Google outs second-gen Chromecast and Chromecast Audio

By Shawn Knight
Sep 29, 2015
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  1. In addition to a pair of new Nexus smartphones, Google unveiled two new Chromecast devices during its announcement-filled media event earlier today in San Francisco.

    The new Chromecast connects to your television set much like the original via HDMI. Google has redesigned the dongle, opting to go with a circular design that features an integrated HDMI cable in an effort to improve usability where real estate may be limited and to help reduce interference.

    The device more or less functions just like the original, allowing users to cast content from a mobile device or notebook to the big screen. There are, however, some notable upgrades like support for 802.11ac and 5GHz Wi-Fi and three total antennas inside the device (up from just one in the original).

    Google also made sure to let those in attendance know that there are now thousands of apps that support Chromecast, a vastly different scenario versus when the original broke cover two years ago. Some examples include Netflix, Google Photos, Discovery and DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket. Sling TV is adding support in the coming weeks, we’re told.

    The second new device is called Chromecast Audio. It’s a small device – also shaped like a hockey puck – that plugs into a 3.5mm AUX jack (or RCA or optical-in via cables that aren’t included) on your existing stereo system. With it, you’ll be able to stream tunes from your mobile device to your big boy speakers – like video casting, but for music.

    Both new Chromecast devices are available for purchase as of writing at the familiar $35 price point.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Does this one allow it to function without access to the Internet? Would be nice.
  3. Badvok

    Badvok TS Booster Posts: 115   +46

  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +461

    Yah... what? Be more specific.

    You mean the streaming through wireless having a router?
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    I like it.
  6. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Sorry I was half asleep when I posted that. Though, the question is pretty straight forward, I'm not sure how to reword this... Can you use this chromecast if your LAN does not have access to outside internet? I do not have internet, but I have my router set up so I can still use Plex at the home on my PCs. I would have liked to use Chromecast to plug into one TV in one of the bedrooms, but I could not get it to work. I did a little searching and found that chromecast is useless unless it has access to outside internet.

    I mean, if I'm wrong, please tell me... I hope I'm wrong.
  7. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 269   +138

    It seems like you could do this. Maybe ask the folks over at PLEX.
  8. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Why would I ask the folks over at plex? Plex natively supports the chromecast. The issue is with chromecast and is basic functionality. Now unless I wanted to root it... now that route might be a solution. I can't use my chromecast for anything because of a lack of an Internet service provider.

    And as I mentioned, if I'm wrong please tell me. Otherwise, I'm not going to waste any more time researching this.
  9. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 269   +138

    Honestly, I think it might work. I ordered the chromecast2, I might be able to test it for you.
  10. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Yea? If you are ordering one, this would be good info to spread around. I haven't looked to see if they have changed this in this new version. (That's what my initial post was questioning)

    If you do manage to test it and post it back up here, I really would appreciate that. Thank you, in that case.
  11. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 269   +138

    Initially it sounded semi ridiculous to ask if the chromecast worked offline as pretty much everything you do with the chromecast is triggered from some kind of internet based source. With the plex set up however, a plex server would technically just be a local device or computer that streams the data to the chromecast over your own network.

    Thinking a little further into it, it actually sounds pretty neat. You could have terrabytes of movies on a local machine in a closet somewhere and cast all your movies or music or whatever to the chromecast devices all around your house. No need for the netflix or youtube or spotify. Stream your own media to wherever you want it.

    I've never used plex. I've never wanted to pay for it. Now I'm thinking it could actually be worth the cost. Might have to dig up a free trial and do some testing. Tell you what, if you don't hear back from me within two weeks, send me a message or respond to this comment and remind me. I'll let you know how this works out.
  12. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    The chromecast doesnt even function without an outside internet connection. Sorry if this is an overall misunderstanding. I dont usually give up too many details in these comments originally, but for some reason google made them completely useless unless it can reach out to googles servers (or whatever it needs to connect to.) I cant set them up, I cannot connect to them and thus, I am unable to stream anything.

    As far as Plex goes. It's pretty awesome. There's not really much of a cost associated with it... as far as I remember the only thing I paid for was the Plex app on my phone. Dont misunderstand though, there are options in which you can pay for. These options include things like user control settings and additional features which you dont necessarily need. But yea, I have a couple terabytes of movies, tv shows, and music that I've collected/downloaded over the years, and Plex makes it kind of nice. I can even set it up (when I actually had internet at home again) to connect from the Plex app on my phone so I can watch anything on my server whenever and where ever I am. I've managed to also make the computer sleep when not in use, and WOL when I do need it. Saves power, and makes the computer last longer, and saves it from getting the fans clogged with dust.

    If you have a smart device that can access the internet, you can access your plex server from the browser rather than having to pay for the app on your phone, but I didnt mind paying for that since its really a great product. I'm considering the lifetime subscription and setting up user accounts for my family. (again, this would be useless unless I get internet, someday soon I'll get my internet back! lol)
  13. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 269   +138

    I tested it. It didn't work. I first set up the chromecast. Then I installed Plex. I got it working just fine with an internet connection. Then I disconnected the internet connection outright and tried to cast a video from Plex and it failed.

    I'm not sure what part of the chain needs to be connected to the internet to work. Realistically it shouldn't need the connection. Is it the chromecast that loses it's marbles without an internet connection or is it Plex itself? I don't know.
  14. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    I'm disappointed to hear that Google didn't fix this issue. It's definitely an issue with chromecast as I tried many different streaming options, Pandora for example, from my phone which has a data plan, would not work, as well as streaming netflix from my phone.

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