Learning all about Chromecast, I was a little dubious about what it could do to help consumers to make the most of their multimedia experience. After all, if you have an iPad or iPhone and you have the latest in TV, what more could you want? The truth was that consumers want more. They want to be able to see videos and movies that are available on phones and tablets but see them on a larger format screen. Thus, it makes sense to transmit those videos to the television. After researching the problem, the solution became very clear. Chromecast did what I needed it to do.

Cost 

If you can buy this in the stores locally, you will save money. It's not an expensive item. You will pay around $29 for the Chromecast and the package includes a lead so that you can get into using it straight away. You have everything that you need in the pack and there is no need to buy additional batteries.

Setting Up

If you don't already have a Chromecast app on your phone or tablet, you can download this from any app store. Although you don't need to do anything difficult in the way of setting it up and twinning it with devices, follow the instructions you are given on the screen. It's easy to do and very soon you will find that it works very simply.

You will also need a Chrome extension if you use Chrome as your main Internet browser. This can be obtained easily. Simply type Chromecast extension into Google and Google will lead the way. 

Place the power plug into your power socket and then place the HD lead into the HDMI slot on your television. You don't even have to set up channels or a specific channel for watching your multi-media as what happens is that the TV will recognize the signal and switch the TV to the correct station for you. 

What You Can do With Chromecast

There are probably millions of other things that you can do, but I will give you details of what I have discovered so far. For example, you can stream YouTube videos onto your television. When you have the Chromecast app, this automatically places the symbol you need to press to cast the video onto your TV. You don't even have to change channels as the app does all the work for you. Simply press the oblong symbol that appears above the YouTube video until it turns blue. This represents that the Chromecast is casting and your YouTube video will then appear on the television set. The nice thing about the YouTube extension is that it allows you to queue videos, so that you can set up a whole evening's entertainment. Simply open up another video while one is playing and press the button. It will add it to the queue or you can change instantly if that is your wish. The only snag that I have found is that if you have created a queue and then decide to jump in and play something out of sequence, you tend to lose the queue that you created and that's irritating.

Casting from Chrome

If you access streaming video online, such as using 123Movies.com or other TV websites, you will find that you have the same  casting symbol in the toolbar at the top of your Chrome application. Press this when you have found what it is that you want to watch. The only point I would make about streaming is that it can take a little bit of time to load but, once loaded, the movie or whatever it is that you wish to watch is constant and does not tend to judder.

Casting from Netflix

This has to be one of my favorite applications. It allows you to access your Netflix on your tablet or phone and then "cast" to your TV. Again, the symbol is the clue. The moment you press the Chromecast symbol, the program will be sent to your TV and it's very good quality. It's like watching normal TV and there certainly have been no problems with getting the programs to work.

Casting Pictures

I found that the best way of using this was to create an album on an online photo hosting site and then use the Chromecast symbol to display the images onto the TV. I must admit that it's a little bit clumsy and not something I will use on a regular basis, but it's not really the reason that I bought Chromecast in the first place.

Casting Music

For the casting of music, you have to tell the Chromecast App which type of media you want to stream and allow apps like Google Play access to streaming onto your TV. Personally, I found this to be not the quality that I wanted it to be but that was down to the quality of sound on the television. I found that a bluetooth speaker was a great investment and tend to use this instead because of quality of sound and the ability to move from room to room and take the music with me.

It's a great gadget and I think that it would be difficult to do without it now as it really does put entertainment at your fingertips and allow you to see all of your favorite shows and movies on the TV screen instead of having them limited to your phone or tablet. I love the Chrome extension as this also allows me to share web pages with family when I want to without getting up and moving my laptop over to where they are. This makes everything easy. Since buying it, I have had hours of entertainment and my friends are all investing too! Before you buy the Chromecast gadget, do check that your TV has an HDMI slot. Most modern ones do. Without this, you will not be able to use Chromecast. 

For the money, it's excellent value and will be easy for all of the family to use. It is so light and portable that you can unplug it and take it to another room should you wish to watch TV in bed! Now, that's what I call a real boost of entertainment value and certainly worth waking up to on Christmas morning.