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How to set up and use Google's new Chromecast

Want to start casting apps to your TV? Here's what you need to know.

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Google last week announced a brand new Chromecast streaming device. The new model features a slight redesign and includes support for faster 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. The Chromecast allows users to "cast" content from apps such as Spotify, Netflix, Google Photos and YouTube from their smartphones to their TV screens. There's even a way to cast your entire computer screen to the TV.

Here's how you can set it up to work with your phone, Android device and computer:

  • Plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port located at the back of your TV.
  • Connect the Micro-USB power cord to the Chromecast.
  • Enable Wi-Fi on your smartphone and download the Chromecast app for your iPhone or Android device.
  • Open the app and (as long as Wi-Fi is enabled) you should see your Chromecast. Tap the setup button and wait for your Chromecast to connect.
  • You should then see an identifier code on your TV. When you do, tap "I see the code" on your phone and give your Chromecast a unique name so it's easy to find. Once you're done, click the set name button.
  • You have to then set up the Wi-Fi network. The new Chromecast supports the faster 5GHz frequency, so if you have a 5GHz routers (which many people do) make sure you choose the 5GHz network. Then enter your network password and click set network.

You can now begin casting from apps like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify and more. To do this, simply open a compatible app, tap the small Cast icon and choose your Chromecast device.

In order to cast your computer screen, you must first add the Google Cast extension to the Chrome browser. Head to the Chrome Web Store, search "Google Cast" and click Add to Chrome. When connected to the same network as your Chromecast, tap the Cast icon in the top right corner of the browser to cast your entire screen. While the quality can sometimes be downgraded, this is a good workaround for watching content that isn't officially supported on the Chromecast, such as movies and TV shows from Amazon.