Friday, January 17, 2014

USE CHROMECAST TO DISPLAY YOUR LAPTOP'S SCREEN

For those not familiar, Google's Chromecast is a $35.00 dongle that you plug into your television (or any display with and HDMI input) and connect to your WiFi network. Then, other devices on that same WiFi network can "cast" certain apps to the display through the Chromecast. For example, if you are watching Netflix on your phone or tablet, you could cast it to Chromecast and watch it on your television.

It is limited in that you can only display apps that are designed to work with Chromecast. You can't, out of the box, display local files and videos from your mobile devices.

However, on your laptop or desktop, you can mirror your entire screen through Chromecast. This is marked as being experimental, which is Google's way of telling you that you should not expect perfection and that it could very well not work well or at all for you.

To enable this, you first need to install the Chromecast app for Chrome. Once that is done, there will be a new symbol next to your address bar. Click on it, then on the down arrow next to "Cast this tab to..." and choose "Cast entire screen (experimental)".


Now, your television will show what is on your screen. I found that there was a second or two display between what I saw on my laptop's screen and when it happened on the television. I also noticed a slight flickering on my laptop display; however, it was tolerable. The television display was smooth and not choppy.

By doing this, you can display local files (music, videos, games) on your television without the need for wires. Be cautioned that if you are going to display non-local files, you may experience choppiness unless you have a fast internet connection as you will be putting quite a strain on your WiFi connection.

For $35.00, Chromecast can turn your regular television into something closer to a smart TV. In future posts, we'll explore whether this can be used in the court room.

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  3. I get a lot of flicker on the TV when I cast my full screen. Any way to get rid of this? Well, I can get rid of the if a show only one open window on my screen. I can keep the app open, but need to minimize the windows and only show one to eliminate the flicker.

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