In this guide, we’ll introduce you to Google's latest hit the Chromecast with Google TV, and explain why it's the next best thing for digital signage.
We will also walk you through a detailed step-by-step guide on how to set up your device, talk about what the user experience is like, as well as give some details about the specifications.
Table of Contents:
Section I: Introduction to the Chromecast with Google TV
Gone are the days of having to search for your phone or tablet just to wait even longer to stream content to your screen. Don't get wrong, when the Chromecast works it's truly magical, but when it doesn't you don't have much of a choice to troubleshoot your issues besides the good old - take it out, blow on it, and put it back in. Still doesn't work? Well, try it again until it does!
The experience can be inconsistent at times and you never know how an app will work with the casting features.
The new Google Chromecast released in late 2020 is a significant upgrade in usability compared to the previous Chromecast, in that it now comes with a full user interface powered by Google TV and a long-overdue remote control. Emphasis on the 'significance' am I right?
Since Google’s first release of the Chromecast in 2013, Chromecasts have made it extremely affordable and easy to throw content up on your screen via your phone or Chrome browser. With the all-new $50 Chromecast with Google TV, you now have the convenience of picking up a remote and begin browsing content or apps all in one place. This is a very big change and departure from old Chromecast experiences.
So what is Google TV? Google TV is a new interface for Android devices that Google rolled out to soon replace the current Android TVs. So what's the difference? Google TV is not a new operating system but a software layer designed to make the user experience better and is geared more towards helping show you more content fitted to your liking.
It still has all of the Android features but uses Google's machine learning to optimize your experience and promote more discovery of content and services. Think of it as a "skin" or something built on top of the existing Android TV.
Currently, Google TV is only available on the Chromecast with Google TV and Android phones via the Google TV app (previously known as Google Play Movies & TV), but the interface is soon to be rolled out to more devices like Sony TV's very soon. Just to make it clear, Google TV itself cannot be purchased or installed on a device, therefore it must be purchased on supported devices or TV's.
Section II: User Experience and Specifications
At first glance, the Google TV interface is very user-friendly, and with the benefits of a full operating system, users have access to a home screen which has never been seen before with Chromecasts.
Once powered on, the home screen displays a full array of apps and various movie recommendations to choose from, similar to the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
The Google TV software aggregates all content from multiple streaming channels such as Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, and youtube all into one combined interface. Now, you can search through all of your favorite content from one menu. To explain a little more how it works in action, Google TVs smart recommendation technology will take a look at your search history of various apps and make suggestions or promote similar searches. Its highly advanced knowledge graph uses machine learning to move information from different areas into topics and genres to boost your engagement.
In addition to that, the new Chromecast also comes with Google Assistant, supports multiple HDR formats, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos Audio, and can now display up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS. It is fully equipped to support all of your digital signage needs.
The Chromecast with Google TV is a small dongle like its predecessor Chromecast so it is fairly easy to conceal it behind a display if you are using it in public places. On the remote, you have the four directional buttons you normally find on TV remotes, as well as a center button for selecting.
Because the device is running on Android TV and has a USB-C port this opens up an array of opportunities for the more tech-savvy users. With an attachable USB-C dongle and higher wattage power brick, you now have the opportunity to attach webcams and microphones, cameras, keyboards and mice, external storage devices, as well as the ability to sideload apps.
Google has really outdone themselves with this device, it's almost unrecognizable next to its predecessor Chromecasts. We could go on and on about this amazing little device so let's take a look at how to set it up and start using it for digital signage.
Section III: How to Set up Your Chromecast with Google TV with ScreenCloud
Setting up your Chromecast is fairly easy and can be done either through a manual setup with your Chromecast with Google TV remote, or by using the Google Home app on your phone or tablet. Before you set up your Chromecast, it is important to have the Google Home app which can be installed from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, a Wi-Fi connection, and a Google Account prepared.
If you already set up your device, skip to step 2. To learn how to set up your Chromecast with Google TV, follow along with the steps below.
