The renewal of Google’s Chromecast was highly anticipated, and although certainly the price in Spain has been a jug of cold water, it must be recognized that the device has remarkable potential.
In fact, to the official options that stand out in Google with the streaming of content, there are several that begin to pose how this device can be a great companion to our Smart TV, and all thanks to the support of Google Play, the ‘sideloading’ of applications and that USB-C port which can do much more than supply current.
Unofficial options that give a lot of play
We are seeing it in recent days: since the Chromecast with Google TV in several stores in the United States before its official launch, several users have tried to do things that have not been officially publicized by Google.
For example, although theoretically the device is not suitable for Google’s own Stadia service at the moment, there are those who have tried it by doing that sideloading process that consists of install applications on the device through their APK installation packages on the Chromecast operating system with Google TV, which is nothing more than a somewhat special version of Android.
Not only that: the device also allows install the Xbox Game Pass and PS4 Remote Play apps. In the first case, it has been shown that it is possible to play games through the Project xCloud streaming service that recently debuted on the Microsoft platform. In the second it seems that there is not so good news at the moment and although the application seems to load, there is not much more you can do than log in to the account.
When playing with streaming services like Stadia or xCloud that are not officially supported but do work, the internet connection is crucial. The Chromecast with Google TV has WiFi connectivity, but there are two different ways to ensure a more stable connection and have a wired connection via Ethernet.
The first, buy the official and optional Google charger that includes precisely that entry and that costs 19.99 euros in the Google Store. The second is to take advantage of the device’s USB-C connector, which in addition to being used to charge it allows you to do something very important: connect a USB-C hub.
By doing so we can obtain many more connection ports with which expand the possibilities of the Chromecast with Google TV. There are already users who have confirmed that some hubs work and that thanks to them they have connected mice, keyboards or have accessed those Ethernet connectors we were talking about.
Not only that: it is also possible to connect external storage units (pen drives, hard drives) and explore those contents. That, together with the aforementioned sideloading of applications, suggests that these Chromecasts could also become valuable multimedia centers for local content.
We have not yet seen cases that confirm that for example it is possible to use these devices to install Kodi or Plex and thus expand those options, but of course the sideloading process invites us to think that this capacity is feasible. And if it is, as in the rest of the cases, we have before us a product that becomes more interesting at times.