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Chromecast 2015 Review: How to Set Up a Chromecast 2

The Chromecast is one of my favorite devices. For those of you wondering how to set up your new Chromecast 2nd generation, look no further. This is my quick review and setup tutorial for the 2015 Chromecast.

What is a Chromecast?

A Chromecast is a small dongle that connects to your HDTV and enables you to use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to wirelessly stream video or audio to your TV. So if you want to make your TV “smart” then this $35 Chromecast is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do it.

The box comes with everything you need: the Chromecast, a USB cable, and a power adapter along with simple instructions that I will walk you through in this tutorial.

How Set Up Your Chromecast

First, make sure you have the following:

  • WiFi connection
  • HDTV with an available HDMI port
  • Smartphone, tablet, or computer (Chromecast works with Android devices, iPhone/iPad, Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks)

Next, connect the small end of the USB cable into the Chromecast. Then connect your Chromecast to your TV’s HDMI port using the HDMI connector. If your TV has a USB port you can plug the USB cable into it to power your Chromecast. If your TV does not have a USB port, you’ll have to connect the USB cable to the power adapter and plug the power adapter into an outlet.

Once you see the Chromecast light up, that means it has power and the next step is to turn on your TV if it’s not already on and change the Source (or Input) to the HDMI port where your Chromecast is connected. For some TVs like mine it will say Chromecast next to the HDMI port so you know which one to go to.

Now once you see your Chromecast screen on your TV you can go to your phone, tablet, or computer and visit Chromecast.com/setup. Before doing this, however, make sure your phone, tablet, or computer is connected to your WiFi network.

If you’re on your phone or tablet, it’ll ask you to install the free Chromecast app. Once that’s installed, open it up and go to Devices and follow the prompts to set up a new Chromecast. Verify that your TV screen is displaying the same code. Select your Region and give your Chromecast a name.

The next part is where you will select your WiFi network and enter your WiFi password in order for the Chromecast to connect to your WiFi successfully. It may take a minute or two to finish the setup and once it’s finished it’ll most likely start the update process.

During the update the Chromecast will show a short instructional video on your TV so go ahead and watch that to get a little more familiar with it. The update may take a few minutes so just be patient.

Now when it’s finished you should see your TV displaying “Ready to Cast”. Take a good look at the casting icon because whenever you see that icon in any of your apps that means it’s able to stream to your Chromecast. Another thing to remember is that your device that you’re streaming from must be connected to the same WiFi network that the Chromecast is connected to in order for it to work.

Using Chromecast with Apps

Let’s take a quick look at the new Chromecast app which now offers more features. From this app you can see which movies, TV shows, and music you can stream from your installed apps. You can search for entertainment titles in the app as well, and it will give you recommended apps that are compatible with Chromecast. You can also manage your Chromecast device from the app.

Now let me show you how to stream from some of the more popular apps that you probably have on your phone. Of course it works with YouTube, when you open it you should see the casting icon at the top and if you tap it and select your Chromecast from the pop-up menu it should connect to your TV. Now you can tap on a YouTube video from your phone and it will play on your TV. You can create queues of videos to have them automatically play after each other, and yes it will keep playing if you lock your device or go to another app.

You can also use apps like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Pandora just to name a few. To see a full list of compatible Chromecast apps I will have a link in the description below so check that out. And an often overlooked feature of the Chromecast that I absolutely love is the screensaver feature that has some of the most amazing photos on it. Sometimes I’ll just have the Chromecast on so I can look at those pictures on my TV.

So there you go, you now have a smart TV thanks to your new 2015 Chromecast 2nd generation. If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them for you.

By Andy Slye

Why You Should Not Buy Apple’s Smart Battery Case

Apple just came out of the woodwork and basically said “Yes, we know your iPhone battery life sucks so here’s an ugly temporary fix for $100.”

The new Apple Smart Battery Case is designed for the iPhone 6/6s and to put it simply: it’s an Apple branded case with a built-in battery inside. Now even though this was just released and I don’t even own one yet, I want to talk about the top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t get this Apple Smart Battery Case.

1. It’s Ugly
It looks like an iPhone ate an iPod. It looks like an iPhone Band-aid. You get the idea.

2. Better & Cheaper Alternatives
Apple Smart Battery Case has a 1,877 mAh battery and is $99. It doesn’t even bring a completely dead iPhone to 100% charge. You can get an Anker Battery Case that has a 2,850 mAh battery for only $39. That’s 1,000 more mAh for $60 cheaper. Plus the Anker is slim, comes with an audio jack extender cable, and an 18-month warranty.

3. Bigger Underlying Problem
If you are willing to spend $100 on a little extra battery then you are probably better off with an iPhone Plus model. So you’re really looking at a problem with your actual phone. Plus if we buy these cases from Apple we are basically saying “Hey we want bigger and better batteries in our iPhones, but we are okay with buying an ugly $100 battery case instead of you actually fixing the problem. And we’ll continue to sacrifice battery life for thin iPhones.”

Please, Apple, put a bigger battery in the next iPhone! Sincerely, your fans

 

16 Interesting Websites You Should Know About

These are 16 cool websites that everyone should know about. Some are fun and quirky and others are very useful and practical.

Learning
Wolfram Alpha
Khan Academy
Unplug The TV

Time Travel
Wayback Machine
Future Timeline

Software
Ninite
Get Mac Apps
Alternative To
Mailinator

Fun
Nerdy Day Trips
NotPron Game
Windows 93

Productivity
Coffitivity
Interfacelift

Health
My Fridge Food
Eat This Much

 

Top 5 Tech Gifts Under $50 in 2015

Top 5 best tech gifts under $50 for the 2015 holiday season

How to Speed Up a Computer to 10x Faster

Here are my top 3 tips on how to speed up your computer (up to 10x faster)

Run Cleanup & Security Software

These are my top 5 favorite Windows apps for boosting your PC speed:

Add RAM

Basically, the more RAM you have the faster your computer will be. Simple as that. Check out Crucial’s RAM tool for your computer or laptop to see what RAM is compatible with your system.

Install a Solid State Drive (SSD)

Bottom line: You need an SSD. They are so much faster than hard disk drives. Here are the benefits solid state drives offer compared to traditional hard disk drives: faster, quieter, power efficient, durable, and less likely to fragment.

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