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What is Chromecast, and does it Work with a Desktop PC and Laptop

By: Admin

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August 22, 2023

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Google Chromecast is a remarkable device designed to immerse you in your favourite TV shows and music on your PC and laptop. It can plug into one of the HDMI ports on your computer, tablet or laptop, allowing you to enjoy streaming services on larger screens.  

Over the past few years, it has gained significant attention from casual users and tech enthusiasts due to its compact size and multiple capabilities. Users can navigate various apps on their laptop or computer, change the volume, and browse using voice commands. 

This comprehensive article covers all the necessary knowledge – from what Chromecast is and how to use it, from laptops and PCs to project media on TV, features of Chromecast, to common pitfalls you might face while connecting to a Chromecast device. 

What is Chromecast, exactly?

Chromecast is a tech streaming media adapter developed by Google in 2013 as a small dongle that can be plug in into the HDMI port of a monitor, TV, laptop, or desktop computer. It provides a seamless way to stream video and audio media from the internet and compatible apps and websites from a connected device with an HDMI cable.  

It's a budget-friendly option with features similar to a smart TV, providing access to some of the best streaming services, including Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Google Play Store.  

The notion behind Chromecast was to revolutionise the landscape of dumb and outdated monitors or TVs. Now, the critical difference between the latest TVs and dumb ones has been bridged – simply allowing you to plug the Chromecast into the back of a TV; modern TVs can show and play live content, movies, and audio at higher settings.  

Not only that, but Google Chromecast is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry and use with your laptop or desktop PC, no matter whether you're sitting in the office, in a hotel room, or on a flight. 

How Does a Google Chromecast Device Work?

A few versions of Chromecast are available on the market, all of which work almost the same. The 1st Generation Chromecast was launched in 2015, followed by a 2nd Generation Chromecast, Chromecast Audio (2015) and Chromecast Ultra (2016).  

The process of connecting to Chromecast is straightforward and hassle-free. You only need to click the Chromecast device on any laptop, desktop computer PC, or Television and watch material from your phone, tablet, or computer on a larger screen.  

To activate the Chromecast on your device, download the Google Home app. Just plug it in the HDMI port of your intended device, connect to Wi-Fi, and here you go – enjoy your favourite Netflix series, HBO Max, Hulu, Spotify, and more from your mobile device or computer PC to the TV no matter of time. 

Before delving into their working procedure, let's discuss the specifications of all of these Chromecast versions. 

  

Specifications 

Chromecast Gen 1 

Chromecast Gen 2 

Chromecast Ultra 

Memory 

512 MB RAM DDR3L  

512 MB RAM DDR3L 

N/A 

Display  

Supports all resolutions up to 1080p 

Supports all resolutions up to 1080p 

Supports resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) for superior picture quality, in up to 60 fps 

Storage 

2 GB 

256 Mb 

N/A 

Length 

72 mm x 35 mm x 12 mm 

51.9 mm x 51.9 mm x 13.8 mm 

58.2 mm x 58.2 x 13.70 mm 

Connectivity 

HDMI, WI-FI, Ethernet port (optional USB power adapter) 

HDMI, WI-FI, Ethernet port (optional USB power adapter) 

HDMI plugs directly into the TV. 

USB-C for power and data 

Ethernet port on the Ethernet power adaptor (sold separately) 

Weight 

34 g 

39.1 g 

56.7 g 

Power Supply 

Micro USB 

Micro USB 

Micro USB 

Compatible Operating Systems 

Android  

iOS  

Mac  

Windows 

Android  

iOS  

Mac  

Windows 

Android  

iOS  

Mac  

Windows 

Wireless Standards 

WEP 

WPA/WPA2 

WEP 

WPA/WPA2 

WPA2 

To start using Chromecast on your laptop or desktop PC, you first must ensure that Chromecast and the device you intend to connect for streaming (laptop, computer, mobile) must have the same internet connection. Doing so is critical because Chromecast shares data through the WI-FI network, and both devices work if connected to the Wi-Fi network's 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. 

You can also share a video from your mobile phone with your family and friends by linking your Google Chromecast device with your Google Home app on your phone.Like this,  you can play the video on the larger screen real estate, letting you fully immerse in it.  

