Which Chromecast should I buy?
Chromecasts are clever little devices, but with a few varieties now out, which is the one for me? Check out our whistle-stop guide to Chromecast devices…
26 Oct 2017
The ability to stream films, TV shows and music to your computer really expands your entertainment options, but now you’d probably want to enjoy these new options on your high definition TV or on great quality speakers.
But how do you connect your devices without upgrading to specialist wireless speakers or a Smart TV?
Google technology allows you to utilise all of the new streaming options on your existing tech for quite the bargain price.
What is Chromecast?
Chromecast is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers or TV – connecting them to the internet. This allows you to ‘cast’ what’s on your device’s screen or playing through your headphones onto the TV screen or speaker set.
What is casting and how does it work?
Casting transforms your smartphone into the remote control – using your home Wi-Fi, the content from your smartphone or smart device is streamed onto your TV or speakers from a cast-enabled app. You can keep using your device without interrupting what's playing or draining the battery, and can also mirror your screen if on an Android device.
To ‘cast’ simply click on the icon – a rectangle with the Wi-Fi symbol in the corner. Loads of apps come with the cast icon – Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Google Play are cast-enabled apps – and there are many more.
Chromecast for TVs
Easy to use and inconspicuous – the original Chromecast is a small circular device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV.
It’s straightforward to set up on your smart device, whether that’s your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet. You download the Google Home app and follow a few simple steps. The most important thing is to make sure both the mobile device and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Don’t skimp on quality – Chromecast can stream Full HD resolution. And Chromecast is significantly cheaper than upgrading to a Smart TV – it’s the most affordable way to transform your existing telly into a Netflix streaming, box-set binging hub.
What about 4K TVs? Consider the Chromecast Ultra
If you have bought or are thinking of buying a 4K TV, the Chromecast Ultra is the one to consider. 4K TVs can offer up to four times the detail of a Full HD screen and Chromecast Ultra ensures you don’t miss out on any of that detail in the 4K quality shows you choose to stream.
Chromecast Ultra is perfect for watching the ever-growing range of 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
What about HDR?
HDR video offers improved contrast and colour range, which the latest 4K TVs support, as does Chromecast Ultra.
Perhaps you’re worried about whether your Wi-Fi can handle the 4K or HDR detail? Not to worry, this Chromecast plugs directly into your Ethernet port for a stable wired connection.
Chromecast Audio – the one for speakers
Do you want to listen to Spotify, Google Play Music and other online music services through speakers that aren’t Wi-Fi enabled?
Simply plug Chromecast Audio into your speaker’s AUX port and download the Google Home app to send music from your phone to pump out on your surround sound system - all over Wi-Fi. It’s a serious speaker upgrade for a great price – only about £30.
Chromecast Audio works in the same way as its TV counterpart - download the app you want to stream music from and hit the ‘cast’ button to turn your phone or tablet into your speakers’ remote control.
Chromecast Audio works with iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets.