Where can you buy a ChromeCast device

Google Chromecast: The Best Tips & Tricks

Sandra Ohse, Peter Stelzel-Morawietz

No smart TV, no WiFi and no network connection on the television? No problem. Because Google Chromecast streams almost everything to the TV set and can do a lot more than the manufacturer promises.

EnlargeGoogle promises that it is very easy to experience videos and music from the Internet on your television. Is that all the Chromecast can do? Fortunately not.
© Photo: © cunaplus - Fotolia.com

With the Chromecast stick from Google, content can be transferred from your mobile device (Android and iOS) as well as from the Chrome browser to the television in the living room in your home Wi-Fi. This works with any TV set that has an HDMI input. The number of apps with Chromecast connection was initially very limited, but now hundreds support the function - otherwise you can not get a smart TV that inexpensively and conveniently. The stick is compatible with mobile iOS devices as well as Android smartphones and tablets. The stick can also be used with Windows or Mac computers. Chromecast only plays content natively from the Internet, but not from local devices. The stick streams a wide variety of multimedia content such as films, series, TV programs, music, photos and even games directly from the network, the smartphone or tablet app (for Android, iOS and Windows Phone) only gives a control command in the form a playback url. The mobile device itself can meanwhile be used for other purposes. The content is only played via the PC itself when broadcasting via the Chromecast extension of the Chrome browser.

Tip: Get more out of Android, Chrome, and Chromecast

The Chromecast devices

There are now a total of three different Chromecast models on the market. Below are the two Chromecast sticks of the first and second generation as well as the Chromecast Audio.

EnlargeThe Google Chromecast 1 was still visually reminiscent of a USB stick.

Google Chromecast 1: Google launched the first version of the smart TV stick in Germany in 2014. In the USA, the device was already available a year earlier. With the small gadget for 35 euros, audio and video content can be streamed over the WLAN. It supports the standards WLAN 802.11b / g / n (802.11n only with 2.4 GHz). The maximum resolution for video output is 1080p. The WLAN encryption standards WEP, WPA and WPA2 should ensure the secure transmission of the content. The TV stick is also CEC-compatible. Control functions such as “One Touch Play”, “System Standby”, “One Touch Record” etc. are available. You can supply the Chromecast with power using the USB cable and power adapter included in the delivery.

EnlargeThe second generation Chromecast TV stick comes with a new round design. Connect the device to your television using an HDMI connector.

Google Chromecast 2: While the Chromecast TV stick of the first generation was still very reminiscent of a USB stick, Google has completely redesigned the design for the successor model. The gadget, which costs 39 euros, has a new, round look and is available in a total of three colors. In addition to the new look, the device's WiFi performance has also improved. It now offers support for the WLAN standards 802.11 b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz). Like its predecessor, the Chromecast 2 also supports the WEP, WPA and WPA2 security standards. In addition, a total of three separately integrated antennas should now ensure maximum WiFi reception.

EnlargeYou can easily connect the Chromecast audio to your speaker using a 3.5 millimeter jack cable.

Chromecast Audio

In addition to the TV Chromecast stick, Google also has a practical streaming device for music enthusiasts: the Chromecast Audio. With the small gadget you can make your speakers WLAN-enabled. According to the manufacturer, the device supports lossless high-resolution audio, also known as HD audio.

With a 3.5 millimeter jack cable, you simply connect the device to your loudspeaker and you can then stream music from your mobile device. You can also adjust the volume from your mobile device.

EnlargeLet the app guide you through the setup steps for your Chromecast device.

Installation instructions

It only takes a few steps to set up the Chromecast devices. PC-WELT tells you how the installation works in detail:

Chromecast TV sticks: The stick, which weighs just 30 grams, is set up really quickly: plug it into one of the HDMI sockets on the television, supply it with power using the power supply unit or a USB cable via a free USB socket on the television, and switch it on. To set up, control and play, you still need the free Google Cast app (Android, iOS and Windows Phone). Open the application and then agree to the privacy policy. Now select the item “Chromecast” under the “Devices” tab. Confirm your entry with "Setup". Then compare the combination of numbers displayed on your TV with the code on your mobile device and tap on “I see the code” if both match. Now use the app to establish a WiFi connection for your TV stick. To do this, select the relevant network and enter the associated password. Important: Your smartphone must be connected to the same WiFi network as your Chromecast device.

EnlargeCheck that the code your smartphone displays matches the one on the TV screen.

Chromecast Audio: Connect your Chromecast Audio to the box through which you want to listen to music with a 3.5 millimeter jack cable. Also connect the streaming stick to a power source. Then install the Google Cast application on your mobile device. If you are opening the app for the first time, you must first accept the privacy policy and then log in with your Google account. Now select the option “Chromecast Audio” under “Devices” and then tap on “Setup”. You can test the connection with the help of a tone signal. To do this, tap on the "Play test tone" option. Complete the configuration. Finally, select the correct WiFi network to which you want to connect the Chromecast Audio and enter the corresponding password.