Google recently took the wraps off of a new, 2-inch long stick called Chromecast. This $35 dongle that attaches to your TV, and lets you stream and control video from YouTube and Netflix using your phone, tablet or laptop. This little device connects to your home network via WiFi. Then, using your phone (Android or iOS), you can select a YouTube or Netflix video, and stream it to your TV by pressing the “Cast” button.
If you're one of the lucky few to have ordered a Chromecast before they sold out, then you should be receiving yours any day now. But, in an effort to make the Chromecast as simple as possible, Google offers shockingly little documentation on how to set it up. How little? This is the setup manual:
So, to make things a little easier, here's an illustrated guide to setting up your Google Chomecast.
Plug the Chromecast into your TV
1. Plug the male HDMI connector on the Chromecast into an HDMI port on your TV. If the fit is too tight, use the included HDMI extension cable.
2. Next, attach the included USB cable to the microUSB port in the Chromecast, and connect the other end of the USB cable to the power adapter, and plug it into an outlet. We were also able to use the USB port in our Samsung Series 8000 HDTV to power the Chromecast device. If your TV has a USB port, we suggest giving it a try, as it eliminates a little clutter.
MORE: Google Chromecast Reviewed
3. Switch the input on your TV to the correct HDMI port. You'll know that the Chromecast is powered on and working if you see the screen above on your TV.
Download and install the Chromecast Utility
1.Connect your notebook to a Wi-Fi network.
2. Install Google's Chrome browser on your Mac or PC; Chromecast won't work with other browsers.
3. Download the Chromecast utility at www.google.com/chromecast setup (on a Mac, it's a 3.5MB file), and install it on your computer.
Run the Chromecast Utility
1. Launch the Chromecast utility, and it will immediately start searching for the Chromecast device. Once it finds the Chromecast, it will display the device's name both on your TV and your PC. Click Continue in the installer.
Once it connects, a code will appear both on your TV and PC.
2. Press the button that says "That's my Code” if the codes match. During this time, you'll lose your notebook's Internet connection, as the utility is connecting to the Chromecast via Wi-Fi, and configuring the device's Wi-Fi to connect directly to your wireless network.
3. Choose Your Wireless Network. The Chromecast is designed to pull videos directly from the Internet through your wireless network, so it needs to connect to your Wi-Fi. Using the Chromecast utility, select the Wi-Fi network you want the Chomecast to use, and enter the password, if you have one. Here, you can also change the name of the Chromecast device.
Once the Chromecast is connected, the image below will appear on your TV screen. Note that the background changes from time to time; it's a nice little touch that keeps the interface, as minimalist as it is, from becoming too stale.
Your notebook's screen will say "Ready to Cast," and the Chromecast utility will open the Chrome browser to a video showing how to use Chromecast.