Your Smart TV is a key to your growing home theater system…
But now, you’re looking to upgrade that Smart TV experience.
And to achieve that, you’re planning to add Chromecast.
However, you’re unsure about the decision.
Well, I’m here to give you clarity.
Continue reading to find out:
- When to get a Chromecast device.
- Whether you need Chromecast for your Smart TV.
- Must-know differences between Chromecast and a Smart TV.
- 5 extra features you get if you connect Chromecast to a Smart TV.
- And this is just the beginning…
Do you need Chromecast with a Smart TV?
You don’t need Chromecast with a Smart TV. That’s because a Smart TV already provides you with many options to stream Internet content. But, you can opt for a Chromecast if you want to add its features to your TV. That includes screen mirroring, Google Assistant, custom profiles, and gaming.
Chromecast with a Smart TV – 3 facts
#1: Smart TV compatibility with Chromecast
Your Smart TV and Chromecast are like 2 potential lovers.
They must be compatible with each other for the relationship to work.
Without that compatibility, your Smart TV can’t use Chromecast features.
And Chromecast would simply go to waste with no TV to connect on.
“How do I know whether my Smart TV and Chromecast are compatible?”
We only have to look at 3 requirements.
Mobile device operating system (OS):
“Why is my mobile device’s OS important?”
You see, before using Chromecast, you need to set it up on the Google Home app (iOS and Google Play) first.
And you can only do that using a mobile device with an OS that supports the app.
With that said, here are the OS requirements for the Google Home app:
- iPad: iOS 14.0 or later.
- iPhone: iOS 14.0 or later.
- Android tablet: Android 8.0 or later.
- Android phone: Android 8.0 or later.
Remember, Chromecast connects to your TV via an HDMI connection. So, your TV should have an HDMI port.
But don’t worry. All Smart TVs should have at least 1 HDMI port on their back.
Aside from that, the TV must have High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) 1.3.
And if you want to watch 4K content on Chromecast, the HDCP level must be 2.2.
Basically, it’s an anti-piracy measure. So, you can’t stream movies on your Chromecast if this requirement isn’t met.
That said, you can check your TV’s manual and look for HDCP to see if it’s qualified.
Or, if you have a Smart TV no older than 5 years old…
You’re good to go. And that’s even if you want to watch content at 4K quality.
Broadband or Internet connection:
Smart TVs and Chromecast need a high-speed Internet connection to work properly.
With that said, ensure that your Internet speed is at least 20 Mbps.
#2: Chromecast adds new features
As you already know, Chromecast is a streaming device that lets you watch content on the Internet.
But let me tell you…
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Simply because Chromecast has a lot more features to offer.
Ever found an interesting video on your mobile device?
But you can’t see all the details because the screen’s too small?
That’s happened to me quite a lot of times.
And Chromecast’s screencasting feature solved that problem for me.
The feature allows you to project what’s on your mobile device’s screen to your Smart TV.
You know, like a mirror.
Connecting game consoles like Playstation or Xbox to Smart TVs is quite popular.
That’s because big TV screens can really immerse players in the game.
But downloading and playing games on the TV itself is often unheard of.
Well, the great news is:
Chromecast allows you to do that.
It’s like your TV is 1 big Android device, and you can download and play games on it.
Yes, you have limited options. But it still takes TV entertainment to the next level.
And that’s because you can play arcade games with your loved ones.
But, to use the gaming feature to its best level…
You’ll need the Chromecast with Google TV as it’s the most optimized Chromecast device for gaming to date.
All people are born unique.
But what may not be unique is the Smart TV you’re using in your home.
And that’s why it’s a good thing that Chromecast lets you create custom profiles on your Smart TV.
In that way, you get to personalize your TV experience, even if you don’t solely own the TV.
For me, that’s a win-win situation.
Now, the previous ones are just some of Chromecast’s features…
But remember, Chromecast is 1 of Google’s children.
And Google is arguably the best search engine in the world.
So, if you connect Chromecast to your Smart TV…
Imagine what you could do with Google’s database.
Plus the amount of help you’ll get with Google Assistant. I’m talking about:
- Breaking news.
- Sports updates.
- Weather forecast.
