Four Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Chromecast

Four Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast is a great way to stream anything in your living room, and mastering its intricacies can really make it shine. There are some hidden Chromecast capabilities many people don’t know exist — here are some of the best ones.

Photos by Phil Long, Kassandra Bay Resort & Spa,

Turn Your TV On Without A Remote

Four Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Chromecast

Forget your TV remote — if you have a Chromecast hooked up, you can turn your TV on and even switch to the Chromecast’s input with your mobile device. You just need to enable the HDMI-CEC setting on your TV, which allows you to send control commands through an HDMI device — in this case, your Chromecast. Whatever device you use to manage the Chromecast, be it your smartphone, computer, or tablet, would then act as your primary remote control for the TV.

Different TV brands have different names for HDMI-CEC, so you may need to search for yours. Gigaom lists a few for more popular brands:

  • Samsung calls it Anynet+
  • Sony calls it Bravia Link or Bravia Sync
  • LG calls it Simplink
  • Panasonic calls it Viera Link
  • Toshiba calls it Regza Link

If yours isn’t listed, you can probably find it in your user manual, by checking with the manufacturer, or just by Googling around. As you can see, most of the names have the word “link” or “sync” in them, so looking for that in the TV’s settings is a good place to start.

Go Mobile And Use It In Your Hotel Room

Four Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Chromecast

If you’ve tried to use your Chromecast in a hotel before, you probably experienced a block to the Wi-Fi connection. Next time pack a portable wireless router, too. Plug the router into the wall’s ethernet port and plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port on the television. Connect your Chromecast to the portable router to bypass the Wi-Fi block and start streaming.

Given the price you’ll pay for hotel Internet connections, this may not be worthwhile for domestic trips. If your hotel offers free connections via Ethernet, however, it’s definitely worth trying.

Use Guest Mode To Keep Guests Off Your Wi-Fi Connection

Of course you want to keep your wi-fi network secure, but sharing your network with friends and guests can be good too. Chromecast’s Guest Mode makes being both safe and generous easy. Open the Chromecast app from your device and select the device you want to cast to. Then just tap to enable guest mode at the top of the screen. Once enabled, your friends can enjoy streaming from their own device without connecting to your network so you don’t have to worry about any shady or illegal activity coming back to haunt you .

Host Group Video Chats On The Big Screen

Four Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Chromecast

Video chatting is fun for friends and family and productive for businesses, but no one likes crowding around a tiny screen. With the Chromecast, you can turn a regular video chat into a much more comfortable group chat on your TV. Just mount your webcam or device to a place where it can see everyone, and cast the call to the Chromecast. This is great for business meetings and family gatherings alike.


  • … and what you may not have realised you can’t do with the chromecast by reading the associated literiture …?
    … Anything without a separate wireless internet connection.

    Sure, most of the stuff you buy a chromecast for is accessed through the net but some of the features advertised like watching movies from your own HDD and screen mirroring from your android phone wont work unless you’re connected to the net through a separate wireless connection with access to googles servers to ok the operation.

    Can you find that in any of the press releases or even in the fine print on googles own chromecast page? Good luck.

    Just a heads up.

  • I really wish I could just stream music from my PC to a couple of chromecasts at a time, instead of needing to run speaker cables all over the house!

    • I tried casting spotify webplayer to it, it’s not the greatest solution. Would be nice for the chromecast plugin in chrome to be able to just cast the audio from a tab and display an image slideshow or something.

      • I don’t want to cast from Chrome, I’ve got a perfectly good music player installed, with all my albums and playlists sorted nicely, the idea of paying to use Spotify and then keeping my fingers crossed that my network stays alive the whole time I’m playing music really doesn’t interest me at all….

  • You can also do multi-player games too, like Connect 4 Quads. Each player can use their phone to play.

  • Wish you could just connect using Direct WiFi, plug it into a hotel tv and stream right from stored media on your tablet or phone, or screen share in meetings instead of needing to setup a network with a wireless router

    • I took my chromecast to a holiday house without internet and tried to get it to play stuff from my phone,.. The result was not great 🙁

  • What I would like to know if I can do or not: I want to be able to cast Google Music to play through my TV/audio system, but still have my photos from my Google+ on the screen. Possible?

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