4 years of Chromecast: Here are some tricks to make the best of it

By Team Digit | Published on 25 Jul 2017
4 years of Chromecast: Here are some tricks to make the best of it
HIGHLIGHTS

It's been four years since the Google Chromecast was first announced, and it's about time you learned some new tricks for it.

It’s been four years since the Google Chromecast was first introduced in markets overseas. The device didn’t come to India right away, and the second version of the device is also in the country now. That’s actually all there is to a story about the Chromecast’s anniversary. Like many others, we could also tell you a story on how the Chromecast revolutionised media streaming, but for Indians that’s just what that will be - a story. In fact, some of us think the Chromecast pretty much sucks. And hence, we decided to take this opportunity to give you some tips and tricks on how to make the best use of your Google Chromecast.

Create a media server

Many of us have huge media libraries painstakingly built over the years, by downloading torrent after torrent. Unfortunately, though, the Chromecast doesn’t allow local playback, at least not easily. That’s why you should create a media server using Plex, to stream all your local content on the Chromecast. Just download the Plex app from Google Play and you’ll get the rest.

Cast VR onto your TV

Virtual Reality headsets are fun at first, but for those watching you, you just like a madman in a funny looking headgear. The Chromecast helps you avoid that. A Google cast compatible VR app will actually be cast onto your television, allowing viewers to see what you see. So, each time you freak or flinch, they’ll know exactly what happened, and remain interested. You can do this on Google’s Daydream View headset, a Daydream compatible phone and a Chromecast 2. You need the phone and dongle connected to the same Wi-Fi network as well.

How to play Amazon Prime Video on the Chromecast 2

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick plays spoilsport for those who subscribe to the company’s streaming service. To promote its own service, Amazon doesn’t allow Prime Video to natively stream on the Google Chromecast. Fortunately, Google had foreseen such issues, and created a Chrome extension for casting to the Chromecast. Today, this feature is weaved directly into Chrome. So, as long as you have the newest version of Chrome, you can simply press the three vertical buttons on the right and press “Cast” on the tab you want to cast.

Do this while playing Prime Video through the desktop and et voila! You have overcome Amazon’s barriers!

Chromecast beta

Well, Google calls this the Chromecast Preview Program, and says it brings stable features to those who want early access. But early access programs like this can often be buggy. They’re meant for power users who want their hands on the newest features before anyone else, without worrying about possible bugs. If you’re brave enough, you could be one of those power users.

Big screen, small sound

Streaming content on your television is good, but it can disturb others. Want to avoid that? Download an app called “LocalCast for Chromecast” from the Play Store. The app has a variety of features, but perhaps the most important one is to bypass television audio. You can still cast video onto the television, while your phone remains the audio source. Connect a headset to your phone if your phone’s not loud enough.

Download Google Play Music

If you have local music or want to subscribe to Google's music streaming service, this app will allow you to stream audio through your television. It doesn't make much sense, but helps if you don't have a Bluetooth speaker or other options for some reason.

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