When one thinks of the Chromecast device, the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to cast YouTube and Netflix content from your mobile device to your television set. While this is most common use for Chromecast, there are many other uses of the device which is an indication its versatility.
One use which few people have considered is using the device for business presentations. If you use the Chrome browser, you can easily cast whatever content is on a single tab to the television set. This may be documents, PowerPoint slides or even a webpage that you want to present to your colleagues in the office.
Connecting Chromecast to Projector
To set-up the Chromecast device for an office presentation, there are a few basic prerequisites that must be in place for it to be successful:
- Obviously, you will need the device itself which connects to the HDMI port of your television set.
- Power supply from a different USB port or the normal power connections of a building
- Reliable Wi-Fi connection with reasonable speed
- Projector that has a USB port. You can also use a reasonably sized television that is placed at a strategic location in the middle of the presentation room
Once the hardware is in place, it is time to set-up the software part of the installation. There are two ways setting up the device: through the Chrome browser or by using an Android application. If you are setting up from a Chrome browser, you will need to install the free Google cast that is available online. For Android, the Chromecast application is available from the easy to navigate and use Google Play store.
After powering the devices, you will go through a few easy steps to complete the set-up and start your presentation. Firstly, the device has to be identified with a pass-code after selecting it on-screen. After that, you will select a Wi-Fi network and finally, you will give it a unique name that will make it easily identifiable in the future.
Other Uses of the Chromecast Device
The device is a convenient way of streaming videos, music and photos to a television through computers or mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
The Chromecast device is versatile and can be used in a number of ways depending on your needs and availability of supporting devices:
- Using Chromecast device from your tablet – if you want to broadcast content from your tablet device, all you have to do is to go to the Google cast icon on the device and click on it. Immediately, the content on your tablet will appear on the television set as long as the Chromecast dongle is installed and properly set-up.
- Using Chromecast device from your computer – whichever operating system you are using, be it Mac, Windows, Linux or any other OS, using Chromecast with a PC or laptop is pretty straight-forward. Just select the broadcast icon that is displayed on the content you want to broadcast and it will appear on the TV screen.
Chromecast New Features
The Google I/O developers’ conference saw a number of new features introduced in how the Chromecast device is used.
Among the most exciting new features to the Chromecast device is the ability for other users to cast to the TV screen without needing to log into your Wi-Fi connection.
All the users are close-by to connect to the device through the use of ultra-sonic sound authentication.
This inaudible sound- which contains encrypted information necessary for pairing of devices- will be pushed to the television’s speakers by the Chromecast device.
The people within the vicinity of the device will then be offered the choice to join through their phones just like it happens with Wi-Fi networks.
- Using Chromecast device with Android/ IOS devices is simple for smartphones and tablets that use Android or IOS. All you have to do is to download the appropriate application and you are good to go with streaming of your favourite content be it YouTube, Netflix or Pandora
- Using Chromecast device as a wireless presenter- as mentioned above, it is simple to use the device with your computer for content such as videos. But is it possible to use Chromecast to wirelessly perform a presentation in place of the traditional presentation devices? The answer is yes and the question is addressed in a little more detail towards the end of the article.
First, let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of using Chromecast, how to set it up, as well as finding the best apps to use with the device.
Advantages of using Chromecast
Compared to other devices, Google Chromecast has a number of advantages including:
- Compact size of the device makes it portable and non-obstructive as it can be connected to obscure ports on the television
- Phone control turns your smartphone into a remote control without sacrificing any functionality as the phone can still be used while the device is broadcasting
- App control features turn your device into a console that has all the necessary controls for manipulating the broadcasting of the content
- Multi-user – more than one person can control what is been broadcast to the television screen so long as they are on the same Wi-Fi network and have installed the right apps. If you do not want multi-user functionality, you can password-protect your Wi-Fi network.
- Price – at $35, the Chromecast is basically a give-away if you consider all the nice and cool things it can do
- Easier to set-up- the easy-to-follow set-up instructions that come with the device ensure that anybody can start using it and enjoying its benefits
Disadvantages of using Chromecast
Though the advantages of using Chromecast are great, there are a few shortcomings of the device that diminish the overall experience:
- Smartphone restricted control means that if do not have one, you will not be able to control the device
- Apps required to use the device are few compared to the Roku or Apple TV which means that there is reduced versatility. This will change as Google recently released the SDK kit that will allow more developers to create compatible applications
- Other devices such as blu-ray players may have the same functionality and there buying a Chromecast device might not add any additional value
- Fewer channels are available on the Chromecast device than on Roku or Apple Tv though this is bound to change once more players get on board
Setting up Chromecast
All that is required to use Chromecast is a TV that has HDMI port, a computer or smartphone plus of course a reliable Wi-Fi connection. The mobile device or computer must have the Chrome browser installed for it to work with Chromecast.
Next, you will download the Chromecast app after connecting the device to the HDMI port of the television. You might want to use the USB connector that is supplied with the device if you are having problems connecting to the port due to lack of enough room on the dongle’s connecting pin.
As the device is becoming increasingly popular, many websites are now optimising for streaming of content using Chromecast. As a result, finding apps is not as difficult as it was before and it has been made even easier by Google which gives a comprehensive list of available apps.
Connecting to the Wi-Fi network
This is a straight-forward process that involves inputting the media access control address found at the settings page of Chromecast app.
Some changes to the router settings may need to be made if the security features of the Wi-Fi router are set to a highly restrictive mode. Sometimes the connection might fail for unexplained reasons and you will have to reboot the device in order to restore connection.
If this fails, reset the Chromecast to factory settings and if this still fails you may need to check if the router is verified.
Advantages of connecting chromecast to projector
The use of projectors for presentation has become outdated considering the alternative that currently available, like the Chromecast device for example.
Presentations have normally been done using the bulky projector which always had a myriad of problems because of issues such missing cables or non-compatibility with the computer being used which leads to delay in business presentations.
By using Chromecast, these problems literally disappear as it offers a number of advantages over the projector:
- Clearer images because a television screen is used instead of a white wall or screen
- Multiple devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets can be used as opposed to only a computer for the projector
- Less equipment to be carried because the projector is discarded
- Easy to carry around- the Chromecast is the size of a normal USB which means it can be conveniently carried around.