Watching the new Planet Earth 2 trailer, I realised the Google Chromecast has been around for a while, but there’s still plenty of people out there who don’t know what it is, or how it is a great addition to the home or business.

The Chromecast itself is a small puck that hooks into your TV, projector or monitor using a HDMI cable, and is powered by a USB cable. Most Smart TVs have both, so you can attach and power the Chromecast easily.

chromecast2Using the new Google Home app (iOS & Android), you connect to the Chromecast and securely share the WiFi password to it. And that’s the setup.

So what next?

Google has made sharing to your screen really easy. You can ‘cast’ a range of applications to your TV. For example, if you want to watch YouTube, NEON, Lightbox or Netflix on the big screen, you can cast them from your phone or tablet to the TV. All the processing is handled by the Chromecast so you won’t need to worry about your battery being gobbled up, and you can still use it like you normally do!

For example, if you want to watch YouTube, NEON, Lightbox or Netflix on the big screen, you can cast them from your phone or tablet to the TV. All the processing is handled by the Chromecast so you won’t need to worry about your battery being gobbled up, and you can still use it to do other stuff.

It can also cast music from Spotify, especially good if you have a sound system connected to your TV. Playing multi-player games on the Chromecast is especially fun, allowing you to still use your phone or tablet as the controller. It can also be used for presentations and sharing web pages, ideal for business where it helps get things done!

I’ve been using Google’s Chromecast for a while now, and at a reasonable price of $70, it won’t put too much of a dent in the wallet. My view is that Smart TV interfaces tend to be clunky, so why not use the interface you’re most used to, your phone?

It’s quick, with minimal to no lag, and is great for sharing those photos of your last adventure, you can even set them up as backgrounds for the TV, personalising it to your pleasure.

If your folks are sitting in front of the TV on their phones or tablets, think about getting them a Chromecast for Christmas (yes I know it’s still 6 weeks away!), it’s a great way to share more and enjoy together.

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