Today, the Google Chrome team have announced casting support is being included for another seven applications, these being Comedy Central, Sesame Street Go, Nickelodeon, TuneIn, EPIX, YuppTV, and Encore. This now means that if you use one of these applications and you have either an Android TV or a Google Chromecast, you may now cast – or send – this application feed directly to your TV. This means it's very easy to share content from your device with a wider audience. It gets better: the Chromecast dongle is small, inexpensive ($35, but see below) and self maintaining in that it will silently perform software upgrades in the background over your WiFi network during downtime. There are many applications that support Casting (you can check them out using this link on the Google Play Store) and that number is growing all of the time.
It merits an introduction to the concept of "casting," because it is not always clear what this means. The Chromecast is a tiny computer that plugs into your television HDMI port and received power from a microUSB adapter. What the Chromecast does is handle the feed for your application rather than from the application. What I mean here is that when you tap the Cast icon from an application running on your Android smartphone, the Chromecast handles the connection to the online service rather than rely on your Android device. This is great news for power consumption and battery life. It can also mean higher quality video quality too if the Android device is a lower resolution compared with the television. One caveat is that both the Android device and the Chromecast need to be on the same WiFi network. If you use your Android device(s), your Chromebook or indeed any computer running the Chrome browser, a Chromecast could revolutionize how you view media. In effect, your smartphone, phablet, tablet or Chromebook becomes the remote control for your television without clumsy wires cluttering up the living room. It also becomes a great way to bring all of your media to any HDMI-equipped television in the house and gives you an even better reason to be buying movies from the Google Play Store.
Amazon is currently offering $3 off Chromecast if you don't have one, or if you fancy adding another to your household. Or if you really feel like splashing out, you can invest in the Nexus Player, available through the Google Play Store, which has built-in Chromecast functionality (plus a whole lot more besides). Meanwhile, do you use any of these applications? Do you or your family enjoy the Sesame Street Go or Nickelodeon app? Are you pleased to see Casting support bought to these applications? Let us know in the comments below.