What is a Chromecast? Get answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions
about the Google Chromecast.
- YouTube videos;
- Google Play Movies and TV Shows;
- lots of other Chromecast enabled streaming services;
- a browser tab in Chrome.
The Chromecast is an amazing and astonishing device because it brings the cost of video streaming technology dramatically lower than devices such as Apple TV and Roku boxes, as well as many other, more expensive, devices.
You need a Chromecast dongle, obviously, a device with an HDMI input (e.g. TV, PVR, etc) and then:
- a WiFi network connected to the Internet so the Chromecast can connect to the internet and your other devices;
- one of the devices below to cast to the Chromecast:
There are a variety of streaming media broadcasters what have enabled their services to work with Chromecast as well as Google's own products:
- Google Products:
- Google Play Music, Movies and TV Shows
- Google Slides (Presentations, from desktop Chrome browser only)
- Other content providers:
- HBO GO
- and many more providers
When you pick some content to watch on the Chromecast your device tells the Chromecast what you would like to see and then then Chromecast streams the content directly from the internet, so it's not dependent on your device downloading the content and then passing it to the Chromecast. Your device becomes a remote control for the playing content.
The only time this differs is when you cast a tab from your Chrome web browser: your web browser is downloading the content and then casting to the Chromecast.
In our experiments we found that the Chromecast works very well for watching films and TV directly from the providers, but it does not work well when you try to watch streamed content on your desktop/laptop Chrome web browser with a tab cast to the Chromecast. Casting a tab from Chrome is great for looking at Google+ photos and Google Slides presentations, etc, but due to the lag it's not such a great experience for streamed content in your browser.
At the moment Google only officially supplies the Chromecast in the US but you can find unofficial imports in the UK via Amazon (see the Steegle.com Amazon store to find them quickly). US devices seem to work around the world.
Yes you can! The setup app lets you rename them,so you can change them to something the understandable like "TV Room" and "Bedroom, rather than Chromecast0195.
This tiny device uses a low power Marvell Armada 1500-mini chip, which is ARM technology (the sort found in most smartphones). Interestingly the device actually runs a special cut down version of Android (as far as we know). The device has 512MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage.
You can find answers to more questions and basic instructions in the Google Chromecast Help Centre.