Make more of your tv with Chromecast

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Google have a history of releasing new and affordable technology.

The Chromecast, which went on sale in the UK on the 19th of March, embodies that concept. At just £30 it really is technology for the masses.

So what is a Chromecast exactly? The name implies something to do with Google Chrome, but casting? What could that mean? The answer is fairly straightforward.

The origins of the word cast come from farming, where you would cast (or broadcast) seeds. The meaning has morphed to include broadcast media and that is where the tie with the Chromecast comes in.

Simply, you can stream content from your smartphone, tablet or laptop straight onto an HDTV screen.

It does this using some clever wizardry, which allows you to ‘cast’ using Google Chrome, hence the name. You can also use several other applications to cast video too. Like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube and Google Play. You can see a full list of supported apps at

Chromecast itself is a small dongle (about the size of your thumb) that plugs into an HDMI port on your HD TV. It connects via WiFi and updates itself in the background.

Given the power necessary to do what it does, it comes with a power adapter and USB cable, which need to be plugged in for it to work. Other than that, it is a discrete piece of equipment.

Chromecast means you will no longer be left crowding round a tiny screen, trying to watch the latest YouTube video, or film on Netflix.

Instead, you can sit in comfort and watch in full screen HD. You don’t need a remote control to do all this either, as control is via your computer or mobile device.

I am looking forward to getting my hands on a Chromecast. Will you?

Alan Stainer