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April 8, 2016

Fun With Chromecast, er, Google Cast

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am


Google has renamed Chromecast to Google Cast. If you have any Chromecast dongles dangling from any of your HDTVs or computer monitors, then you probably noticed the update a few weeks back. We have these gizmos on various TVs throughout the house. The other day, my son Jeremiah and I discovered something rather devious you can do with a screencast.

We were watching the Internet-ready TV, but its YouTube interface is just horrid. So Jeremiah pulled out his phone to screencast YouTube. (Directions for screencasting are found in my Android For Dummies books.)

After tapping the Chromecast icon on his phone, the next step is to choose the output device. We saw two: The Internet-ready TV we were watching as well as the TV in the kitchen which my son Simon was watching a screencast.

Jeremiah wondered whether choosing the kitchen TV as the output device would interrupt Simon’s screencast. I assumed it wouldn’t, but wondered why that device would be listed if it weren’t available.

Rather than screencast the video we wanted to watch, we searched YouTube for something really bizarre. I think we found some Russian music video that was just crazy. So we loaded it up, and then cast it to the kitchen. We waited.

After a few moments, we heard Simon laughing. The screencast switch almost worked: When Simon saw the YouTube logo appear on the screen, he unlocked the tablet and re-asserted the Netflix app. So he never saw the crazy video we selected. Yet, we realized that it was possible to override a screencast.

I don’t expect my boys to promote much mayhem around the house with our newfound knowledge. We actually don’t watch too much TV, so generally only one person is casting something. Still, it would annoy me if I were watching a film just before bed and my kids decided to thrust a Russian music video upon me.

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