In 2020, Google introduced the fourth generation of its Chromecast, dubbed as Chromecast with Google TV (CCwGTV), which was the first time it came with Google TV (a modified Android TV user interface) and a remote. So, in the world of Google TV’s (and Android TV’s in general), is there still a need for the Google Cast function?
Here are the reasons why we still need the Google Cast around:
Queue up YouTube Videos
The one thing I love about the Chromecast is the ability to queue up videos you want to watch from your YouTube mobile app. Oftentimes, when I want to YouTube and chill, I open a video on my YouTube mobile app, cast that thing to my TV with a Chromecast, browse more of the homepage of the YouTube app, then add as many more videos as I like to watch next to the queue.
Although you can queue up videos as well in the web version of YouTube, the same is not true on Android TV’s. I just find it so inefficient to have to quit the video you’re currently watching, browse though the homepage, and select the single video you want to watch next.
Multi-Profile Capability on the Fly
You don’t want to share the same streaming app account with the other members of your household. You don’t want YouTube to clutter your homepage with videos that are totally unrelated to your interests, or Netflix missing movies and TV shows to offer you to watch next just because it thinks you’ve watched it already.
The CCwGTV supports multiple profile setup, where each user can login with their own login details to different streaming app. Switching profiles can be cumbersome as different persons take turn in the use of the TV too often.
But probably each member of the household has his/her own smartphone logged in to his/her separate streaming app account. Thus, members can easily take turn casting their videos they want to watch to the TV with their own phones and profiles, may they be from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Disneyplus, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Plex, Emby, Jellyfin, etc., for as long as they are connected to the same network together with the Chromecast.
Doing Search with a Keyboard
The remote control that came with CCwGTV doesn’t have a keyboard. If you want to search for a video, like in YouTube for example, you can try voice search. We all know that especially if you’re coming from a place where English is not the primary language, voice search is most often a hit or miss.
With your smartphone, on the other hand, you’re all more likely experts already at typing with the on-screen keyboard of your choice. And you can do this while sitting through the long sponsor spiel by your favorite YouTuber.