- TV & Gaming
Voice-control your TV with Google
‘Ok Google, turn on the TV.’ If you’re up to your elbows in Christmas wrapping paper and sticky tape, or trying to glue a toy back together, some hands-free entertainment wouldn’t go amiss.
And sometimes, after a long day, you just want to be able to flop back on the sofa once the kids are in bed and not have to lift a finger.
Google has made it easy to control your TV with voice commands and simplify the media in your home. All you’ll need is a Chromecast or TV with Chromecast built in, along with the new Google Home Mini.
What is Google Home Mini?
This small doughnut-shaped smart speaker is powered by Google Assistant and connects to your home Wi-Fi.
As well as using it with your TV, you can stream music, get answers to questions, check your daily calendar and more. Simply say ‘Ok Google’ and make your request.
The Home Mini is designed to seamlessly blend into your home decor, and is covered with a durable fabric, available in chalk or charcoal.
Find out more about the Google Home Mini
What is Google Chromecast?
It’s a small circular device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV. It works with a whole range of devices including: iPhone®, iPad®, Android phones and tablets, Mac®, Windows® laptops and Chromebooks, using the apps or browser on your smartphone, tablet or laptop to stream thousands of shows and films to your TV.
Chromecast is the most affordable way to transform your existing TV into an entertainment hub for all the family, whether you want to binge on box-sets or watch kids’ movies.
Check out the Google Chromecast
Once the TV is on, you can use the Google Home Mini to control the Chromecast with your voice.
Ask Google Home Mini to…
- Play your favourite Netflix or BBC iPlayer programmes on your TV – ‘Ok Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix’
- Play YouTube videos – whether it’s cats doing funny things or blogs on how to prepare the perfect turkey with all the trimmings
- Stream your favourite tunes with Google Play Music
- Play, pause, stop, rewind or fast forward, and skip to the next episode of a show
- Control the volume – turn down the sound if Grandma phones
How to set up your Chromecast and Home Mini
1. Make sure the Chromecast is plugged into one of your TV HDMI ports and is powered by mains, not by a TV USB port. This is to ensure the Chromecast has enough power to talk to your Home Mini even when the TV is in standby mode.
2. Use your TV remote to go to Settings and locate Anynet+: HDMI-CEC. This is typically found under ‘inputs’.
3. Click into this and ensure Anynet+ HDMI-CEC is turned on. This will enable your Google Home Mini to locate the Chromecast.
4. Download the Google Home app on your mobile device and follow a few simple steps on screen.
5. Go through the same set-up process for your Chromecast. Give it a unique name such as ‘TV’ or ‘lounge’, so it knows which device to stream content to.
6. Ensure both your mobile device and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
7. You’re now ready to voice-control your TV. Enjoy and start experimenting!
What else can I do with Chromecast and Home Mini?
Your TV becomes a big-screen computer when you have Chromecast, and you can tell it to do more than just stream TV shows, movies and music…
- Share photos with family and friends - cast holiday snaps to your TV from Google Photos with your voice.
- Get directions - ask Google to cast Google Maps or Street View on the big screen so you can work out exactly how to get to the Christmas party – and where to park.
- Play games - ask your Google Home Mini to search for games in Google Play
Looking to add more Google products to your shopping list this Christmas? See the full range here.
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