1. Setting up your Chromecast with Google TV
3.1.1. First, unpack your Chromecast with Google TV and its accessories.
Besides the Chromecast, you will find a start-up guide, a 3-pin power adapter, USB-C to USB-A cable, two triple-A batteries, and a remote.
3.1.2. Next, connect your Chromecast to your TV by inserting the HDMI cable into an HDMI port at the back of your TV. Next, connect the USB-C to USB-A cable to your Chromecast and plug in the power adapter to an outlet.
Please note, the Chromecast with Google TV must only be powered using the appropriate power source, such as the power adapter provided. If you power on your Chromecast by inserting the USB-A charging cable into a port in your TV, you will receive a warning on your TV to plug your Chromecast into an appropriate power source.
3.1.3. Now, turn on your TV and switch the input source to match the HDMI port your Chromecast is plugged into.
3.1.4. Next, prepare to use your Chromecast remote by inserting the provided batteries into the back of the remote.
3.1.5. If your remote is unpaired and/or is setting up your device for the first time, you will see a "Start Pairing" message on your TV. To begin pairing, press and hold the "back and home" buttons on the remote simultaneously.
Once you see a flashing circle at the lower part of the remote, release the "back and home" buttons.
3.1.6. When the connection is confirmed, you will see a checkmark and will be ready to use your remote for setting up. If your remote failed to connect, simply repeat the steps in 1.1.5 until successful.
3.1.7. Next, select the language you would like to use with your Chromecast with Google TV.
3.1.8. Now it's time to set up your Chromecast with the Google Home app on your phone or tablet. If you do not have a Google account already, not to worry, you can set one up by clicking here.
To get started, switch over to your phone or tablet, open the Google Play Store app or the Apple app store, and download the Google Home app.
3.1.9. Next, open the Google Home app and select, "Set up device". The app will display all nearby devices.
3.1.10. Go ahead and select, "Chromecast". If multiple devices are found, select the Chromecast that matches the number ID on the top left part of your TV
3.1.11. Next, scan the QR code on your TV screen using the Google Home app. The app will guide you through the next steps on how to configure your Chromecast with Google TV.
3.1.12. You will then be asked to choose a room in your home or location where you are going to use your Chromecast. Select from the various options or create your own, and then select "Next".
3.1.13. Next, select your Wi-Fi network and select "Next".
3.1.14. Now, sign in to Chromecast using your Google account. Again, If you do not have a Google account, not to worry, you can set one up by clicking here.
Ensure that your phone or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast to continue setting up your Chromecast with Google TV.
3.1.15. Next, you have the option of setting up Google Assistant.
If you would like to set up Google Assistant, select "Next" and select "I agree" to the terms and conditions outlined. If you already have Voice Match set up on another device, Google Assistant will automatically begin connecting.
If you do not want to set up Google Assitant, select "No thanks".
3.1.16. Next, you have the option of personalizing your Google TV experience. Select the services you would like to use with your Google TV, and then select "Next".
3.1.17. Now select what you would like to show when your display isn't being used. You have the option of choosing from your phone or tablet albums or select pre-made art gallery photos. After you select your preferences, go ahead and select, "Next".
3.1.18. Next, confirm the summary of your Chromecast set up, and once done select, "Continue".
3.1.19. Good job! You have successfully completed setting up your Chromecast with the Google Home app. Select, "Done" when ready.
You are now one step away from completing the setup process, switch back over to your TV to follow the next steps to learn how to set up your Chromecast remote. At this time you may begin using your remote to control your Chromecast with Google TV.
2. How to set up your Chromecast remote to control your TV?
After you set up your Chromecast using the Google Home app, you will now have the option to set up your Chromecast remote to control your TV sound output, soundbar, or receiver.
3.2.1. If your Chromecast already detects your TV brand, your Chromecast remote will be set up automatically like so:
3.2.2. If your Chromecast does not recognize the brand of TV you have or would like to change your remote settings, continue setting up your remote below.
First, select which option you would like your sound to play out of.
3.2.3. Next, select the TV brand you are currently using. This will help your Chromecast remote calibrate more accurately.
3.2.4. After selecting your TV brand, you will begin hearing some music out of your select sound output. If you do not hear any music, use your old remote to ensure your volume is fully up.
