Posted in home improvement cast

Google Chromecast review: A streaming device that gets better the more it knows

Once upon a time, watching TV involved picking up a remote control, pressing the power button and flipping through channels.

Boy, have things changed. When you watch TV with the new $50 Chromecast streaming stick from Google, the search giant tries to find content that you may want to watch based on what it knows about you.

Before you get started, it wants you to take these steps:

1. After plugging the streaming stick into the back of your TV, you press and hold two buttons on the white remote control.

2. On your smartphone, you download and open the Google Home app, log in with your Google account and enter the home address where you are using the Chromecast.

3. You give the app access to your smartphone’s location data to help find the nearby Chromecast. (Wait, didn’t you just share your home address?)

4. You give the Google

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Chromecast media notification adds track controls on Android

One of the conveniences of using a Chromecast or a Cast-enabled speaker or TV is the ability to control playback from any device in the house (if you want). Starting a song from your phone and stopping it from your tablet, or asking your partner or roommate to do so while you’re wrist-deep into a new banana bread recipe, are possible because of the casting notification that surfaces on all devices connected to the same network. That notification is getting a small but awesome quality-of-life improvement now thanks to new track controls.

Previously, the casting notification offered four buttons: play/pause, mute/unmute, stop, and settings (which let you disable the notification on other devices). If you wanted to rewind that awesome tune you just heard or skip to the next video on your TV, you couldn’t do it straight away. You had to tap on the notification to open media controls

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Chromecast with Google TV review: Finally a worthy competitor to Roku and Fire TV

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The Chromecast with Google TV remote. 


David Katzmaier/CNET

Google’s TV ambitions have long been cloudy. In 2013, the company’s first Chromecast helped usher in an era of streaming televisions but did so by relying on your phone, tablet or computer to supply the apps and content. Android TV, which arrived in 2014, added an interface and TV-specific apps but never reached the same popularity level of rival streamers from Amazon, Roku and Apple. The all-new $50 Chromecast with Google TV is the search giant’s best TV effort yet and one of the best streamers you can buy, period.

Like

  • Useful remote
  • Large app selection, including HBO Max and Peacock
  • Makes excellent use of the Google Assistant
  • Ties in well with YouTube TV, Google Photos

Don’t Like

  • Can lag when switching apps or using voice.
  • Assistant doesn’t always give the best option to play back content

The new Chromecast is a

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Google Chromecast with Google TV review: 4K HDR streaming dongle

  • The new, $50 Chromecast with Google TV offers a sizable upgrade over previous models.
  • Unlike older versions, the new Chromecast can play apps right from the device, rather than having to rely on casting from a separate smartphone.
  • A handy voice remote is also included, and the Chromecast is capable of 4K, HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.
  • On the downside, I’ve run into some minor glitches, and a few key apps are currently missing HDR support.
  • Still, at $50, the new Chromecast presents a good value and is a worthy competitor to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku Streaming Stick+.

When it comes to streaming devices, Google’s Chromecast has always been a bit of an odd man out. Instead of offering app support directly from the device, traditional Chromecast models allow you to wirelessly stream apps from a smartphone or computer to your TV. 

Though that feature is

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Pixel 5, Chromecast with Google TV, Nest Audio: All of today’s Google announcements

Chromecast with Google TV

Juan Garzon/CNET

Last week Amazon dropped its annual armada of new products on us — now it’s Google’s turn. The company’s Launch Night In stream Wednesday follows its unveiling of the Pixel 4A budget phone in August. That event confirmed the existence of its next flagship phone, the Pixel 5, and the Pixel 4A 5G. They were launched today, along with a new Chromecast and a new Nest-branded smart speaker, the Nest Audio. There were few surprises, however, other than the Hold for Me phone feature, which puts those awful you’re-on-hold-forever calls in Google Assistant’s hands.

The Pixel 5 announcement, as with Google’s previous flagship phones, has been leakier than ancient plumbing (or perhaps, as CNET’s Lynn La suspects, the “leaks” are part of Google’s marketing strategy).


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Google’s latest flagship adds 5G

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The Home Depot is selling a new Google Chromecast that hasn’t been announced

Google’s Pixel 5 event is scheduled for this Wednesday, but some of the company’s other new gadgets are already appearing on store shelves. That includes its all-new Chromecast, which some savvy buyers have been able to purchase directly in-store from retailers like Walmart and The Home Depot over the course of the last week.

The Verge has purchased one such device from The Home Depot and can confirm the retailer is not stopping customers from checking out and taking the pre-release product home.

Not all stores appear to be selling the item; we tried two and only found the new Chromecast at a second location. And inputting the universal product code listed on the receipt into the retailer’s website returns no results, so it would appear you can only purchase it early in person.

The receipt doesn’t even say Chromecast

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Google Chromecast hits Home Depot shelves ahead of official launch, report says

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We’re just two days away from the new Chromecast, but some have been able to buy it already. 


XDA Developers

Two days before Google’s Pixel 5 event, Google’s rumored new Chromecast has been spotted for sale at Home Depot for $50. People on social media as well as tech site The Verge said they were able to purchase the still unannounced streaming device at the home improvement retailer. The receipt listed the new Chromecast as “Sabrina-Abbey Rock Candy,” the hardware’s codename, according to The Verge. 

Read more: Best streaming device of 2020: Roku, Apple TV, Fire Stick, Nvidia Shield and more compared

CNET reached out to Google for comment and we’ll update when we hear back.

The new device apparently isn’t available at all Home Depot locations, so you might not

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Polk Audio Signa S3 review: solid audio upgrade with Chromecast

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Polk Soundbar



Tyler Hayes/Business Insider


  • The Polk Signa S3 soundbar with wireless subwoofer provides improved audio performance over most built-in TV speakers.
  • Though the 2.1-channel soundbar can get quite loud, its physical size is small enough to fit under most displays.
  • The S3 comes in at $250, which provides solid value for the audio performance and features you get, but the device is missing integrated digital assistant support and surround sound.
  • Going beyond movies and shows, the Signa S3 can also function as a music speaker using Chromecast audio or Bluetooth.

Though built-in speakers on TVs have improved somewhat over the last few years, most displays are still lacking in the audio department. This is usually a result of the thinness of modern TVs squeezing out the physical room that quality speakers need.

As a solution,

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