Chromecast with Google TV is one of our favorite products of 2020, and now, it’s getting a bonus that some users will appreciate. You can now buy a spare or replacement remote for Chromecast with Google TV.
Available now through the Google Store, anyone can buy a replacement remote for Chromecast with Google TV. This is the same physical remote that ships with the streamer but is available on its own for $20.
For most people, this will come in handy just as a replacement should your original Chromecast remote be lost or broken. In theory, though, you should be able to pair two remotes to the same Chromecast. From what we can tell, there’s nothing in the software that would stop you from doing so. It may also just be handy to have a spare on hand if your household includes a teething puppy, something I’m personally constantly worried about for my Chromecast.
Plus, you can also get this spare remote in any of the three colors — Snow, Sky, or Sunrise. If you missed out on the colored Chromecasts back at launch, this is a less-expensive way to get that color back. After all, you can’t see the dongle anyway.
The Chromecast Voice Remote is available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States (except Puerto Rico).
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Google Chromecast (2020) review: reinvented — and now with a remote
The new Chromecast is a much different product than the original $35 streaming stick that proved to be an unexpected hardware hit for Google way back in 2013. Instead of a barebones interface that requires you to play and control content using your smartphone or PC, the 2020 Chromecast has evolved to offer a richer, full-featured streaming experience much more akin to a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV.
It’s got an all-new user interface designed by Google (and built atop Android TV) that’s flush with content from popular services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and HBO Max. You navigate that content with a normal remote control that comes in the box. And as a streaming gadget, the Chromecast checks off almost everything important: it does 4K, supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and has a massive selection of apps at the ready.
The “Chromecast with Google TV,” as it’s fully called, is available starting today for $49.99, a price that puts Google right in line with Roku’s Streaming Stick Plus and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K. It’s also $20 less than Google’s Chromecast Ultra, which doesn’t have a remote or its own TV interface.
After spending a few days with the new Chromecast, I’ve been mostly pleased with the new Google TV software, which puts a huge emphasis on discovery and helping you find something to watch. And the changes don’t come at the sacrifice of functionality; you can still cast content to the Chromecast from your phone, tablet, or computer — say, if a friend comes over and wants to show you a video or play a song from their phone.
Like its recent predecessors, this Chromecast is a dongle that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, but it’s got a softer oval shape with a matte finish. Unlike older models, which could sometimes get enough power from a TV’s USB port, this one must be plugged into the accompanying 7.5-watt power brick. But hey, at least Google has switched to USB-C on the Chromecast itself.
The Chromecast now runs Android TV as its operating system, which means you’ve got a wide variety of apps to choose from. Aside from an Apple TV Plus app, which doesn’t currently exist on Google’s platforms, there are no obvious holes in the Chromecast’s roster of streaming services. HBO Max and Peacock are both available already, as are Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, Vudu, Plex, and just about anything else you’ll be looking for.
And oh, what a difference a good remote makes. The Chromecast’s new remote control looks and feels like a minimalistic, well-designed Roku remote (minus the headphone jack, unfortunately). It’s compact, comfortable, and the buttons beneath the D-pad are well-spaced out. There’s a Google Assistant button, which you can press and hold for voice searches, plus shortcuts for YouTube (of course) and Netflix. The remote uses both HDMI-CEC and IR, so it’s got power and volume buttons. There’s also an input button for switching your TV over to the Chromecast, so you don’t have to reach for another remote to do that, either. It’s powered by two AAA batteries, which are conveniently included in the box.
Voice search with the remote almost always works reliably. There was one instance where I searched for “movies with Tom Hanks,” and it surfaced illegal YouTube rips above everything else, but I never ran into that amusing bug again. With Google Assistant, you can say things like “watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix” or “watch The Mandalorian on Disney Plus” and you’ll jump right to that content. Searches for “show me Academy Award-winning movies” work like you’d expect, though “show me movies with a 90 percent or better rating on Rotten Tomatoes” is still too much for Assistant to figure out. Womp womp.
You can dive into your favorite streaming apps and use them just like normal, which I’ve found myself doing plenty. But the big new thing with this Chromecast — and something no other Android TV device offers — is the “Google TV” software that completely replaces the regular Android TV home screen. The user experience Google came up with looks and feels pretty familiar. Visually, it’s close to Amazon’s Fire TV interface. Functionally, it aims for the same, comprehensive aggregation as the Apple TV app.
Google TV attempts to break down the walls between streaming platforms and puts all of their movies and shows side by side. It’s split into different sections — For You, Movies, Shows, Apps, and Library — and you can switch between them from the top navigation bar. Browse the first three and you’ll find a very Netflix-like layout with rows of content grouped by genre or some other category that links them. (Action shows, Oscar-winning movies, true crime shows… you get the idea.) Each row combines content from all the big services you’d expect and makes it very obvious where each title is coming from. You’ll also see a Rotten Tomatoes average for most shows and movies as you scroll through them.
