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google chromecast what should it do?

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by ericmark, 26 Dec 2019.

  1. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Before Christmas in the black Friday sales got three google mini's and a google chromecast we were told at Curries PC world needed the google chromecast so we could control TV with the google mini's.

    However it put a sequence of pictures on TV, and it will allow if I use Google Chrome as a web browser to some times show the screen of the Google Chrome on PC on TV. However that's it, there seems to be nothing else that it does.

    I can already view Sky Q using phone and TV connects to internet so youtube already works, and the hard drive plugged into TV allows me to record and play back freeview programs all the chromecast was for is to join the TV to the mini so can use voice commands, but it will do nothing unless the HDMI socket it is plugged into is selected, and then the Sky Q and Bluray player will not work.

    Seems to do nothing, other than show random pictures off internet, can't even get it to connect to hard drive, seems to be a load of rubbish, maybe should be plugged into Sky Q box?
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2019
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  3. Lucid

    Lucid

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    A Chromecast is a media streamer which means that it plays stuff from the internet. However, it doesn't have its own remote control. Instead, it is driven from a smart phone or tablet or suitable PC browser which connects to the CC via your home Wi-Fi.

    In simpler terms, it makes a dumb TV smart, or at least, smarter. However, the smart features it possess don't extend to it somehow accessing the USB-connected hard drive or interfacing with the Sky Q box. (Incidentally, there is no input on a Sky box to connect a 3rd party streamer device, so you should forget that idea.)

    A Chromecast in itself isn't useless. But in your case you already have most of the functionality it provides covered by other devices. That does make it somewhat redundant.
     
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  4. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    As Lucid says, if you can already cast your Phone etc to your TV it's redundant really.
     
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  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Maybe move to a non wifi enabled TV, seems it will never do what the salesman said, we were told with chromecast and mini we could without pressing any remote buttons use voice to change channels, we need it seems to press button on side of remote to do that.

    We have some pre-smart TV's in other rooms, without at the moment a sky Q box so likely we will move it to one of them.

    Just annoyed the Google rep at Curries PC World gave us incorrect information. The Google Mini is great, works better than expected, however grand children asking it to give an alarm call at 3 am not really what we expected. And playing board games when kids can ask it for answers to questions on the cards rather defeats the whole idea of the game.

    We do daft things, like playing French monopoly (around 1980 version) when non of us can read French, so handy having some thing to help translate, but did not seem to know how many francs to the pound? seem to remember around 12?
     
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  6. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    If it's anything like our Alexa's either don't link a credit card to it or make sure you go through the online buying preferences!.

    If I hear "Alexa, how long is it until Christmas?" again I'll go mad..
     
  7. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Ah, now you've explained the issue properly then I can see the frustration you're having.

    The rep gave you just enough information to get you to buy. What they left out was all the stuff involved in setting this up. Had they gone through all the detail, your eyes would have glazed over and you'd have probably thought "this is way too much hassle". It's a case then of being economical with the truth.

    To make voice control work read the link here: https://www.techhive.com/article/32...istant-and-chromecast-to-control-your-tv.html

    You'll see from the article that the Chromecast needs an external power supply because this won't work if it's powered from the TV HDMI socket when the that socket has no power when the TV is off. After that, you need to do some setup including linking the CC with the minis and setting the TV's HDMI CEC to on.

    Personally, I think the whole thing is a complete faff unless it's for someone with a disability where they can't use a remote. For those of us able to, grabbing the remote and pressing one button is going to be quicker and less frustrating than learning how to address some device in just the right way to get it to respond. Each to their own though.

    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
     
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  9. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I will look further out of interest, however the list of things it will work with does not include Freeview, Freesat, Sky Q or external hard drive, but it may turn TV on/off. The problem then is I have 4 Sky Q boxes and we can't use them all together, so all set to auto turn off, as a result when TV turned on also need to turn on Sky Q box, so in real terms all it can do is turn TV off.

    Must admit the Google Mini is better than expected, didn't know it was also a bluetooth speaker. So sound from Laptop much improved. It was this forum that suggested the Google Mini was one way around the very poor Radio and TV in this area.
     
  10. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Sorry, I'm trying to be patient here @ericmark but all I can hear (read) is you whinging and whining; "oh it won't work with this, it won't work with that" It's really irritating because you won't say EXACTLY what the hell you expect the bloody thing to do!! Arghh!!!! Do you want it to make you tea in bed and give you a blooming foot massage? :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    Look, it's a £20 dongle that streams from the web and has some HDMI-control features and can link-up to other voice-activated Google devices. It is not a whole home audio-visual control suite. You need to get a sense of perspective here.

