Which Chromecast should I buy?
Watch Netflix on your regular TV and listen to Spotify on your regular speakers with the help of Google tech.
Streaming is changing how we listen to music and watch TV, but to stream online content you need TVs and speakers that are connected to the internet. This has in the past meant purchasing specialist wireless speakers or a Smart TV or buying a separate set-top box for your TV.
But Google has changed that with Chromecast – small devices that plug into your existing speakers or TV to make them internet connected.
What is casting and how does it work?
Casting is a way of sending online content over your home Wi-Fi to your TV or speakers – transforming your smartphone into the remote control. Apps that work with Chromecast devices have a Cast icon that looks like a rectangle with a Wi-Fi-style symbol in it. Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Google Play are cast-enabled apps – and there are many more.
So when you’re watching something on one of these apps on your phone or tablet you simply hit the Cast icon in the top corner of the screen and it’ll appear on your TV.
Chromecast for TVs
The original Chromecast is a small circular device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV. You download the Google Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet and follow a few simple steps to set up – making sure both the mobile device and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It can stream up to Full HD resolution, and costs just £30. There isn’t a more affordable way to transform your existing HD telly into a Netflix streaming, box-set binging hub.
It’s also a great option if you’re not planning on upgrading to a 4K TV anytime soon.
What about 4K TVs? Introducing Chromecast Ultra
If you have bought or are thinking of buying a 4K TV, the new Chromecast Ultra is the one to choose. When watched on a 4K TV, 4K content can offer 4 times the detail of a Full HD telly. And Chromecast Ultra can stream up to 4K to your TV over your Wi-Fi.
This makes it perfect for watching the ever-growing range of 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. What can I watch on my 4K TV?
Some of the latest 4K TVs have support for HDR video, which offers improved contrast and colour range and the Chromecast Ultra supports HDR too. Worried about your Wi-Fi handling 4K? This is the first Chromecast you can plug directly into your Ethernet port for a wired connection.
Remember you need a 4K TV to get the best from Chromecast Ultra.
Chromecast Audio – the one for speakers
Listen to Spotify, Google Play Music and other online music services through speakers that aren’t Wi-Fi enabled. Chromecast Audio gives your speakers a serious upgrade for around £30. You simply plug the Chromecast cable into your speaker’s AUX port then download the Google Home app to set up in the same was as Chromecast for TV.
Your phone or tablet then becomes the speakers’ remote control. Just load an app like Spotify, or Google Play Music, find what you want to listen to and hit the ‘Cast’ button. It works with iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets.
Now you know which suits you, choose your Chromecast