You can tell Google TV which streaming apps you pay for, and those will be prioritized in your recommendations. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never get suggestions from apps you’re not subscribed to; I don’t have HBO Max, but Google TV still leans on it pretty heavily in the Movies section. Paid rentals and purchases are also included in these carousels of content. If you don’t subscribe to a service or if Google TV is pushing a rental on you, you’ll see a lock icon below the content to make this clear. (The lock goes away after you log into each app.) You’ll also see the occasional recommendation from free, ad-supported services like Tubi TV or Crackle.
There’s no way to tell Google TV to stop including a particular service altogether, but you can long-press the center button on the remote to like or dislike individual content, or add something to your watchlist. Clicking into each item brings up a details page with cast information and related recommendations. And if there are multiple ways of streaming something, you’ll see that on this screen too; free options or existing subscriptions are always given higher rank.
The Google TV software seems very good at aggregating content from everywhere. This can be surprisingly helpful for services like Sling TV. I typically use it just to stream live TV, but Google’s software highlights just how much on-demand content comes with my subscription. Speaking of TV services, if you’re a YouTube TV customer, you’ll see a “live” tab added to the main Google TV interface, which takes you right to the channel guide. That’s a nice touch. Google says the API for the live TV tab is available to other services and that it’s already working with Sling on it.
You won’t find any blatant advertising while using Google TV — at least nothing like the banner ads on Roku OS or the clear “sponsored” row on Fire TV. But some of the recommendations feel like paid placement. I couldn’t be less interested in watching Disney Plus’ Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, but it’s among the rotating picks with giant artwork at the top of the For You tab. If that’s the worst that it gets, I can live with it. There are also rows for “trending on Google” and “YouTube recommended videos,” but it’s a Google product. What’d you expect? Oh, but the Library tab does need a lot of work. Got a big Movies Anywhere library? Right now, it just shows everything in a single, horizontal row. You really couldn’t have made it any less efficient, Google.
If you strongly dislike Google TV, there’s an “apps-only mode” that can be enabled in settings that hides all recommendations from your home screen. But this is a drastic step, as it also completely disables search and Google Assistant. It hobbles the Chromecast so badly that there’s really no point in doing it — especially since it’s the same home screen, just without recommendations below your row of apps. You’d be better off just buying something else.
But if you do go with the Chromecast, you’ll be pleased with its streaming quality. It consistently pulled down excellent 4K HDR streams without any noticeable artifacting or buffering interruptions. Performance is generally responsive when you’re browsing around, but I did run into a few instances of sluggishness — and every so often you’ll see a blank home screen with a loading animation as the Chromecast works to fill everything in.
Android TV is still running the show underneath all this, so you can sideload apps, explore developer settings, and try to hack the Chromecast into doing whatever you want from it. You can pair Bluetooth gamepads (such as an Xbox One controller) to the Chromecast and try running Stadia or Xbox game streaming on the thing. No one’s stopping you, even if proper Stadia support isn’t coming until early next year. (I’ve confirmed that the Chromecast will accept a wired internet connection from some USB-C hubs with Ethernet.) As always, Google Assistant can control your smart home gadgets or update you on the weather. And you can set the Chromecast to cycle through your Google Photos library when in ambient mode, turning your TV into a giant picture frame.
Google is making a big shift with the new Chromecast, and that doesn’t come without bugs and frustrations. Beyond the aforementioned sluggishness, there’s a small learning curve to the software; clicking on any regular-sized rectangle for a movie or show takes you to its Google TV details page, but click on any of the larger banners up top and you’re immediately fired into a streaming app. Google’s “continue watching” feature only supports select apps — Netflix yes, Prime Video no — so you can’t always quickly resume what you were just watching. Last, while I can appreciate the content-first focus of Google TV, it’d be nice to have some level of home screen customization resembling what Android TV normally allows for. Aside from organizing your row of favorite apps how you want them, everything else has been tossed out in favor of a simpler lean-back experience.
Even so, I’d rate the new Chromecast with Google TV as a big success. When it first debuted, the Chromecast stuck out as a unique, irresistibly cheap streaming device. But times have changed. With Roku and Amazon packing so much value into their own affordable hardware, Google couldn’t stick with the same formula of relaying content from phone to Chromecast anymore. Instead, it reinvented the Chromecast as an excellent 4K streamer that’s dramatically easier to use — turns out actual menus and a remote really do matter — without losing sight of what made the original great.