    The Google rep (or whoever it was in-store) was correct that it will directly control your TV. I'll say that again... your TV. Not "your TV and every other device that happens to be connected to it".... For direct control via the HDMI socket, then it's Just. Your. TV. That's it. Even then, it's limited with the range of controls allowed by CEC.

    Can it directly alter the TV volume? - No. (But you can change the audio output level of the CC device when it is streaming, so in a way, it sort of can, but not in a way that's useful with other sources.)

    Can it directly change the channel from the TV's own Freeview tuner? - Yes, apparently so, but the results vary from set to set

    Can it directly change the TV's own input for HDMI or AV? - Yes, apparently so, but the results vary from set to set

    Can it directly switch TV power on or off?- Yes, apparently so, but the CC needs to be powered independently rather than from the TV HDMI socket

    Can it indirectly control the functions of a Sky Q box? - No, because HDMI control itself (CEC) can't do that

    Can it directly control the functions of a USB playback? - Unlikely, because HDMI control itself (CEC) isn't required for that


    If you have set up HDMI control on your TV and the Sky Q box connected to it, then switching on the Sky Q box will also bring the TV out of standby and make it switch to the HDMI input for Sky Q. However, HDMI control will not allow the TV to bring the Q box out of standby. HDMI control doesn't work that way, so the CC won't do this for you either.

    The question has been asked on the Sky forums when the Q boxes will get Alexa or Google voice control. The answer so far is that they won't. Sky has its own voice control system, and it looks like they have no plans anytime soon to start writing additional coding to make Google or amazon devices talk with Sky Q.


    So, @ericmark , what the hell is it that you expect from this £20 piece of tech?
     
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  11. flameport

    flameport

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    If you have Sky Q, you do not need Freeview, Freesat, external hard drives or any of the other junk you have accumulated over the years.
    That's the whole point of it - you have a TV and a Sky Q box. Nothing else.

    If you want to watch things in other rooms, those rooms just need a TV and a Sky Q Mini. That's all. Nothing else.
     
  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Yes it seems the Chromcast was waste of money, it was miss sold as required to link google mini to TV system to control it. It was the question can I control me TV from the google mini, we have sky Q, answer yes if you get chromcast as well. I expected from what the salesman said that it would work like the sky Q remote except that it would use the words "hay google" or similar instead of pressing button on side of remote, but there is only one HDMI output on the Sky Q box which feeds the TV, so clear this could not possibly happen.

    As you say freeview and freesat although built into TV are no longer used, although still active, the external hard drive used a lot to in the main view personal video and photo, and recordings like paint magic which have now gone from sky hard drive after swapping from Sky HD+ to Sky Q so I still record special stuff as a back up should Sky Q fail.
     
  13. winston1

    winston1

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    Not really true. There are things on terrestrial TV that are not on satellite such as local channels. Sky Q only allows access to one satellite. Thee are many more out there with interesting stuff, some of which is free to air but chargeable on Sky.
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    It seems looking at this I have 22 freeview channels, @flameport is correct, satellite is also not as simple as it seems, never quite worked out why, but the TV seems to miss out may channels, the set bottom box (Icecrypt STC3250CCIHD) is to be fair very good, combining satellite and freeview together, however the electronic program guide is it rubbish, and that is the main problem with both satellite and terrestrial TV, finding out what is on where, and unless the EPG lists it, near impossible to record.

    I don't like what I pay Sky, but it is reliable and works faultless, and @Lucid and others on here have been very good helping me work out how to get radio (commercial) in this location, and this thread is really a continuation of that.

    OK it seems I need to train google Nest to recognise my voice, but it works, and that has to be seen as a 100% improvement. Sky is not one satellite, but a group, there are as you say other satellites around the equator, but unless trying to watch in other than English, not really much gain getting the others, my daughter has a dish aimed at Turksat but she is married to a Turk. The motors and boxes required to select the array of satellites is not worth it for most of us. Remember not only direction but they also have to move up/down as well, and the further North one goes, the less there are within range, and the larger and more accurate the dish needs to be.

    Be it hours of daylight, how good so called energy saving bulbs are, or how many satellite channels, or how many buses a day, it depends where you live, next train to local town from here is 17th February, 3 trains that day, then next is 21th February, it is a different life living here. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but @Lucid is even further North in a very plain part of England. I am sure she will understand what I am talking about, Beeston castle can be seen for miles.
     
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