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If you’ve got a Chromecast Google Takes On TV With The $35 Chromecast [Updates] Google Takes On TV With The $35 Chromecast [Updates] Media-lovers rejoice! Released on Wednesday, Google has developed a new way to bring great content from the Internet straight to your television: the Chromecast, an interesting little gadget that plugs straight into your television's HDMI... Read More , it’s possible that you’ve thought about some creative Chromecast uses 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast We've come up with 8 unique uses for Google's Chromecast. Read on to find out just how you can make even more use of your Chromecast. Read More , including considering how you might use it to Chromecast a Hangout session. Why is a different question. But how? That’s actually surprisingly easy.

First off, there are a number of methods offered by other people online. Don’t bother with them. You don’t need another extension (least of all the malware-ridden one I found), and you don’t need to use a special URL. It’s far easier than that. Seriously.

Okay, so I will make a few presumptions here, and that is that you have already set up your Chromecast correctly, installed the official Google Cast Chromecast Chrome extension for your browser and made sure that your Chromecast Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway We're giving away a Google Chromecast, so read through our review, then join the competition to win! Read More and browser are using the same local WiFi. That much is a necessity for any casting from your browser, so you’ve probably done this before and know the drill.

Start A Hangout

Now, head to Hangouts and start up a hangout. You don’t need to invite people yet, since you’re still setting up. Just get a hangout window up using the “Start A Hangout” button in the bottom-right of the screen. What you do next is magical and yet so simple.

Hangout

Cast Your Hangout To Your TV Using Chromecast

Copy the URL from your hangout window, then paste it into a new tab in your regular browser window. Close off the original hangout window and refresh your new one. What this does is get your hangout into a tab that has your browser toolbar and app buttons on it. So now all you have to do is click the Chromecast button as you would for any other session. Done!

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Hangout Via Chromecast

Now, Why Would I Chromecast A Hangout?

You’re not alone in wondering why you’d ever want to cast a hangout. But, there are good reasons!

Firstly, if you’re using hangouts to chat to family a long way away, you may have noticed that one computer screen is not always enough. Especially if that screen is on your laptop. In order to let everyone in the family get a good look at the people you’re chatting to, casting to the family TV makes a lot of sense. You would only see the people watching that TV if you positioned your webcam above the TV, but it could work just as well with some people huddling around the laptop/desktop while a few just observe via the TV.

Secondly, this same group hangout idea could be a fun way to connect concurrent parties. I’m thinking of New Years’ parties where there’s no way to be in several places at once, but you can at least all celebrate together using hangouts to connect your parties.

Now, many people forget that hangouts are being used for things other than small group chats. There are also public hangouts on air that feature lectures, concerts, cooking shows and MakeUseOf tech-heads squabbling over the latest news headlines. Since these hangouts are designed to be watched TV-style rather than as participatory hangouts, it makes perfect sense to sit back on your couch and watch it on your TV. Then you can also force your family to enjoy the weird public hangouts you love so dearly, thus making it a sociable thing (or something). That said, these actually use YouTube, which means you should be able to also click through to watching on the YouTube site, then use YouTube to cast directly.

Tips For Casting To Your TV

Don’t forget to turn the sound down on one of your devices – preferably the TV. If there is sound getting picked up and sent back into the hangout you’ll get a horrible feedback loop.

Try using a webcam with long cables to position it in the most useful location for your participants. You might be able to get the whole family sitting on the couch into the picture at once. If you’re trying this you might also want to get a dedicated microphone to pass around.

So, what do you think about casting your hangouts? Is it something you will try? What will you use it for?

  1. Kal
    December 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Hi therre, I'm kinda late on the subject, but I would like to know if this is also possible while using Hangouts on an Android phone? I'd like for my phone to be my camera but see my caller's image on my TV using Chromecast... Does that make sens? Anyone figured it out yet? Thanks!

  2. Matt
    May 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    No need to copy/paste and refresh. Just right click on the top of the hangouts window and select "show as tab". Save yourself 5 seconds! =)

  3. Stan Gosnell
    February 20, 2015 at 1:00 am

    In Chrome, you should see icons for the extensions you have installed, beside the search window. One of those should be the chromecast icon, a small rectangle with a wifi thingie in the bottom left corner. Click on that icon and you get the option to cast to your chromecast. Select your chromecast, and your hangout window should go to your TV. I do that every day when my lovely daughter starts a hangout to show us our new grandson, usually two or three times per day. It ain't rocket science. No need to open a new window or anything else. My only complaint is that I can't do this from my Android phone. But it works fine with my laptop.

  4. Joel
    June 19, 2014 at 2:56 am

    IP Webcam from the Google Play Store will let you use your phone as a wireless webcam (you just need to install drivers on your PC)

  5. Guy P
    May 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Hi there - this is really helpful, thanks! We're trying to use hangouts for small work meetings, but I'm struggling to work out how to get the feed from the webcam i've plugged into the TV, which sits on top of it, rather than the one from my laptop's inbuilt webcam... is that even possible?

    • Angela A
      May 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Not possible, sorry. You need to use the webcam on the laptop (or other computer). The TV Chromecast is view-only. Sorry!

  6. Amit Deshmukh
    April 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks a Ton!

  7. Prakash Shesh
    March 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I tried chrome casting my hangout session and everything worked as you promised except that there was no sound on the TV. Tried many things but it just did not work out. Am I doing something wrong? My PC had the sound alright.

    • Angela A
      March 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

      There shouldn't be any problems with sound. Not sure what to suggest for you...

    • Pete
      April 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Prakash: Are you casting the tab or the whole screen. To get sound, you need to cast just the tab with the hangout. Or maybe you have disabled audio in the settings.

  8. Dave
    February 6, 2014 at 12:21 am

    You are a frickin' GENIUS! I was so disappointed when I couldn't find a chromecast button in the hangouts window. I had already bought a long cable for my webcam which now sits on top of my flatscreen and takes in the whole couch so we can broadcast as a family to other friends and family. The days of the one-person one-talking head webcam are numbered!y
    I must however point out that the clarity from my Microsoft Lifecam isn't fabulous at that distance - a bit blurry - but I'm t hinking maybe using a good videocamera - or my smartphone or tablet's camera? - might improve on that.

    • Angela A
      February 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Yeah, I couldn't believe I wasted time looking for extensions to begin with. :)

  9. David R
    February 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Love the casting of hangouts idea! An alternative to Chromecast is the AirTame although it is a bit expensive. http://airtame.com/

    • Angela A
      February 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Wow, that Airtame looks pretty cool too. Thanks.

  10. Snoo
    January 30, 2014 at 3:56 am

    I'd like to get my hands on a system that (a) wasn't required to go through a browser (so that I could send ANY screen to the TV) (b) worked on any TV, not just those with HDMI ports. Is anything out there like that?

    • Angela A
      January 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Chromecast can cast non-browser things, like YouTube and other apps directly. But it is HDMI-based, so can't help you there. I'm guessing most things these days will be.

    • Iain
      April 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Raspberry Pi with OpenElec can revive any media via upnp and has a analogue out

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