Here’s a quick guide on how to get your favourite video streaming service on your big-screen TV.
Thanks to the proliferation of video streaming services, we’re now watching more videos than ever on our smartphones and tablets.
However, there are times when you just want to sit down with the family and watch a show on your big-screen TV. There are a couple of options for streaming content to your TV and we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Probably the easiest (and cheapest) way to stream content is by using a Google Chromecast.
The Chromecast 2 goes for just RM219 on Lazada (goo.gl/R0BMqc) and most popular streaming services, including dimsum.my, support the device.
Unlike a media box, Chromecast doesn’t have a permanent storage for saving your videos nor does it actually have an interface of its own – it’s simply a dongle that streams content from supported services directly from the Internet.
Setting it up is actually very easy. You just have to connect the Chromecast to the TV’s HDMI port and then hook up the USB cable to the supplied charger for power. Alternatively, you can connect the USB cable to a spare USB port on your TV so it’s less messy.
Next, make sure that your smartphone is connected to your home WiFi and Bluetooth is on. Download the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet and run the app. Once the app connects to the Chromecast, it will display a code on both the TV and your smartphone – if they match, touch I See The Code.
Finally, select your WiFi network and the app will automatically connect to it. (The app is smart enough to retrieve the WiFi password stored on your phone so you don’t have to enter it manually.) And you are almost done.
Now launch your video streaming app and select the show you wish to play. At the top right-hand corner of the screen you’ll see a little Cast icon (which looks like a TV with WiFi waves).
Tap on it and Chromecast will take over and start streaming your content from the Internet to your TV.
All playback is controlled from the streaming app and if you want to transfer the video playback back to your smartphone, just tap on the Cast icon again and the video will resume on your mobile device.
Beyond simply streaming content, Chromecast has a few other tricks as well – some games like Just Dance Now (available on both Google Play and iOS) actually allow you to use the TV as a display and your smartphone as a motion controller.
The Apple TV functions much like a regular media streaming box, except, of course, it only downloads content from legitimate and approved sources.
Setting up an Apple TV is also fairly straightforward – once the device is connected and turned on, all you have to do is bring your iPhone close to the Apple TV – doing this will allow the Apple TV to recognise your smartphone.
You will be given instructions to continue the setup on the iPhone by entering your Apple ID and password. Once set up and connected to your WiFi network, Apple TV will display channels available for video streaming.
However, Apple TV doesn’t always have built-in support for all the video streaming services. If your favourite streaming service is missing, it’s okay. Instead launch the streaming app on your iPhone and play the video and you’ll see a little logo with a triangle and wave pattern – tap on it and Apple TV will take over.
While the older third-gen Apple TV is pretty much a straightforward media streaming box, the fourth-generation model allows you to install apps, including games.