As I blogged in the past, most guests have either an iPhone or some type of Android device. I wanted to standardize the experience to be able to accommodate guests with these types of devices, and provide easy ways to play content on the TVs through their phones with supported apps. I opted to make Chromecast an available capability.
I’ve blogged in the past here about our support for Apple TV and AirPlay on our TVs. In this post, I’ll explain how Chromecast ability was added to all supported TVs at Loudoun Escape and some of the updates I made at Loudoun Escape after setting this up.
Adding Chromecast support to TVs is fairly straightforward to do. The easiest way to do this is to get devices like these and add them to each TV. I went with the Google Chromecast Ultra because they provide native support for 4K TVs. Connecting the HDMI cable can be a challenge depending on your TV and access to the HDMI port. I found these HDMI extension cables made it easier to connect to Chromecast, and were even more helpful for devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Setting these up is easy. You download the Google Home app and work through the instructions. I initially had to link to a Google email account to set up the Chromecast Ultra devices. However, I removed this account link after everything was set up. As this will be always on at a rental property, and Google didn’t seem to provide any adequate security, it didn’t seem like a good idea to keep these linked to any of my personal or business Google accounts.
As I was initially setting up Chromecast on each of the TVs, I gave these devices the same name that I had given the Apple TV devices. I found that this can be confusing because you may not know where content is being streamed. I went back through and renamed all Apple and Chromecast devices to have a naming convention like AirPlay-Basement and Chromecast-Basement. This makes it very clear. Guests just need to switch HDMI ports on the TVs to switch between the Apple TV and Chromecast.
One challenge I am still working through, is that the Loudoun Escape basement TV (a 75″ Samsung 4K smart TV) will not keep the Chromecast connected. I’ll post back in the event that I can get this fixed.
Apart from that issue, I am very happy with Apple TV and Chromecast. These make sure guests can stream content (music or videos) directly from their personal devices directly to the TVs. This avoids the need to connect directly to the TVs. Guests love this ability and have shared a ton of positive feedback through reviews and messages to me directly.