What to Do If You Lose the Remote for Your Chromecast with Google TV
Uh oh, it looks like the couch has claimed another Chromecast with Google TV remote. Google sells replacement Voice Remotes for $20, but until it arrives at your door, you’re gonna have to control your Chromecast with Google TV from a phone, tablet, laptop, or wireless gamepad. Here’s how to get it done.
First Thing’s First, Order a Replacement
Huzzah! Replacement Voice Remotes for the Chromecast with Google TV are available in all colors through the Google Store. You can buy one for $20 and have it delivered in a few days. The new remote should automatically pair with your Chromecast. If it doesn’t, you can hold down the “Home” and “Back” buttons to force it into pairing mode.
If you can’t wait for a new remote to arrive, then you’ll have to control your Chromecast from a phone or tablet using the Android TV Remote Control app. You can also cast content directly from your phone, tablet, or laptop through the Google Cast protocol, or use a wireless gamepad like the Xbox or PlayStation controller as a remote.
Use the Android TV Remote Control App
While you’re waiting for your replacement Voice Remote to arrive, try controlling your Chromecast with the official Android TV Remote Control app. It has most of the functions of a physical Voice Remote, including a D-pad, a Google Assistant button for voice commands, and volume controls through your phone’s physical volume buttons. You can also type from the Remote Control app, which makes searching for shows and movies a little easier.
Download the “Android TV Remote Control” app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast. Once you accept some terms and conditions, the Remote Control app will show you a list of available devices to control. Select your “Chromecast with Google TV,” then type in the code that appears on your TV to pair your Chromecast with the Remote Control app.
Cast From Your Phone, Tablet, or Computer
When all else fails, you can cast videos directly to your Chromecast with Google TV from your smartphone. Casting is easy, it takes seconds, and it works on any Android device, iOS device, or computer running the Chrome browser. Plus, casting doesn’t require any extra apps, so it’s handy if you’re in a rush.
To cast content directly to your Chromecast with Google TV, first make sure that your smartphone and Chromecast are on the same Wi-Fi network. Then, fire up a streaming app like Netflix or YouTube on your smartphone. You should see a “Google Cast” button (pictured above) on the top- or bottom-right corner of your screen. Press it and select your Chromecast. Now any movie, show, or video that you select on your phone will instantly cast to your TV.
If you want to cast from a computer, then open “Chrome” and press the “More” button on the top right of your screen. Then, choose “Cast” and select which device you want to cast to. Keep in mind that this only works in the Chrome browser, and that your laptop or desktop needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast.
While casting from your phone or laptop may seem a bit clunky, it has its benefits. If you don’t have the Netflix app on your Chromecast, for example, you can get around the download and login process by casting the video directly from your phone. You can also cast your phone’s screen, your browser window, or photos directly to the Chromecast—three incredible tricks that are impossible if you only use the Voice Remote.
Connect a Gamepad
If you don’t want to control your Chromecast from your phone or tablet, try using a wireless gamepad instead. Your Xbox, PlayStation, or third-party game controller can connect to the Chromecast over Bluetooth and serve as a handy replacement for your missing remote. Heck, you might even prefer the gamepad over Google’s oddly shaped Voice Remote.
Pairing a gamepad with your Chromecast is easy, and the controller will automatically connect to the Chromecast every time you turn it on. Unfortunately, we need to get into the Google TV Settings to set up a wireless controller. Because you’ve already lost your Voice Remote, that means downloading the Android TV Remote Control app on your phone or tablet. (Scroll up to the previous section for info on the Android TV Remote Control app.)
Once you’ve set up the Android TV Remote Control app, use it to scroll to the top menu on your Google TV Home screen and select your profile photo on the right. Then, open the “Settings” shortcut, go to “Remote & Accessories,” and select “Add Accessory.” Put your gamepad into pairing mode and select it when it pops up onscreen. (To put an Xbox controller into pairing mode, hold its “Sync” button. If you’re using a PS4 or PS5 controller, hold its “PS” and “Share” buttons at the same time.)
How to use your TV remote with a Google Chromecast (yes, it's possible)
Google launched its Chromecast back in 2013, and it’s become one of the best ways to binge Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. But despite hardware updates and the release of the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra, it took until 2020 for Google to release a Chromecast with Google TV that included a remote.
Although you can’t buy Google’s Chromecast remote for your older devices, it is technically possible to use your standard TV remote to control your Chromecast, and it’s surprisingly easy. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get your Chromecast to work with your TV remote.
Read also: Google Chromecast with Google TV review
How to enable Chromecast remote support with HDMI-CEC
To start using your TV remote to control your Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, you first need to enable something called HDMI-CEC (or HDMI Consumer Electronics Control). This allows your TV to send signals from your remote back into the Chromecast.