And don’t forget your random day-to-day and how-to questions.
With that said, you can talk to the Google Assistant through your phone or your Chromecast remote.
#3: Chromecast gives you access to more apps
Did you know Chromecast supports over 1000 apps to add to your Smart TV?
With that number, I’m sure there’s at least 1 app that suits your taste.
Want a tease?
Here are some of the most popular apps on Chromecast:
TV & Movies:
- Hulu (iOS and Google Play).
- Netflix (iOS and Google Play).
- Disney+ (iOS and Google Play).
- YouTube TV (iOS and Google Play).
- Amazon Prime Video (iOS and Google Play).
Note: You need to pay for each streaming app’s subscription.
Music & Audio:
- Spotify (iOS and Google Play).
- Tidal (iOS and Google Play).
- Pandora (iOS and Google Play).
- YouTube Music (iOS and Google Play).
- Fitflap (iOS and Google Play).
- Alien Invaders (iOS and Google Play).
- Deer Hunter 2018 (iOS and Google Play).
- MLS Live (iOS and Google Play).
- Fox Sports Go (iOS and Google Play).
- NFL Sunday Ticket (iOS and Google Play).
“Some of these apps are already available on my Smart TV.”
Yes, there are a lot of common apps between your TV and Chromecast.
But even if that’s the case, having a Chromecast can be advantageous.
First, you don’t need to download apps on your Smart TV. And that’s because your mobile device acts as the storage.
Plus, Chromecast streams videos via the cloud. And that doesn’t need any space at all.
That way, you can free up storage and prevent your Smart TV from running slowly.
But aside from that…
You can sideload apps with Chromecast with Google TV.
Remember how Chromecast supports 1000+ apps?
You can turn that number up to over 2000 with this sideloading process.
With the help of 3rd party apps…
The process lets you install apps originally unavailable on your Smart TV.
Note: The app installed may not be smooth as it should be. And that’s because your Smart TV isn’t optimized to run the app.
And if you’d like to know how to use this process…
Then check out this helpful video below:
You might also be interested: Can Chromecast Replace Cable TV? 5 Surprising Facts
Differences between Chromecast and a Smart TV
There are many differences between a Chromecast and a Smart TV. One of which is how they’re categorized. And another is their longevity and proneness to damage. Lastly, Chromecast and Smart TVs differ in their price.
And if you’re interested in knowing more…
Then allow me to elaborate. Starting with…
#1: Device category
As you already know, both Smart TV and Chromecast let you watch Internet content.
So technically, you could classify them as “streaming devices.”
But, even if it’s understandable to put them in the same category…
Here’s the thing:
A Smart TV is a TV before it’s a streaming device.
And that means you can watch movies on your TV even without the Internet.
Simply put, you can use a Smart TV even if you don’t have a Chromecast.
But, you can’t use a Chromecast without a TV.
Read also: Does Chromecast Need Power? 4 Surprising Facts
There are a lot of factors that affect a device’s lifespan.
You know, like how you take care of them. Or its proneness to wear and tear and accidental damage.
But when all things are considered…
The bottom line is:
On average, a Smart TV’s lifespan is about 7 years. Meanwhile, a Chromecast lasts for about 2-3 years.
But, even if the latter is more prone to wear and tear…
It has a full 1-year warranty.
So you can replace it in 1 of Chromecast’s authorized stores, such as:
- Best Buy.
And all you have to do is go there.
Note: Warranty is only available if you didn’t accidentally damage your Chromecast.
When we compare the price between the 2 devices…
The Chromecast is definitely the cheaper option.
With that said, here are the prices of 2 popular Chromecast devices:
- Chromecast 3rd gen: 30$
- Chromecast with Google TV: 70$
Either of these Chromecasts is less than a hundred dollars.
In other words, you could buy as many as 15 of the Chromecast 3rd Gen just to buy a 32-in Samsung Smart TV.
I know that’s not practical because you can’t even use a Chromecast without a TV.
But I’m just showing how inexpensive a Chromecast is.
You could even opt to buy a Chromecast and a 32-in non-Smart TV, then turn the TV into a Smart 1.
In that way, you get Smart features at a lower price.
So if you’re on a tight budget, that’s what I would recommend.