Tag Archives: chromecast

9 ways to make the most of your Chromecast

The year 2013: when we were all snacking on endless fro-yo, discussing season three of “Game of Thrones” with anyone who would listen and laughing out loud to the best clips on Vine. But did you know it was also the year we introduced Chromecast to the world?

Since then, Chromecast continues to be the one of the simplest options for you to see your photos on the big screen, gather round a virtual fireplace on YouTube over the holidays or catch up on your favorite show — all with one device.

So to celebrate nine years of our favorite streamer that's only getting better with age (we're a little biased), we're rounding up nine features to help you to make the most of your Chromecast:

  1. See who’s at your door. Today we’re announcing Chromecast with Google TV is rolling out support for live video streaming from Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery), Nest Cam (indoor, wired), Nest Cam with floodlight and Nest Doorbell (battery) – which means all your Nest Cams and Nest doorbells are supported. Now you can quickly see a live view of your cameras from the comfort of your couch – so you can know for sure when your pizza delivery shows up at your front door on movie night.
  2. Mirror your Android screen or Chrome tab to the big screen. Looking at a menu with your family before heading out to dinner? Or planning your next vacation destination with your friends? No matter what information you’re sharing, you can easily cast to a TV or other screen.
  3. Show off your photos on a TV with Chromecast. When you’re back from that vacation, show off your photos with the Google Photos app. Just select the photo or album you want to cast and display it on your TV. Then you can swipe between photos to change what’s displayed.
  4. Cast your meetings to the big screen. With the Google Meet app, you can cast your meeting to the TV while continuing to use your computer's camera, microphone and audio. Perfect for virtual family reunions.
  5. The control is yours with Chromecast. Chromecast with Google TV comes with a physical remote, which has been one of our most requested features since Chromecast’s early days. But you can also use your phone, your TV remote or your voice - just say, “Hey Google, play ‘The Umbrella Academy’ on the living room TV” to your Assistant-enabled device.
  6. Continue casting even when you leave the room. You don’t need to worry about playback being interrupted if you need to leave the house for a bit, or if you walk outside of your Wi-Fi coverage area. So if you need to run to the store to grab more ice, the party inside can continue.
  7. Let your friends and family join in on the party with a shared queue. In the YouTube app, anyone connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast can tap the Cast icon on a YouTube video and add it to a shared playlist so everyone can contribute to what you’re watching or listening to.
  8. Move your media from room to room. Ready to move to another room but don’t want to stop listening to the latest episode of your favorite podcast? You can easily move music, podcasts or radio currently streaming from your Google Nest or Home speaker or display, or Chromecast device to another Nest speaker, speaker group, display, or Chromecast-connected device so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. You can also move YouTube videos between Google Nest displays and Chromecast devices.
  9. Cast with Android, iOS or Chrome on PC and Mac. We wanted to make it easy to cast from as many devices as possible, whether you’re on Android, iOS or on your computer. It’s as simple as tapping Cast from a compatible app, selecting your Chromecast and tapping play.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Andra Day’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a newWatch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Singer, songwriter and actress Andra Day sheds light on untold stories through both movies and music. “I think music, movies and TV are entertainment, but they can also heal society and individuals, and allow yourself to be in other worlds,” she says.

Though she more recently made the jump into acting, Andra always has been inspired by how movies can mobilize people and help everyone feel represented. “Watching challenging movies, particularly when it's not a perspective that is your own, helps you to grow in love and in empathy, you know?” she says. “I think challenging movies just make us better people and make us a better society.”

Google TV showing the Watch With Me page with Andra Day’s watchlist.

We caught up with Andra to find out what she’s learned from her favorite picks — and to find out a little more about her, too.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Andra Day: What I hope my watchlist says about me is that I love all different kinds of people. I love being able to immerse myself in other places, periods and lives.

Do you like to watch movies alone or with other people?

Andra Day:I like watching movies with other people. But I’m also someone who likes to rewind if I missed something. And other people don’t always love that…

What’s the most episodes you watched in one sitting?

Andra Day: It depends on the show and also if I can’t fall asleep. But I have watched 10 episodes in one sitting before!

