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7 things you didn't know you could do with a Chromecast

You've spent hours researching online, weighing all the pros and cons The 8 Best Devices to Stream Movies to Your TV The 8 Best Devices to Stream Movies to Your TV There are several ways to stream media to your TV and decide which way is right for you it can be overwhelming for you. Let us help you explore what is currently available. Read More And now you have a shiny new Chromecast that casts content from your smart device or computer.

But what happens next?

Yes, we all know about the benefits of cutting the cord. Should you cut the cord or keep your cable TV? Should you cut the cord or keep your cable TV? If you're still stuck with your cable subscription, but are debating whether it's time to make a switch, we're here to help. This guide will help you decide. Read More

Here are seven things you didn't know you could do with one of Google's backpacks...

1. Use it as Chromecast Audio

OK, this is a bit bogus; you can't plug your traditional Chromecast into a Hi-Fi and expect it to work as Chromecast Audio.

However, if you have a home theater system, you can get similar results. The key is to have a modern AV (audio/video) receiver, amplifier, or speakers with an optical input connected to your TV.

If your AV receiver has an HDMI port, you can bypass the TV entirely—just plug in the dongle and use your phone to see what's currently playing.

Using your Chromecast in this way is a great way to avoid paying for a top-tier audio solution like Sonos Sonos vs. Chromecast Audio:Which One Is Best For You? sonos vs. Chromecast Audio:Which is the best for you? A lot of people seem to think that Sonos and Chromecast Audio are the same thing, but we'd be wrong. While their core purpose might be the same, the differences between them are huge... Read More .

2. Get rid of your TV

A lot of people don't seem to realize that if your device is always on (powered through a wall outlet instead of through one of the TV's USB ports), you can turn on your TV and switch to the input channel Chromecast without ever touching the TV remote.

If your primary reason for purchasing a Chromecast was to cancel your cable subscription, are you considering canceling cable? The true cost of cutting the cord considering canceling the cord? The True Cost of Cutting Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting cord? We do the necessary calculations to cancel the cable in favor of Internet services. Read More After all, if your TV's only input is the dongle, the only reason you'd use native control is to turn on your TV, right?

All you need to do is make sure the HDMI-CEC setting on your TV is enabled; it's what allows your TV to receive commands through its HDMI port.

3. Improve streaming quality

The Chromecast allows you to select any Standard , High , or Extreme quality. It is set to Standard by default, although user feedback seems to suggest that most home Wi-Fi networks can comfortably support High.

If you have a lot of free bandwidth, choose Extreme for a super sharp and clear picture - you can always turn it back down if you have a lot of people accessing your network at once.

You can change the settings quickly and easily through the Chromecast Google Chrome extension or from the smartphone app.

4. Make a presentation

Football fans might be aware of a funny story that emerged from England a few years ago.

Sam Allardyce was at the Football Association (FA) headquarters, interviewing for the vacant position of national team manager. Wanting to impress his potential employers, he made a PowerPoint presentation in an attempt to attract them. The problem? The FA had no projector. Allardyce ended up keeping the panel waiting while he printed hard copies. Needless to say, he didn't get the job..

Although his story has a happy ending (he was given the job last month, almost a decade after his original interview), the whole thing could have been avoided if Chromecasts had been around in 2006.

That's because when navigating to Google Slides, clicking Present in the upper right corner, then choosing Present on another screen From the pull-down menu, Allardyce could easily have broadcast his introduction to any screen in the building. And you can do the exact same thing to avoid suffering the same fate as Allardyce.

5. Throw a party

So, you're having a party. You don't want to share your Wi-Fi password How to Share Passwords Safely with Friends and Family How to Share Passwords Safely with Friends and Family You should never share your passwords. But you do, don't you? That's why we're going to show you how to share your passwords and keep your accounts as secure as possible. Read More

What are you doing? Easy - just enable Guest mode on your device!

Guest mode works by allowing the dongle to broadcast a special beacon to nearby users. The Cast icon will automatically show up on your visitors' devices, all they need to do is connect. It should work automatically, but if it fails for some reason, they can also use a 4-digit PIN code.

The feature can be enabled through the Settings menu in the smartphone app.

6. Shared YouTube playlists

Let's say you're using your Chromecast as your audio player (as described above), and you've enabled Guest mode for your next party.

The next step in creating a successful event is to use the device to create shared YouTube playlists. 6 awesome ways to find and share music playlists. Creating and sharing playlists with family and friends is easier than ever. Here's how to do it. Read more.

Fortunately, the Chromecast does this automatically:guests just need to find the song/video they want within the YouTube app, Cast button, and select Play Now or Add to playlist .


7. Free offers

Everyone loves free stuff, especially when the free stuff in question is really cool.

Google often provides great freebies for Chromecast owners, and it doesn't matter if you're a seasoned owner or a complete and utter n00b.

For example, at the time of writing, you can get a two-month free trial of Spotify or a 90-day free trial of Google Play Music. That's five months of music streaming without you having to spend a dime.

Check the Google Chromecast website regularly to stay on top of bargain deals.

Tell us your Hot Chromecast tips

I've shown you seven lesser-known things to do with a Chromecast, but there are plenty of other amazing things you can do with a Chromecast. If you know of others that aren't listed, please let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, just tell us what you think of Chromecast as a whole. Do you think the ability to cast your Android screen is the biggest selling point? Or is it the ability to cast local videos How to cast local media from your Mac to Chromecast How to cast local media from your Mac to Chromecast You can watch any movie, music or photo from your Mac hard drive to the big screen. It's just a matter of knowing which apps and tools can do it. Read More

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