What is Google Chromecast? How much is it?
From how it works, to compatible apps and cost – here's everything you need to know about Google's Smart TV stick (well, pebble)
Looking to transform your living room screen into a Smart TV? Or stream the latest on-demand shows from Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Now TV? Google Chromecast, one of the best streaming devices on the market, could be the device for you.
Here’s your full low down on what the streaming stick does, how to get one, and how much they cost.
For more detailed break downs of other smart devices, we have our Amazon Fire Stick review, Fire TV Cube review, and Roku Premiere review, too. And for more Google devices, try our Chromecast with Google TV review, Google Nest Audio review and the best Google Home accessories.
What is Google Chromecast?
Google Chromecast is essentially a device that – once plugged into one of your TV’s HDMI ports – can connect to your phone, tablet, or laptop, allowing you to watch streaming services on your TV.
The Google Chromecast Ultra works exactly the same way, except it offers faster load times, an ethernet adapter, and 4K HDR streaming.
What does Google Chromecast do?
Using your connected phone, tablet, or laptop as a remote control, you can use Chromecast to watch shows and films from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV, Britbox, YouTube, and more. Simply open the app in question and click the ‘cast’ symbol, which looks like…
You can also use the Chromecast…
- As an audio streaming device. The device is compatible with Google Play Music and Spotify.
- To mirror your phone onto your TV. This feature is available with most Android smartphones.
- To stream a slideshow using Google Slides.
- To stream videos you have saved on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
- To send websites to your TV.
So, Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote control?
No. Since Chromecast relies on mirroring other devices, your smartphone, tablet, or laptop effectively acts as the remote. For a better idea of how the device works day-to-day, read our Google Chromecast set-up guide.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
What can you stream on Google Chromecast?
The device also works with most other major streaming apps including Disney+, Britbox, BBC iPlayer, All4, ITV Hub, My5, and UKTV Play.
For help getting Disney+ up and running on your Chromecast, see our handy little how to guide. You may also be interesting in read more about Star on Disney Plus, the new, less family-centred channel, and our lists of Disney Plus Star shows and Disney Plus Star movies.
Other apps which work with Chromecast include…
- Google Play Movies
- YouTube Kids
- YouTube Gaming
- BBC iPlayer Kids
- BBC iPlayer Radio
- Disney Life
- BT Sport
- BBC Sport
- MTV Play UK
- TalkTalk TV
- TuneIn Radio
- Google Chrome
- Google Play Music
You can see a full list of available apps here.
Is Google Chromecast compatible with Google Home or Alexa?
However, the Chromecast can connect to the Google Home family of devices over wi-fi. After linking the devices in the Google Home app (Settings > TVs and speakers > Add), you can launch shows and pause, rewind, and fast-forward your TV with your voice.
See our best Google Home deals to truly turn your home into an inter-connected voice-controlled paradise. We have also pulled together the best Amazon Fire TV Stick deals in case you want to see how they compare.
How much is Google Chromecast?
The Google Chromecast normally sells for £30 (when not on offer). This makes Google Chromecast one of the cheapest major smart sticks on the market, with only the NOW TV Smart Stick cheaper (at £14.99).
You can purchase a Chromecast from Amazon here.
Is there a monthly subscription fee to use Google Chromecast?
Although you'll need to be subscribed to apps such as Netflix to use them, the Chromecast device itself does not carry a monthly usage charge.
Where to buy Google Chromecast
The Google Chromecast is available from all major tech retailers, with most sticking to the £30 price point:
Can you stream 4K content with Google Chromecast?
No, Google Chromecast doesn’t offer ultra HD streaming. However, the Chromecast with Google TV does allow you to watch in 4K.
In the market for a new TV? Don't miss our in-depth which TV to buy guide.