What’s the first movie you ever watched?

Andra Day:Oooh, my first memorable movie I ever watched was “E.T.” I love everything about it, from baby Drew Barrymore to aliens.

What’s your favorite genre?

Andra Day:If I had to pick one, I want to say a documentary to make myself look good, but it's probably an action movie.

What is your go-to movie snack?

Andra Day:To be honest, it’s hot Cheetos, but I’m trying to make it hummus and celery!

Check out Andra’s watchlist and see the iconic movies that inspired her jump from music to acting on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Share your favorites as well using #WatchWithMe!

Watch With Me on Google TV: Chloé Zhao’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a newWatch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Awards season is here, making it the perfect time to chat with director Chloé Zhao, who took home the golden trophy in 2021. Her film “Nomadland” won best picture and best director, and is a perfect example of Chloe’s unique ability to deliver incredibly human, universal experiences. “As a storyteller, it’s important to have empathy,” she says. “You don’t necessarily have to have gone through what your character went through, but it is important to be vulnerable and open enough to let those characters guide you through it.”

We sat down with her to learn more about her filmmaking and the directors who inspire her. “I would say I'm not your typical cinephile. You know, I haven't seen everything, but there are a handful of directors who I worship and I’ll watch their films over and over again.”

Google TV showing the Watch With Me page with Chloé Zhao’s watchlist.

Before we brushed up on her list of influential films and TV, we asked Chloé a few questions to learn more about her — and get a peek at her watchlist.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Chloé Zhao:My watchlist says that I’m someone who is very inconsistent, has a wide range of interests and can be a bit strange. I’m attracted to interesting stories and characters who can be perceived as a bit messed up.

What did you grow up watching?

Chloé Zhao: Mangas, Anime and Wuxia dramas — especially the ones starring Tony Leung! — were a huge part of my childhood. I constantly draw influence from these mythical and magical stories in how I approach filmmaking.

Who do you typically watch TV and movies with?

Chloé Zhao:I always watch TV with my dogs — I don’t have a choice! They have to sit next to me, one on each side.

Is it acceptable to talk during a movie?

Chloé Zhao: It’s not easy to make a movie, so as a filmmaker, I prefer people to not talk or check their phones during them. There’s incredible content on phones these days, so we have to force people to turn them off!

What’s one show you love to watch?

Chloé Zhao:I love “The Office.” Greatest show ever. I especially like watching the love-hate relationship between Dwight and Jim!

Dive into Chloé’s watchlist and learn more about the directors that inspire her on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Tell us your favorites using #WatchWithMe!

Updates to Chromecast integrations with Interactive Media Ads

CAF DAI SDK Released

The Interactive Media Ads team is excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with the Cast Application Framework team to bring you the CAF DAI SDK, a fully supported solution for casting DAI video streams to Chromecast devices. This project is a complete rewrite of our original IMA SDK for Cast, significantly reducing the amount of code publishers need to write and streamlining the integration between the two SDKs.

The CAF DAI SDK provides a deep integration with Chromecast Application Framework's native Ad Breaks, meaning that adding around 30 lines of code to an existing CAF receiver can enable:
  • DAI support for both Live and VOD streams
  • Media queue management
  • Sender and receiver UI, including ad break markers
  • Bidirectional communications between sender and receiver
  • Skippable ad support on VOD streams

With the previous SDK, all of these functions required manual implementation.

A fully-featured CAF DAI integration

IMA SDK for Cast deprecated

As of December 13, 2021, both the client-side and DAI versions of the IMA SDK for cast are now deprecated. Publishers who are currently using the IMA SDK for cast to implement client-side advertisements are encouraged to migrate to using CAF native ad breaks. Publishers who are currently using the IMA SDK for cast to implement DAI advertisements are encouraged to migrate to the new CAF DAI SDK. These new implementation options offer publishers significantly simpler integrations with better stability and tighter integration with the entire cast ecosystem.
Advertisement Type Deprecated Solution Recommended Solution
Client Side IMA SDK for Cast CAF native ad breaks

The Client side and DAI versions of the IMA SDK for Cast will continue to function for the foreseeable future but support and new development will be focused on the CAF DAI SDK moving forward. The IMA SDK team will continue to offer best attempt support for the deprecated SDKs through December of 2022, however, some limitations of the older platform may only be resolved by migrating to the new workflows described above.

We highly recommend that publishers who are currently using the older IMA SDK for Cast begin migrating to these new workflows for improved stability, simplified integration, and a much more polished developer experience.

For more information about these changes, check out the developer documentation. If you have any issues migrating your integration from the IMA SDK for Cast to the CAF DAI SDK, feel free to reach out via our developer forums.

Make Google TV more you with personalized profiles

If you're like me, you live in a house where each person has their own taste in entertainment. Everyone brings their likes, dislikes and “no WAYs'' to the sofa. To keep everyone in the house happy -- whether that's your partner, kids, other family members or roommates -- we’re bringing features to Google TV that will make TV a little more tailored for whoever’s sitting on the couch.

TV screen with 4 heads showing different profiles in circles.

Set up a personalized profile.

Create a space for your own tastes

Google TV profiles let everyone in your home enjoy their own personalized space with their Google Account. With a personalized profile, you’ll get TV show and movie recommendations just for you, easy access to your personal watchlist and help from your Google Assistant.

Recommendations tailored to you, and only you: As you watch TV, your profile takes into account your interests and preferences to help you discover more of what’s out there for you. And for the little ones, you can always set up a kids profile to help them access a fun collection of movies and shows under your guidance.

Access to your own watchlist: When a friend tips you off to a hot new show, you can always add it to your watchlist to save it for later. Each Google Account has its own watchlist, so your finds will show up right in your profile and stay separate from your other’s lists in your household.

Help from your Google Assistant: Ask for recommendations by saying, “what should I watch?” or get help streamlining your day by saying “show me my day.” Your profile is linked to your account’s Google Assistant, so you’ll get the personalized answers you are looking for.

And setting up a new profile is easy. Your downloaded apps and app login details will be used across profiles, so you won’t have to start from scratch each time you set up a new profile.

TV screen showing a photo of three kids as the background, with a rectangle square overlay naming the location.

Stay up to date at a glance in ambient mode.

Stay up to date even when your TV is idle

Google TV already lets you see your favorite memories from Google Photos when your TV is idle. Now, we're making ambient mode more useful by bringing in more personalized information and recommendations at a glance. From the latest game score, to the weather, news and more, your TV will keep you up to date with info based on your profile. You can even scroll through the on-screen shortcuts to jump into your photos or start playing your music and podcasts with just a click. If you are off for a longer break, your TV will shift fully to your ambient mode’s photos or curated artwork after a few minutes.

Pick your favorite live TV service

With Google TV’s Live and For you tabs, your favorite live shows are just a click away. To give you more live TV provider options, we’ve now integrated Philo into our live TV features, in addition to YouTube TV and SLING TV. To see your shows on the Live TV tab and in your recommendations, just add your Live TV provider.

Support for profiles and glanceable cards in ambient mode will begin rolling out on Chromecast with Google TV and Google TVs from Sony and TCL soon. Profiles will be available globally, while ambient modes cards will be first available in the U.S. only. Philo is now available as an integrated live TV provider in the US. We hope all of this makes your TV feel a little moreyou.

Some features and availability may vary by OEM and/or device manufacturer.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Hasan Minhaj’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a new ongoing Watch With Me series on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Writer, comedian, producer and TV host Hasan Minhaj is best known for his sharp, earnest political commentary. When he isn’t on screen tackling any number of current issues, he’s happy to sit back and rewatch one of his favorite films. 

“Movies and TV shows are an opportunity to watch something with loved ones,” Hasan says. “Whether they make you laugh or feel something deep. Or they can be a source of respite, or help you realize how big the world is.”

We sat down with Hasan to learn more about his own Google TV watchlist and discover any hidden gems he has on repeat. “To me, rewatchability is everything. So my watchlist is everything that I can watch over and over, whether it's with my wife, dad or kids. That's what's on my watchlist: Comfort food in the form of movies.”

Google TV showing Watch With Me page with Hasan Minhaj’s watchlist.

