If you want to stream content to your TV without an expensive set-top box, Google’s Chromecast is an awesome option! You can even control playback with your iPhone. We’ll walk you through the setup.
Chromecast is a receiver that streams media to your TV. It doesn’t include onboard apps like Apple TV or Roku. Instead, you just tap the Cast button in any supporting app on your iPhone, and Google streams that content to your Chromecast device.
The Chromecast resembles a miniature UFO tethered to your TV by a short HDMI cable. The included power supply connects to the micro-USB port on the device. The standard model ($35 at this writing) supports 1080p content at 60 Hz, while the Ultra model is pricier ($69 at this writing) but supports 4K content with a high dynamic range.
As part of the installation process, you connect the Chromecast device to Google Assistant. This way, you can use verbal commands to access and stream content. For example, you could say, “Hey, Google. Play the latest episode of Stranger Things on the living room TV.”
Google Assistant will then cast that episode to the Chromecast device connected to your TV. However, be sure to correctly identify the Chromecast device (“living room TV” in this example), so Google Assistant understands and casts to the correct destination.
Here are some of the services that are compatible with Google Assistant:
- YouTube Music
- Google Play Music
- Streaming Apps, Videos, and Photos:
- HBO Now
- YouTube Kids
- Starz Direct
- Sling TV
- Google Photos
Prepare Your Devices
Plug the Chromecast dongle into your TV’s HDMI port, and then plug its power supply into an electrical outlet. You’ll see a message on your TV with instructions to get the Google Home app.
Download and install the Google Home app from the App Store. Next, open iPhone’s Control Center. If your iPhone has a Home button, you can do this by swiping up from the bottom edge; if you have a newer handset, swipe down from the upper-right corner. Also, make sure Bluetooth is activated (the icon should be blue).
If you don’t want to use Bluetooth, tap “No Thanks” when the Chromecast prompts you to enable it. You’ll then need to connect directly to the Chromecast via Wi-Fi. To do so, open the Settings app on your iPhone, tap the Wi-Fi option, and then select your Chromecast device from the list.
Set Up Chromecast
To set up your Chromecast, open the Google Home app on your iPhone. Near the top, you should see a prompt to install one detected device; tap it to continue. If you don’t see a prompt, move to within a few feet of the Chromecast and see if it shows up.
If the prompt still doesn’t appear, double-check that the Chromecast is powered on and showing a message on your television. You can also restart the app or your iPhone and see if that solves the issue.
Select a home (or create a new one) on the following screen, and then tap “Next.” The Home will then scan for devices.
Select your Chromecast device in the results, and then tap “Next.”
Verify the code you see on your iPhone matches the code displayed on your TV; if it does, tap “Yes.”
On the following screen, you’re asked if you want to help Google improve the Chromecast experience; tap “Yes, I’m In,” or “No Thanks.” You also have to tap “I Agree” to accept Google’s Device Arbitration Agreement.
From there, select the room in which your Chromecast resides, and then tap “Next.” This keeps all your devices organized, especially if you use smart bulbs, locks, speakers, multiple Chromecast devices, and so on in your home.
After you select a room, choose the Wi-Fi network to which you want the Chromecast to connect, and then tap “Next.” As Chromecast attempts to connect, you might be asked to type a password. After the device connects, you’re prompted to link the device with your Google account. Tap “Continue” to proceed.
The following screens deal with Google Assistant. You’ll initially see information about Google’s partners, services, privacy, guests, and YouTube recommendations. After that, you’re asked to grant Google Assistant access to all the contacts on your linked devices.
The next step is to add your radio, video, and TV services to Google Assistant. Manually sign in to each service to link them, and then tap “Next.” If you’d rather link these services later, just tap “Not Now.”
At the end of the process, you see a summary, including where the Chromecast resides, the associated Wi-Fi network, and your linked services. If everything looks right, tap “Next.” Google Home offers sample tutorial clips, but you can skip these if you want.
Finally, note the name assigned to your Chromecast device in Google Home. In our example, the app labeled it “Living Room TV” because it’s installed under the “Living Room” group.
To create a new name, tap the device in the Google Home app. On the next screen, tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Tap the device’s current name on the following screen to rename it.
Manually Add Chromecast
If you didn’t see a prompt in the Google Home app to add the Chromecast device, tap the plus sign (+) in the top-left corner.
On the following screen, tap “Set Up Device” in the “Add to Home” section.
Tap “Set Up New Devices” on the following screen.
On the next screen, select the home in which the device resides and tap “Next.” From here, follow the instructions covered above in the “Set Up Chromecast” section.