HDMI-CEC is available on most modern TVs, but older models may not support it. To further complicate matters, many manufacturers have their own names for the tech. Here’s a list of some of the most popular brands and their names for HDMI-CEC:
- AOC: E-link
- Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
- Insignia: INlink
- LG: SimpLink
- Mitsubishi: NetCommand for HDMI, Realink for HDMI
- Onkyo: RIHD (Remote Interactive for HDMI)
- Panasonic: Viera Link, HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync
- Philips: EasyLink, Fun-Link
- Pioneer: Kuro Link
- Samsung: Anynet+
- Sharp: Aquos Link
- Sony: Bravia Link, Bravia Sync, Control for HDMI
- Toshiba: CE-Link, Regza Link
- Vizio: CEC
To start using your TV remote, all you need to do is find the option to turn on HDMI-CEC in your TV’s settings. It’s generally off by default, but once enabled, your Chromecast will automatically accept specific commands from your TV’s remote.
See also: The best Chromecast apps for Android
What commands can my TV remote handle?
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
Before you run off to binge the latest Netflix Original series, you should know that Chromecast remote support has some serious limitations. It only supports two commands: pause and play.
Although the HDMI-CEC protocol allows for complete deck control (fast-forward, rewind, etc.), the Chromecast only allows the two most common commands. That said, there is a possibility that we’ll get more controls in the future.
How ToStreamingGoogle Chromecast
Chromecast remote google
Want a Chromecast remote? You likely already have one [UPDATED 10/15/2020]
UPDATE – 10/15/2020:With the release of the new Chromecast with Google TV, you can now have a fully-featured remote that will do way more than the remote that came with your TV. In addition to a physical remote, this new device includes the Google TV interface that you can navigate with the remote to find the content you want to watch instead of casting from specific apps on your phone. You can definitely still follow the steps below to use your TV remote for some basic casting controls but we would highly recommend picking up this new device if you are interested in having a remote with your Chromecast.
The simplicity of Google’s Chromecast is part of the reason so many people have decided to make it part of their home tech. Unlike other streaming consoles – like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV – Chromecast does not come with a remote, so you are out of luck if your phone is in the other room charging and you just want to quickly Play/Pause or exit out of a casting session. The good news? You can do this right now with the remote that came with your TV.
The technology that makes this possible behind the scenes is called HDMI-CEC, or HDMI Consumer Electronic Controls, and is built into most modern TVs. It has been around since 2008 and we’ve written about how this tech allows your Google Assistant to turn on the TV and play your favorite show with a simple, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on the Living Room TV.” HDMI-CEC is also the reason your Chromecast can automatically switch inputs when you start casting.
You Need to Enable This Feature On Your TV
Since most TVs will ship with this HDMI-CEC disabled, you will need to enable this feature to use your TV remote or home theater remote with Chromecast. Different manufacturers have different branding for HDMI-CEC, but it was in the ‘General Settings’ under ‘External Device Manager’ on my Samsung TV. You can reference How-To-Geek if you need help finding this setting on your TV. You might also need to keep the Chromecast plugged into the wall via the provided wall adapter if your TV doesn’t keep the USB port powered on when the TV is powered off if you want to take full advantage of HDMI-CEC and allow power on and off controls via the Chromecast dongle.
Once you have successfully completed these steps there is no additional setup required: it should just work. With your TV remote, you can Pause/Play and stop a cast using the exit, stop or return buttons. At this point, we have not had luck with the rewind and fast forward buttons, but your luck may vary. Give it a shot and see what happens!
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Not a full Chromecast remote
Don’t be mistaken, this trick does not make your TV remote a fully-functioning controller for Chromecast, but to be honest, you don’t really need one. There has been some discussion on the internet recently about what it would be like to have a Chromecast with a built-in remote or how the Stadia controller could possibly work as a remote, but Google has long argued your phone is the best remote. Google built Chromecast without a user interface or menu that would require you to hunt down and find a remote all the time. It is made this way on purpose and we just don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Even without a remote, Chromecast is powerful and has a lot of fun tricks up its sleeve. Not to mention the fact many functions on Chromecast can be controlled by the Google Assistant and Google Home speakers. You can say things like:
- “Hey, Google, skip to five minutes on the Living Room TV” or “Hey, Google, skip forward/back one minute on the Living Room TV.”
- “Hey, Google, set the Living Room TV volume to 50 percent” or “Hey, Google, volume down on the Living Room TV.”
In the end, Chromecast is just a different way to think about watching things on your TV: built from the ground up not to require a remote and with the expectation that there would never really be one for it. However, when those times arise where your phone isn’t around or you are in a rush, having the ability to pick up your old, trusty remote can come in extremely handy.
Filed Under: Chromecast, Tips & TricksTagged With: videosSours: https://chromeunboxed.com/want-a-chromecast-remote-how-to/
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