3.2.5. Next, point your Chromecast remote at your TV and toggle the volume up and down.
Begin following the instructions on the screen to set up your remote to control the TV and power buttons. To do this, select the "Power button" once to turn off the TV, wait 10 seconds, and select the "Power button" once to turn the TV back on.
3.2.6. Once your TV turns back on, your Chromecast will begin updating and the streaming services you chose during the setup process within the Google Home app with now be installed.
Great! You have now finished setting up the Chromecast with Google TV. Select "Start exploring" to launch your device for the first time. To learn how to set up ScreenCloud for digital signage, follow along with the steps below.
3. How to Download and Set up ScreenCloud for Digital Signage
Now that you have successfully set up your Chromecast with Google TV, it's time to set up ScreenCloud for your digital signage use.
3.3.1. Once you are inside the Chromecast launch screen, it should look like this. To begin downloading ScreenCloud, locate the Google Play Store.
3.3.2. Next, search for “ScreenCloud” in the search bar, select “ScreenCloud Signage Player (beta) version” and then select “Install” to install it.
3.3.3. After the ScreenCloud Signage Player app finishes installing, select “Open” to open it for the first time.
3.3.4. The first time the app loads, it will ask you if you want to enable the “Start at boot” feature. Select “Yes”.
3.3.5. When opening the ScreenCloud player app for the first time, you will see a 6 character pairing code (like the one pictured below) that you will use to pair your screen to your ScreenCloud account.
Section IV: Optimum Settings for Your Digital Signage
1. How to turn on "Match Content" for your Chromecast with Google TV
The Chromecast with Google TV will automatically set your TV settings to the highest HDR mode your TV supports. This can cause slight issues if the content is not encoded with Dolby's vision.
4.1.1. To do this open your Chromecast with google TV and head over to the Settings menu.
4.1.3. Next, open Systems and locate "Display & Sounds", then scroll down until you see the "Match Content".
4.1.4. Once inside "Match Content" switch the "Match content dynamic range" option to "ON"
This setting will make the device automatically switch color modes depending on the content you are displaying to ensure that the color looks accurate and aesthetically pleasing on your screen.
2. How to keep your Chromecast with Google TV awake
Keeping your Chromecast with Google TV awake may be important to you if you want to keep your screen on for a long period of time without having the need to constantly wake up your Chromecast. There are two methods to keep your device up and running:
i). Set Energy Saver mode to "Never"
1.2. To do this open your Chromecast with google TV and head over to the Settings menu.
1.3. Next, open Systems and locate Energy Saver. Once you locate Energy Saver, scroll down until you see the "Turn off display" option and set it to "Never".
ii) Set your device to stay awake
2.1.To do this open your Chromecast with google TV and head over to the Settings menu.
2.2. Next, open Systems and locate the Developers Option.
2.3. Scroll down until you see the "Stay awake" option and set it to "Off"
Section V: Conclusion
Although it has Chromecast is in its name, this device is the furthest thing from a simple casting dongle. Its most notable upgrade is defiantly the addition of the remote control and user interface. The smart recommendation engine suggests content you may want to watch based on your browsing habits and viewed content, something that has never been seen on a Chromecast device before.
From our testing here at ScreenCloud, we are happy to say the Chromecast with Google TV performs admirably and is now one of our top recommended devices for digital signage. The Chromecast with Google TV also has Ethernet support helping your device receive and display content almost instantaneously. Of course, if you are looking for more of a business-ready device, you probably don't want to use an Android TV-like device. But, the Chromecast with Google TV is definitely good enough to power your content with minimal interruptions.
The only critics we have about this device is the lack of profiles. Compared to other streaming services like Amazon Video or Netflix that do allow you to create profiles, the Google TV only consist of one environment which creates problems if potentially other family members browse different interest and results change based on those searches.
However, the bottom line is, the Chromecast for Google TV is a great device both for personal use and digital signage use and we highly recommend you purchase this device and try it out yourself.
If you have any additional questions on how to set up your Chromecast with Google TV with ScreenCloud, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.