I had been looking for a device to connect my Samsung Galaxy s4 and Laptop to my (non-smart) LG 42" TV. Although on the net I found many devices, most of which were not available in India or have exhorbitant price tags. And then I came across with Google's new magic device 'The Google Chromecast'.
What is it?With Chromecast you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content to your TV, play and pause and control the volume of the TV directly. With the content streaming, you can also multitask - send emails or surf the web - while seeing what is on the TV screen. All wirelessly. This means, you no longer have to check videos on you 4 or 5 inch screen of your mobile phone but enjoy those in your big screen TV and also enjoy them in HD; controlling everything from your couch.
How to connect?Very simple. The device is like a pen drive (a 2.83-inch (72 mm) HDMI dongle) which can be connected to the TV's HDMI port and power it through the USB port of the TV itself. If the TV doesn't have a USB port, it can be powered through a power adaptor. Now you need a WiFi connection with a minimum 2 Mbps speed. Once you get the welcome screen on the TV you can visit www.google.co.in/chromecast/setup/ from your laptop or download Chromecast app on your smartphone. Rest is easy. Once you have the devices connected, all you have to do is visit the YouTube app and stream a video and press the 'Play on TV' button on the YouTube screen. Voila!!
YouTube videos look splendid as long as you have a minimum 2 Mbps wifi speed. You can check any website and play any videos from any website (not necessary YouTube). Infact through 'Cast Entire Screen' option you can play videos or anything from the hard-drive of your laptop.
What about 'Screen Mirroring'? (For smart phones)Screen Mirroring is now available through Chromecast. You can mirror the screen of your cell phone with the TV with Google Chromecast. There are other devices for that too. So far my favourites (apart from Chromecast) are -
→ Normal 'wired mirroring' through Galaxy s4's Micro-USB port which gives glitch-free mirroring
→ 'Wireless mirroring' with the help of Samsung's AllShare Cast dongle.
→ Samsung HomeSync
Where to buy Google Chromecast in India?As of April, 2014, the device is available in Amazon.in for Rs 3099 and on Ibhejo.com for around Rs 2849 with a discount coupon - FBLIKEPAGE63766.
More info at Google.com
Screen Mirroring through Chromecast - Recently there was an update on Chromecast which enabled full-on screen mirroring through which one can play games like Dungeon Hunter and Real Racing 3 on TV. This would offer a second-screen experience, displaying the game on your TV and turning your phone into the controller.
How to do it? - Go to your 'Chromecast app' on your smartphone. Click on 'Devices' on top left. From the menu select 'Cast Screen'. Voila! You are a magician. Now go! Impress your girlfriend!