Since its debut in 2013, Google has positioned its Chromecast as one of the most affordable and dynamic streaming devices on the market. Compatible with all sorts of devices, the Chromecast lets you stream movies, music, websites, and more on your TV.
If you’re looking to stream to a Chromecast from your iPhone, here’s how to set up and watch almost any content from your paired Apple and Google devices.
How to stream to Chromecast from an iPhone
The Google Home app for iPhone lets you link Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, HBO, and other popular streaming services and stream them using the Chromecast that’s plugged into your TV. Just make sure that every device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
1. With your Google Home app open on your iPhone, tap the Media icon.
2. Under the “Manage Your System” section, select whether you want to access available Music, Video, Podcast, or Radio services.
3. In the list of available apps, tap “Link” under the service you want to add to your iPhone’s Google Home app.
4. In the confirmation box, tap “Link Account” to be brought to the service’s sign in page where you can enter your account username and password.
5. Once logged in, closeout of Google Home and tap the icon for the streaming service you just linked.
6. Select the media you want to play on your TV through your Chromecast device.
7. On your iPhone’s screen, locate the Google Chromecast “casting” icon, which may be located in various places depending on the app.
8. Select the name of your Chromecast from the list of available Chromecast devices and begin watching.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a streaming video player sold by Amazon. Similar in many ways to the Roku Streaming Stick, the Fire TV stick is the entry-level product in Amazon’s streaming media player family, typically priced at about $40.
The Fire TV Stick is shaped like an oversized USB flash drive, and plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI video input. Rather than storing files, though, it’s a full-featured streaming player, able to turn any television with an HDMI port into a Smart TV.
The Fire TV Stick is free to use and set up, and it’s free to download nearly every major app. However, to watch subscription-based apps like Netflix or Hulu, you’ll need to pay for them separately.
You can purchase the Amazon Fire TV Stick in both a basic version, and 4K version. The only difference between the two is that the 4K version can stream – as the name implies – in 4K resolution.
What you can do with the Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon says that the Fire TV Stick adds “tens of thousands” of channels to your TV. That includes all the streaming services you are most familiar with, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Now, along with network TV apps, sports, and, of course, thousands of less common niche channels you may not be familiar with.
The stick comes with a remote control that has a built-in microphone for voice control. Because this is an Amazon product, you might expect that it has Alexa support, and you would be right – you can give commands to the Fire TV Stick using Alexa, and control all your home automation products (like the Ring doorbell, Philips Hue lights, and ecobee thermostat, among others) just as if you were talking to an Amazon Echo speaker.
What Amazon Fire TV Sticks cost
The Fire TV family includes the Fire TV Stick ($39.99; $19.99 with a Black Friday discount) and the Fire TV Stick 4K ($49.99; $24.99 with a Black Friday discount). The 4K version costs a little more and is identical to the Fire TV Stick except that it (as the name implies) works with 4K video. The original Fire TV Stick sends standard 1080p high definition video instead.
Amazon also sells the Fire TV Cube. Priced at $119.99 ($89.99 with a Black Friday discount), this media player includes a built-in speaker and a microphone that listens for voice commands from across the room – you don’t need to talk into a remote control. While the two versions of the Fire TV Stick require Wi-Fi, the Cube is able to connect to Ethernet for faster, more reliable internet access. (It’s possible to connect the Fire TV sticks to Ethernet with an optional Ethernet adapter.)
How to set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick
Setting up an Amazon Fire Stick is little more than a three step process.
You simply need to plug the Fire TV stick into its supplied power adapter and then plug the stick into your TV’s HDMI video input. Then, turn on your TV and make sure it’s set to the correct HDMI input.
Finally, using the remote control, step through the welcome and setup instructions on the TV screen. You’ll need to enter your Wi-Fi password and log into your Amazon account. You don’t need a VPN or anything of the sort.
After that, setup is largely complete; you’ll just need to add and log into any streaming channels you use (like Netflix, Hulu, and so on).
More than five years ago, Amazon released its very own streaming device where you can watch all your favorite TV shows, movies, and more – the Fire Stick. It also comes equipped with Alexa for voice commands.
Today, an Amazon Fire Stick costs about $40, and it’s simple to set up. All you need is a television with an HDMI port, batteries for the remote, and an internet connection.
