Chromecast is about as easy to install and cheap as you can get a technical dongle. For only $35, you can stream Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Google Play Movies and Music and more. You buy it, plug it into any HDMI port on your HDTV, give it power by either hooking up a UBS cable (provided) or into an outlet with the supplied adapter. After that, just follow the simple instructions on the screen and in no time you will be able to cast items from your smartphone, tablet or laptop up to your big screen. You also used your device as the remote – whatever you do on your mobile device will automatically show up on your TV, so there is no need for a separate remote control.
Up until now, all of this casting was done over your local Wi-Fi connection – all devices, be it smartphone, tablet, or laptop, had to be on the same Wi-Fi signal as the Chromecast was hooked up to work with. However, all of that is about to change due to something called ultrasonic networking, originally conceived by Google engineer Boris Smus, and announced at Google I/O by Chromecast Engineering Manager John Affaki. Rather than being hooked into the Wi-Fi network, pairing is done through an inaudible ultrasonic sound.
This all came about from Google's desire to use Chromecast as an entertainment type tool – people coming to your house, wanting to show the group something on their smartphone or tablet, but you do not always want to give out your network password. Provided the owner tells Chromecast to support nearby devices, the ultrasound network will allow anybody within a certain distance to hook up and cast from their device. The Chromecast dongle will transmit a unique ultrasonic sound through your TV's speakers. Because the sound is ultrasonic, it will be inaudible to the human ear, however, your mobile device in the same room with be able to pick up the signal and pair with the TV.
Google also announced there would be another change in the upcoming weeks – the user will be able to customize the Chromecast home screen. As it stands now, a few beautiful photos will randomly appear on your TV display when you are not using Chromecast. With this future enhancement, the user will be able to show their photos, or have the weather and news content shown on the TV.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you own Chromecast or are thinking of buying one – are you excited about this ultrasonic networking…as always, we would love to hear from you.