One of the hidden costs of travel is getting charged for watching on-demand movies in your hotel room. Now, thanks to Google’s Chromecast dongle, you can stream your own entertainment to your hotel television.
What is Chromecast?
Chromecast is a thumb-drive sized device that plugs into the HDMI port on your television. You can use the device with Android and Apple mobile devices, and with Mac and Windows laptops. It allows for wireless streaming of whatever is on your device to a bigger TV screen.
Even when you aren’t watching your favorite movie, you can use Chromecast to display artwork or personal photos on your TV screen, transforming it from a big empty space into a fluid, morphing canvas.
Get a Portable Router
Before you spend money on a Chromecast, remember that there is one caveat: Chromecast requires Wi-Fi access for set up and use. It will only work on networks that allow device-to-device communication. Some hotel networks may prevent you from setting up your Chromecast device properly. The solution is a portable router that you can use in hotels from New York to London.
A great post on howtogeek.com explains how you can connect your Chromecast using a travel router that you plug into one of the hotel’s Ethernet jacks. In practical terms, this means you’ll need more than just a device that fits in your pocket. You’ll also need an Ethernet cable and a travel router.
Choose Your Own Entertainment
When Chromecast was first released in 2013, there were only a few apps available. Today, there are dozens of apps to facilitate streaming movies, television shows and music from the small screen to the big screen. From Netflix and HBO to ESPN and Pandora, you can program your own entertainment.
One nifty feature for Android phone users is the ability to share Chromecast using “guest mode.” With guest mode, you can let your friend cast from their Android device via your Chromecast – without having to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Similar devices have been released in recent years, including Roku’s Streaming Stick, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the Vudu Spark. However, Chromecast remains the smallest and most versatile device for streaming whatever you want from your small screen to the hotel’s big screen.
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