How to set up an Amazon Fire Stick
1. When you receive your Amazon Fire Stick, there will be 3 items: the remote, power adapter, and the Fire Stick. First, find the Fire Stick.
2. Plug the Fire Stick into one of your TV’s HDMI ports, which can usually be found on the back of the television.
3. Connect the power cable to the Fire Stick.
4. Then, plug the power cable into a wall outlet, or into the USB port of the TV.
5. Turn on your TV. Using the television’s remote, find the correct input channel or source that you plugged the Fire Stick into (for example, HDMI 1), and select it.
6. Once you’ve inserted batteries into your Fire Stick remote, press any button.
7. Now, you should see the Amazon Fire Stick start-up screen. Follow the instructions on-screen to finish setting up your Fire Stick. This includes pairing the remote, setting up the language, connecting to Wi-Fi, and signing into your Amazon account.
Once you’ve signed in to your Amazon account, you can download video-streaming apps like HBO, Hulu, and Netflix as well as games and music.
If you are a Prime member, you will have access to Prime Video. You can also use Alexa to check the weather and add items to your Amazon cart.
BritBox, the streaming service borne of a partnership between British television networks BBC and ITV, is the place where you can go to watch classic pieces of British TV and new series.
The BritBox app is available on most smart TVs, and installation is fairly simple for each of them, even though the methods of installation are slightly varied depending on what brand you have.
How to get BritBox on your smart TV
1. From the Home screen on your TV, in the top toolbar, scroll over to “Apps.”
2. Search for BritBox among the suggested channels. If you can’t find it, press and hold the mic button at the top of your Fire TV remote and say “BritBox” into it. If you searched using your voice, select Britbox from the list of matches.
3. Click the BritBox logo, and when it appears on your screen, click the “Get” button to download the app to your TV.
4. Return to home, open the app, and log in or sign up.
1. From the home screen, open the iTunes store.
2. Enter “BritBox” into the search bar, and select it when it appears.
3. Click “Download.”
4. Return to Home, open the BritBox app, and either log in or sign up.
1. On your TV’s home screen, scroll through the apps until you see the “Add Channels” option and select it.
2. Scroll down to Search Channels and find BritBox.
3. Press “Add channel” to add it to the list of channels on your home screen.
4. Return to “Home,” open the BritBox app, and log in or sign up.
1. From the home screen, go to the LG Content Store.
2. In the search box, type “BritBox.”
3. Select the BritBox app when it appears.
4. Press “Install.”
5. Once installed, go back to the home screen to open the app and log in or sign up.
If your TV is not listed here, that means that the BritBox app is not yet available for your brand. However, this does not mean that you can’t watch BritBox on your TV – if you subscribe through Amazon Prime or Apple TV, instead of directly on BritBox, you can watch via those apps instead.
Google has recently introduced a new service called Google TV. And while you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a new streaming video device or set-top video product like Roku or Chromecast, in reality it’s software that you’ll find in a variety of places, such as Androidphones and Android TVs.
What is Google TV?
You can think of Google TV as a software component that runs on top of a number of Android TV devices. It’s an interface that aggregates all the content from within Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+, and dozens of other popular streaming services. Instead of searching for Netflix content on the Netflix app and Hulu content on the Hulu app, Google TV mixes all the content together in one interface so you can search across all streaming services at once.
In addition, it’s a smart recommendation engine that suggests content you might want to watch based on your viewing habits and searches. The bottom line is that Google TV is the interface you use to interact with Android TV.
Can you buy Google TV?
Not exactly. You can think of Google TV as a software component of the newest Chromecast device, called Chromecast with Google TV, which in fact can be purchased for $50. It’s also being used as the interface for some Android TV set-top systems. Currently, Google has only mentioned Sony TVs by name for the Google TV upgrade, but it is reasonable to assume that the software will arrive on other Android TVs and devices in the future. You can read Google’s announcement about Google TV for more details.
Google TV itself isn’t something you can purchase or install on its own; it comes as the interface with specific, supported devices. With one exception: The Google Play Movies & TV app, which is found on most Android phones and tablets, was recently renamed Google TV and contains a version of the full streaming service aggregation and recommendation engine found in other streaming media devices.
What devices will Google TV run on?
Currently, there is no complete list of Google TV devices, but here are the devices and services we know are running, or will soon run, Google TV: