device, it will show itself as an open unsecured Access Point in your Wi-Fi settings. The name will be the same as the one mentioned in the bottom left of the welcome screen that was displayed on your TV when the Chromecast was initially connected.
This initial installation cannot take place through a laptop or PC. This is because the temporary ad-hoc Access Point that the Chromecast has created will not be detected by laptops or PCs. It can only be done with a mobile phone or tablet.
In the newer models, the device easily connects over Bluetooth too. If it doesn’t, check if your Bluetooth is turned on or not.
3. Configure Google Chromecast to a Wi-Fi Device
1. On the landing page of Google Home, tap on the “Add” option in the middle of the screen.
2. Now, click on “Set up device”.
3. Then, click on “Set up new devices in your home”.
4. It will ask you to “Choose a home”.
5. It will now start looking for devices. Eventually, it will find the Chromecast device by the same name as the one mentioned on the welcome prompt that was displayed on the TV screen upon plugging in.
6. The next step will be to pair the TV and the Chromecast by confirming a code that is displayed both on your phone as well as your TV screen. Tap on “Yes” and your Chromecast has successfully connected to the TV screen.
7. You can even choose which area of the house the device is located in, for ease of identification, for example, Living Room, or Bedroom, etc.
8. After this, Google Home will ask you to connect the Chromecast to Wi-Fi.
4. How to Connect Chromecast to Wi-Fi
After the basic setup and configuration are completed, the app usually redirects you to the Wi-Fi settings. If that is not the case for you, no need to worry!
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect Google Chromecast to a Wi-Fi network;
1. Go to the Google Home app landing page and tap your Chromecast device.
2. Tap on the gear icon on the top right side to open the settings.
3. Select the Wi-Fi you would like to connect your device with.
4. After selecting the Wi-Fi network, input the password and connect.
And you are all done!
Be sure to connect the Chromecast to the Wi-Fi network you usually use on your phone or tablet, because that is how the content is cast onto the TV screen.
Your device is all ready to start streaming media for you!
How to Cast Media Content on Google Chromecast
Chromecast can be sent commands from either your phone or from your computer by clicking on the Google Cast icon from any app that is compatible. The Chromecast for desktop has even more versatility because it mirrors your screen.
1. All you have to do is click on the three dots on the top right corner of the Google Chrome browser and click on “Cast”.
2. A tab will pop out and appear as a Google Cast icon in the extensions bar on the top right of your Chrome browser.
3. By clicking on the “Sources” option, you can choose if you want to cast a browser tab, your desktop, or a file on your PC. Yes, this means you can easily cast all your private PC folders too onto the big screen!
Many apps are compatible with the Google Cast feature now. All the content from those apps can directly play on your TV screen. Apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. are now just a button click away from big screen premiering whenever you want.
On your phone, simply open the media content on the Cast-enabled app and then click on the Google Cast icon.
The best part about the Cast feature is that it does not occupy any processing power in your device, whether if it’s a phone, a tablet, or a PC. The Chromecast does all that for you.
No need to worry about low RAM, your device will be able to support casting the content so long as it is able to support the Google Home app. You can even go out of range from the Chromecast after sending out the Cast command – the playback will still continue. How cool is that?
How to Shift the Google Chromecast to Another Wi-Fi
If you are facing issues with connecting Chromecast to another Wi-Fi or if you want to change the network, the process is fairly easy.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change the Wi-Fi network on Chromecast.
1. Make sure your Chromecast device is connected to the same internet connection as your phone, tablet, or PC.
2. Open the Google Home app.
3. Tap on your Chromecast device on the landing page of the app.
4. Go to “Settings” by tapping on the gear icon on the top right corner.
5. Scroll down to “Wi-Fi”.
6. To change your Wi-Fi network, simply tap the Wi-Fi name, and then “Forget Network”.
7. After tapping “Forget Network”, connect the Chromecast to a new Wi-Fi network by following the steps mentioned above.
If you have changed your internet connection and no longer have access to the previously fed Wi-Fi, you will not be able to communicate with the Chromecast device. This is because Chromecast can only remember one Wi-Fi connection at a time.
In this case, reset the device to factory settings manually to remove the old Wi-Fi network by following the steps suggested by Google Support. When you are done resetting the device, connect Chromecast to Wi-Fi using the steps previously mentioned.
How to Resolve Chromecast to Wi-Fi Connection Issues
If you’re having trouble connecting Chromecast to your home Wi-Fi network, here are a few troubleshooting tips to fix the issue.
1. Wi-Fi Strength
It’s possible the device is not getting a strong Wi-Fi signal from your router and therefore won’t connect to the internet. Additionally, make sure that you place your Wi-Fi router close to your TV and Chromecast for better connectivity. If you’re still having connection issues, it’s possible that the router isn’t strong enough to transmit a stronger wifi network. You might want to consider purchasing a wifi extender.
2. Reboot Chromecast
Alternatively, rebooting the device can help fix network issues like failure to connect to the Wi-Fi. To reboot Chromecast, simply head over to the installed Google Home App. Next, tap your device and search for the Settings area. Tap “More Settings” and then tap “Reboot”. Rebooting your router/modem could also work.
3. Factory Reset Chromecast to Refresh the Wi-Fi
If you’re sure nothing is wrong with your router/modem and rebooting the device doesn’t seem to work, you might want to consider resetting the device back to factory settings. However, doing so will erase any saved data, including your Wi-Fi network name, password, and other configurations.
4. Update your Chromecast firmware
You may not be aware of this but a common Wi-Fi network issue affecting most Chromecast devices is a failure to update it to the latest firmware version. Consider updating your device firmware as soon as a new version is out to avoid network connectivity issues.
5. Reconnect the Chromecast to the Wi-Fi Network on Your Device
Also try turning Wi-Fi on and off on the device you’re using to connect to Chromecast, like a smartphone or computer. Maybe reconnecting the Wi-Fi network on your device may be the solution to Chromecast’s Wi-Fi connection problems
6. Check the App Version
Especially, make sure that you’re using the latest Google Home App, not the older app version for connecting to your Chromecast.
7. Restart All Devices
Try to unplug both your router and Chromecast device from their power outlet for at least 5 minutes before reconnecting. During this time, it would be a good idea to turn your smartphone or computer off. This might help fix the Wi-Fi network connection problem you’re facing.
8. Check Dual-band Router Bandwidth
If you’re currently using a dual-band router, set up your Chromecast device on either one of these speeds- 2.4GHz or 5 GHz. 5GHz offers the fastest bandwidth, so the Wi-Fi signal to your device will be stronger.