Do you prefer watching movies alone or with others?

Hasan Minhaj: I love watching movies with people, but now that I’m a dad with two kids, I’ll watch movies any way I can when I get the chance. 

Who is the first person you call to talk about a new movie or show?

Hasan Minhaj: My best friend, Prashanth. We can get really argumentative and petty and just go head-to-head about why we love or hate something. But we’re still friends when it’s all said and done. 

What’s your must-have movie snack?

Hasan Minhaj: I like to have the best of both worlds. I go one salty, one sweet, which to me is why the Peanut M&Ms are probably one of the greatest movie snacks ever.

Do you read reviews before seeing a movie or show? 

Hasan Minhaj: No, I listen to my friends. If a friend texts me, "Hey, you have to check out ‘Ted Lasso,’" I'll check it out. 

How would you describe your watchlist?

Hasan Minhaj: I’d say it’s a guaranteed good time. I think if someone were to look at my watchlist, they would be like, "Hey, he loves movies that are really funny. He's definitely a dad. And he definitely has a soft spot for 80s, 90s and early 2000s nostalgia."

To check out Hasan’s watchlist and learn more about how Chris Rock inspired his start in comedy, catch his full interview and watchlist on Google TV's For You tab, coming in the next few days. Be sure to join in on the fun and share your favorites using #WatchWithMe.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Laverne Cox’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a new Watch With Me series on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. Despite spending plenty of time on camera, she’s also a fan of being in the audience. “I love movies, I love television,” she says. “I still watch television and film as a way to learn, to escape, to be moved, to laugh, to cry.”

We recently had a chance to sit down with Laverne to learn more about what she likes to watch — and what her own Google TV watchlist looks like. “My watchlist is all of who I am and everything that has shaped me or helped me understand myself better,” she says. “Understand humanity better. Understand the craft of acting and filmmaking better. And, it makes me smile.”

Google TV showing Watch With Me page with Laverne Cox’s watchlist.

To get you in the show-binge mood, we asked Laverne a few questions on how she likes to settle in for her watchlist.

What’s your go-to movie snack?

Laverne Cox: Definitely popcorn, but I also love a good tortilla chip.

What’s your favorite genre?

Laverne Cox: Suspense.

Do you watch movies alone or with other people?

Laverne Cox: It depends. I love watching films alone… but with the man I’m seeing now, it’s fun to watch stuff together and remotely when we’re apart. 

Who is your favorite person to talk to about movies and shows?

Laverne Cox: My brother! We have very different tastes, but when it collides, we have the best conversations about film. He is brilliant.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Laverne Cox: I crush on specific actors in a certain role - like James Spader in Pretty in Pink! I’ve also had a thing for Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street. My celebrity crushes are entirely character based.

How should we watch your watchlist?

Laverne Cox: The best way to watch my watchlist is on the couch, in a black terry cloth robe that makes you feel all nice and snuggly. Make sure you’ve got some chips and cheesy dip and either warm tea or a cocktail.

Dive into Laverne’s watchlist and uncover the story behind her top picks on Google TV's For You tab, rolling out over the next few days.  We hope you enjoy Laverne’s watchlist as much as she did sharing her favorites with us. Be sure to join in on the fun and share your favorites using #WatchWithMe.

Google TV for everyone in the family

It’s Saturday morning and my son is pointing at the TV, cheerful as ever. The “You’re Welcome” music video from Disney’s “Moana” is playing for the tenth time. As a new father, I’m always thinking about the role technology will play in my children’s lives. From Google Kids Space on select Android tablets to teacher-approved apps in Google Play, we’ve already made a lot of progress in helping our kids explore online, but the work isn’t over.

That’s why today, we’re taking our first step in delivering family features on Google TV with the introduction of kids profiles. Setting up a profile for each of your kids is easy: You can add an existing Google account for a child or create a new profile with just their name and age.

With Google TV, we thought about what families need from the biggest screen in the house. I personally want to be able to find my shows and movies, without being overwhelmed by my kids' content. At the same time, I want to be able to manage my kids’ screen time and know that what they’re watching is appropriate for them. Read on for some of my favorite features of kids profiles.

