How To Video
Set up the Google ChromecastIs Google's Chromecast media streamer as easy to set up as they say? CNET's Donald Bell walks you through the process.
Google's $35 Chromecast gives us a new affordable way to stream media from any of our mobile devices to any HD TV. I'm Donald Bell and in this How To I'm gonna show you how to set this up and make it work with a number of different devices including Android tablet, iPhone or laptop. Now, as simple as this thing looks, set up does take a few minutes to complete. Plug it into an open HDMI port, connect the power cord to either a USB cord on your TV or the included power adapter, then select the HDMI input you're using and you should see a setup screen. Now, unlike an Apple TV or a Roku, there's now remote control for the Chromecast and no Ethernet port. So, you have to connect this thing to a WiFi network and to do that, it's gonna need some help from another device. Now, whether you have a laptop or a phone or a tablet, make sure it's connected to the same WiFi network you plan to use for the Chromecast and direct the browser to google.com/chromecast/setup, preferably using Google's own Chrome browser. On this Mac, I was directed to download the Chromecast app, I'll open it up and it searches for any nearby Chromecast. I'll make sure that the names match before I hit continue since highjacking my neighbor's Chromecast probably won't make them too happy. Once the computer and the Chromecast are connected to each other, you'll see a unique 4-digit code on the screen. Since it matches the one on my computer, I'll click That's My Code. Next, I'll choose the WiFi network I wanted to use from the drop-down list and another password. You also have the option to give your Chromecast a name if you're prone to naming your tech. Now, on a TV here, we can see that the Chromecast is trying to connect to the network and there it goes. We're all ready to cast. Now, once that's set, the application in my laptop here points me back over to the Chrome browser and installs a Chromecast plugin which gives me this little button over here on the corner. When I press it, you can send your page over to the Chromecast while still controlling it locally on your computer. On YouTube, you'll see a specific Chromecast button down on the corner of the video player, which displays the video full screen on the TV. On Android, you'll see the same Chromecast buttons in media apps like Netflix, YouTube and Google Play. Just make sure you're on that same WiFi network as your Chromecast or you're not gonna get very far. You also notice that when you're throwing content over to Chromecast, that your device turns into a kind of remote control which you can use to play, pause or adjust the volume. The same goes for iPads and iPhones. So, as long as you're on the same network, you should see the Chromecast option here for Netflix and YouTube and support for Pandora is also expected soon. One last thing I wanna touch on are settings. Back here on my laptop with the Chrome browser open, you'll see a Settings option here when you click the Chromecast button. Here you can throttle or raise the video quality, resize your browser page to fit the TV screen and even change the zoom setting for video playback. There's nothing here I recommend in particular but it's good to know where these Settings are. So, that's how to set up and use a Chromecast. If you're on the fence about getting one, check out our full review over on CNET, and more How To videos, howto.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell, thanks for watching.