Are you looking to cut the cord and want a streaming device for your television? Google’s latest Chromecast could be just what you need to leave your cable bill behind for good.
While Chromecast has been around for some time as a streaming option, the latest release comes with both a streaming dongle and remote control.
Previous iterations of the Chromecast have required that streamers use a computer, phone or tablet to control the stream cast on their television, so this is quite an improvement.
Chromecast vs. Chromecast with Google TV: What’s the Difference?
You may be wondering exactly what “Google TV” is and how that makes the Chromecast experience better.
In short, Google TV is an operating system that stores your apps and content on the Chromecast streaming dongle. This is similar to the way that a Roku or Amazon Fire streaming device works.
The new Chromecast also comes with a remote, and that’s an upgrade. Older versions require you to use your own phone or tablet to choose your TV content. You can still get the older version for $29.99 ($20 less than the new version).
Will the Chromecast with Google TV Be Compatible with My Television?
As long as you have an HDMI port available on your television, there is a strong chance that this version of the Chromecast will work for you. As we’ll detail later in the setup process, you’ll also need access to an electrical outlet to power the streaming dongle that you’ll plug will into that HDMI port.
The Setup Process
Once you have hooked your dongle to the television, you’ll be prompted to set up your Chromecast for use.
Early in the process, you’ll have a major choice to make: Either complete the setup using the Google Home app on your phone or on the Chromecast itself.
The Google Home app is a way to tie all of your Google devices and services into one “hub” for control of your home. Through this app, you can play music on your speakers, dim the lights in your room, change the temperature on your thermostat and control your Chromecast all through a couple of swipes on your phone.
Google says the setup process is much quicker via the Home app, but I decided to use the traditional setup process so that you can see the type of information that Google will require for use of a Chromecast.
You’ll Integrate the Chromecast Remote with Your Television
The Chromecast remote does more than just control the streaming dongle. It also can be set up to be used as your primary TV remote.
One of the final setup steps for the Chromecast is to identify your brand of television from a provided dropdown list. That lets you pair the remote to your TV for things like volume and power control.
It will take you a couple of minutes to follow some simple setup commands, but for those of us who hate using three or four remotes for the same television, this is a big win.
If you’re an existing Chromecast user, the upgrade to this newer version with a remote and Google TV capabilities is a no-brainer. You’ll get all of the functionality that you love from your Chromecast with some new bells and whistles. This also is a great option for a new streamer who is looking for a first device after cutting the cord. However, if you’re an existing Amazon Fire TV or Roku device owner, you’re not likely to find anything on this device that is worth overhauling your existing setup. At this point, all three companies are offering high-quality devices.
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