Top 5 Features of Chromecast You Might Need to Know

Google's Chromecast is an ultraportable media-streaming device that is undoubtedly plug-and-play but holds on! You can do much more than just streaming.  

Check the most notable features of Chromecast out below. 

Make Things Family-Friendly!

Parents can supervise their kids' screen time by setting up separate profiles by linking Chromecast with Google TV. They can also specify which applications their children can open, view, and manage their screen time. For instance, if they set any specific screen time, your kids will be granted three countdown warning signs before ending their watch time.  

Enjoy Video Calls on Larger Screens Real Estate!

Video calls have become the most convenient way of communication in business and personal life. With Chromecast, you can shift your video calls from laptops or mobile phones to larger screens of monitors or TVs. There are multiple ways to do this, including: 

As your Chromecast supports Google Meet, you can make or join a call on your Television or computer by tapping the three dots and opening the menu. You'll find an option to cast the video meeting on the main menu. Tap on the Chromecast, your video or audio call will be open on your monitor screen.  

On the other side of the spectrum, if you want to make a video call on Teams, Zoom, or any other similar software, you'll need to use the "screen mirroring" feature. Through this, you can mirror your screen if you're having a call through the Android phone or Chrome Browser.  

Ask Google Assistant to Pop Up Your Favourites!

Chromecast lets you get to your watchlist instead of searing and scrolling down the main menu. On the right side of the remote, hold on to the Google Assistant and ask, "Show me my watchlist". You can also open your supported apps in this way. You can still play any of the Netflix season or YouTube videos if you have a Google Smart Home device but an outdated Chromecast without a remote.  

Customise the Chromecast's Background!

In addition to  accessing your favourite video and audio content, you can customise your Chromecast with Ambient Mode. You can select the background images from your selection or find something from landscape photography or satellite photos. Adding images to the Chromecast will protect it against burn-in and switch the semi-reflective surface of a black screen into something which brightness and colours to the environment. 

Here is how you can do this: 

  • On the Google Home app, navigate to the gear icon, and tap on Ambient Mode. 
  • Choose any images you want to put on the Chromecast's background.  
  • For a low bandwidth mode, tap on "Experimental". 
  • You can add other options, including date, time, and weather. 

Get the Most Out of Chromecast's Guest Mode! 

We all have guests in our homes; however sometimes, we don't want to invade our privacy. Chromecast also helps here by allowing you to decide what they can access on your TV or what they cannot without giving them WI-FI access.  

You can turn on the Guest Mode in the older versions of Google Chromecast. Go to Google Apps -> choose Chromecast -> navigate to the settings cog -> tap on recognition & sharing -> tap on the Guest Mode -> toggle it on. When the guests intend to watch something, they will navigate to the cast icon in a compatible application, tap on the nearby device, and enter the four-digit PIN you'll provide them. 

How to Set Up Google Chromecast?

You can activate your Chromecast device in three easy and simple steps.  

  • Firstly, link your Chromecast to an available HDMI port on your television or monitor. 
  • Go to the Chromecast setup page and install Google Home App for Android users or the Apple app for iOS users. 
  • Instructions will pop up on your screens; follow them carefully to use your Chromecast effectively. 
  • Connecting your mobile phone with the Chromecast device is not a thumb rule. You can read the on-screen instructions to find out how to do that.  

How to Connect Chromecast with a Laptop or Desktop PC Computer?

As discussed earlier, you can use your Chromecast with the laptop desktop PC to project media on the Television's screen. As Chromecast is Google's tool, it is easy to set it up from Google Chrome. However, for people who use Mozilla Firefox, several extensions are available to connect Chromecast to the system. Follow the below-given methods. 

For Google Chrome

1. Connect the Chromecast device to the TV! 

Make sure your TV and Chromecast are sharing the internet connection. Plug the HDMI end of the Google Chromecast Device into the HDMI port of the Television and the USB end of the Chromecast into the USB power adapter. 

With the Remote Control of Television, change your TV's Source Input to suit the device to which Chromecast has been connected. 

Hold on to the designated button on the remote control and ensure the Television display changes according to the chosen HDMI Port. 

2. Set Up Chromecast with Google Home App!

After connecting the Chromecast to the TV, the next step is to set up Google Home App on your mobile device.  

  • Go to the menu bar in the upper-right corner of your browser window (marked by three vertical dots). From the menu that displays, tap on "Cast." 
  • When you click on that option, a dialogue box called "Cast tab" will be opened. The "Enable casting to cloud-based services like Google Hangouts" option is in this dialogue box. Make sure this option is checked. 
  • If you enable this option,  you can immediately share your screen with a nearby device, such as a projector, TV, or even Google Hangout. 
  • If you have multiple devices connected with the "Cast", the dialogue box will show you the drop-down menu, from which you can use your intended device. 
  • After identifying the device, you can choose where to direct your laptop or desktop's tab. 

For Mozilla Firefox 

If you are using Mozilla Firefox as your go-to computing browser, you can install extensions for Mozilla Firefox to help you cast the media on your TV screens. 

How Can You Cast a Browser Tab?

Tap on the tab you want to cast on your Chromecast device. Choose the cast tab option, ensuring you select the suitable device on which you want to cast the tab. If you do not choose any devices, Chromecast will start throwing them on the laptop or desktop computer itself. You'll also need to make sure that the Chromecast is connected to the TV via the HDMI port and that the TV is powered on.  

If you want to stop casting the tab, right-click on the account you're presently casting. This action will open the Cast dialogue box, where you may manage the cast settings. To hide the dialogue box, click the 'x' in the window's upper-right corner. 

What to do to Cast a Supported Website? 

Some websites, such as Netflix and YouTube, have specific cast options. These websites offer a particular set of cast choices on their video and audio settings. On the videos tab, there is a small icon; by tapping that icon, you can cast them on the TV.  

The critical difference between casting a website from a laptop and casting a browser tab lies in the fluidity of the casting experience. Launching a video directly from the browser will be faster and hassle-free compared to casting the complete browser tab. 

What are the Some Google Chromecast Problems and their Solutions? 

Here is a list of pitfalls you might face when connecting your TV with Chromecast and the solutions to fix them. 

Chromecast isn't Displaying Up!

One of the major issues you might face during your Chromecast casting is that you cannot find Goggle's Chromecast device on the available options in the Google Home App.  

This might be because your Google Home App Store is not installed correctly. To fix this issue, try restarting your Chrome browser, unplugging the connected devices, and then plugging in again. If the problem persists, restore the system and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall Google Home App. 

Audio isn't Available! 

Sometimes the audio must be connected while visual media is cast on the TV. In this case, you must ensure your PC's sound system is enabled and working correctly. Check if the "muted" option is unchecked in the bottom corner of your video.  

Another thing you should do is evaluate the speakers properly. You can try Google's troubleshooting form if you need help solving these problems.  

Lag Between Chromecast Device and Laptop/Desktop PC! 

Another that you might encounter is a significant lag between your Chromecast device and the device you're connecting to. In this case, first, ensure both devices are connected to the same internet connection. You can set the Chromecast and laptop as higher priorities in the router dashboard.  

Lag may also occur due to insufficient storage space in your computer or PC. So, use the task manager and close unnecessary applications or software running in the background, delete junk files, reconnect your Chromecast, and restart the PC. 

Only a Small Section of the Screen is Visible! 

Ensure you have chosen the appropriate options for "Cast desktop" and not "Cast Tab". If this doesn't work, zoom in 100% on the screen. Checking your TV's and laptop's aspect ratio may also fix the issue. 

Final Word 

In essence, Google Chromecast is the most impressive solution for transforming your entertainment experience, whether connecting it to a laptop or desktop PC. This innovative gadget allows users to enjoy their favourite content seamlessly on larger screens. This comprehensive article has provided deep insights into Chromecast's function, compatibility, and ways to use it with a laptop or desktop computer, highlighting troubleshooting remedies. 

Overall, if you have an excellent WI-FI connection, the latest laptop or a computer PC, you can connect to your Chromecast and enjoy its impressive features. Explore a wide range of cutting-edge laptops, notebooks, and desktop computer PCs available at Laptop Outlet to find the compatible one with your Chromecast device.

So, why wait any longer? Visit Laptop Outlet, find the best laptop or desktop computer to seamlessly connect with Chromecast and revamp how you engage with media! 

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