Google’s Chromecast is its answer to Apple’s Apple TV, the air-play/air-mirror streaming service. If you have not had a chance to try out Chromecast, you are missing out! I’d say Google’s Chromecast is by far the best $35 you can spend on any gadget this year, the best impulse buy for 2013 and maybe in 2014. Some say that Chromecasts still falls behind Apple TV. But in my opinion, if you are a geek like us, you can always make Chromecast better.
Here are some tips and tricks for you to use Chromecast on a Windows device.
Chromecast Initial Setup Require a Wireless Device
If you only have a desktop that connects to the Ethernet, you won’t be able to set up your Chromecast. You will need a wireless device, whether it’s a wireless PC, a Mac, an Android or an iOS device, to start with. You can go and download the corresponding apps here first and to set up your very first Chromecast on your local network. As soon as you have your Chromecast set up, you won’t be required to only stream via a wireless device, a computer connected via Ethernet works just fine.
How To Stream Local Video and Audio ( MP3 ) To Chromecast
Remember, everything that Chrome browser can play can be casted onto Chromecast, both audio and video. Chrome browser supports some HTML5 video formats such as MP4 and MKV, so these media files can be played out of the box in Chrome and cast to Chromecast without any issue. For other file formats like AVI, you can download the DivX plugin for chrome to play it.
What’s amazing is that you can just drag and drop the video file onto Chrome browser, press the Chromecast app button on the toolbar, and sit back, enjoy the show on your big TV screen.
YouTube and Netflix Have First Class Citizen Support on Chromecast
Google made Chromecast special when streaming YouTube and Netflix videos, which means that those videos directly goes on play to your Chromecast without loading from your computer then streaming to the device. If you have the Chromecast extension installed on your Chrome, when loading those specific website, there will be a special casting button on the corner that you can click to enable to stream the content directly to the TV via your Chromecast. The best part? You don’t need to have your computer open the entire time while the movie is playing.
Chromecast streaming via YouTube? Oh yes, seamlessly. By the way, do you know you can find full length HD movies on YouTube?
Chromecast Your Entire Desktop – The AirPlay Mirroring For Windows
This is why Chromecast is even better than Apple TV, you can literally stream anything to the big TV through it. Click the drop-down arrow next to “Cast this tab to ..” you will see the option to cast the entire screen, your desktop, to the big TV via Chromecast. Note that, if you have dual monitor it will cast both screen in a reduced size to the TV. Hence, for the best performance and viewing experience, it would be better if you disable one of the monitors and only cast one at a time.
Optimize Chromecast For Maximize Performance
In the option settings, you can update the projection quality to the best that your wireless network supports.
There are even more advanced options you can try to enable to show more settings, but it’s questionable if those settings would ever work the way you specifies. This requires you to hack into the source code of the settings page (HTML), update and remove one of the display none flag.
That’s it, there are a lot you can do with Chromecast. The best is still ahead, wait till Google opens up its API for more services and see what’s more coming. It seems to me that Google’s Chromecast will only get better over the time. So why wait?