TV — for you and your kids

Parents will be able to pick which apps to add to their child’s profile. Kids profiles will feature rows with recommendations from kid-friendly apps, so your kids can easily find what to watch. And with Google Play Family Library, you can share access to TV shows and movies you’ve already purchased on other devices (“Moana” on repeat is absolutely an option).

Kids profile on Google TV

Kids profiles on Google TV are designed with young viewers in mind and feature bright colors and fun illustrations. The backdrop can be customized to a kid-friendly theme — like “Under the sea,” “Dinosaur jungle” or “Space travel.” In the coming weeks, we’ll also be introducing avatars so your kids can pick a profile picture based on their interests.

Theme selector

Screen time management

“It’s time to turn off the TV” is often met with moans and groans. With on-screen parental controls, you’ll be able to manage your kids’ screen time by setting daily watch limits and a bedtime schedule. When it’s almost time to turn off the TV, your kids will be greeted with three countdown warning signs before a final “Time is up” screen appears and ends their watch time. (And you’ll  always have the option to add some extra bonus time when it’s not a school night.) To prevent your kids from switching to your profile, you can turn on profile lock so only you can make changes with your PIN.

Screen time limits

You can also manage some content controls on Google TV right from the Family Link app to help make sure your child’s TV time aligns with the digital ground rules you set for your family across devices, such as their Android phone or Chromebook. From your phone, you can see how much time your kids are spending in their favorite apps, block and unblock apps, control app activity and more. 

Support for kids profiles on Google TV will roll out on Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV devices in the U.S. starting this month, and globally over the next few months. The TV is the largest, shared screen in the home — and we plan on finding more and more ways to make Google TV work for the whole family. Stay tuned!

Apple TV+ is now available on Google TV

Starting today, the Apple TV app, including Apple TV+, is now globally available on the new Chromecast with Google TV, with more Google TV devices to come. To access the Apple TV app, navigate to the Apps tab or the apps row in the For you tab.

Google TV gives users with subscriptions to Apple TV+ the ability to tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers. You can enjoy Apple Originals, including series like “Ted Lasso,” which was recently nominated for two Golden Globes, “For All Mankind” season two debuting tomorrow, “The Morning Show” and “Servant,” as well as movies like “Greyhound” and “Palmer.” The Apple TV app also gives you access to your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as personalized and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. And with Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV+ and Apple TV channels.

With Google TV in the U.S., you can browse Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results. And with Google Assistant, you can also use your voice to ask Google to open the Apple TV app or play an Apple Original title. If you aren’t ready to watch right away, you can add Apple Originals to your Watchlist for later. These features will roll out globally in the coming months.

The Chromecast with Google TV is packed with the latest technology—it streams crystal-clear video in up to 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second and now has a voice remote. The remote has a dedicated Google Assistant button that helps you find something to watch, answer everyday questions like “how's the weather?” or dim your compatible smart home lights with just your voice. It also eliminates the need for multiple remotes thanks to programmable TV controls for power, volume and input. 

In addition to Chromecast with Google TV, the Apple TV app will also be available on Google TVs from Sony and TCL. We plan to roll out to more Android TV-powered devices in the coming months.

The Apple TV app is on its way to Chromecast with Google TV

As a quick follow-up to welcoming Apple Music to Google smart speakers and displays, we’ll be bringing more of your favorite entertainment into one place with the launch of the Apple TV app on the all-new Chromecast with Google TV. With the addition of the Apple TV app, Chromecast with Google TV users can access Apple TV+ (you’ll need a paid subscription). This makes the Chromecast with Google TV one of the only streaming devices with all the major video subscriptions.

As an Apple TV+ subscriber, you can tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers. This includes titles like “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” “Defending Jacob,” “Greyhound” and “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.” Also on the Apple TV app, you can access your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as enjoy personalized and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels

With Google TV, you’ll be able to see Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results, making it even easier to find your favorite shows and movies. And, you’ll be able to save them to your Watchlist to catch up on later.

We will roll out the Apple TV app on Chromecast with Google TV early next year, and even more devices powered by Android TV OS in the future.