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How Video Streaming Becomes Easier with Google Home

How Video Streaming Becomes Easier with Google Home

How Video Streaming Becomes Easier with Google Home

One of the remarkable things that you can do with Google Home is stream videos straight onto your TV.

What You Need to Stream Videos Using Google Home

In order to stream videos straight onto your TV using Google Home, you need the following:

  1. Google Home

There are currently three versions of Google Home: the regular version, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. All versions of the Google Home enable you to stream videos provided the other requisites are present.

  1. Chromecast Built-in or Enabled TV

Chromecast is the second requirement in order to stream videos straight onto your TV. Developed by Google, Chromecast comes as a built-in feature in some select TV models such as Vizio, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, Polaroid, Skyworth and Soniq.

Even if your TV doesn’t come with a built-in Chromecast, you can still stream videos to your TV by purchasing an external Chromecast. An external Chromecast refers to the thumb drive-sized device that’s plugged into your TV’s High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port.

  1. Another Smart Device

You also need a smart device in order to stream videos directly to your TV. This could be smartphone, tablet, laptop, Chromebook, or other smart home devices such as Nest Hello, Nest Cam Outdoor IQ or Nest Cam Indoor IQ.

Connectivity

Connecting Google Home + Chromecast enabled TV and a Mobile Device/Laptop

Here are the steps in order to connect your Google Home, Chromecast enabled or Chromecast built-in TV and your mobile device (smartphone, tablet) or laptop:

  • Make sure that your Chromecast, Google Home and mobile device/laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Once these devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, open the Google Home app on your mobile device.
  • In the top left corner of the app’s home screen, tap Menu.
  • Confirm that the Google Account listed is the one linked to Google Home. 
  • Tap More Settings next and under “Services,” tap TVs and Speakers. You’ll then see a list of linked devices – tap add in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • To add a device, tap the checkbox next to the device’s name.

Connecting Google Home + Chromecast enabled TV with a Security Camera 

In order to connect Google Home, Chromecast enabled or Chromecast built-in TV and a security camera, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • In the top left corner of the app’s Home screen, tap Menu and then Home Control.
  • At the bottom right in the Devices tab, tap Add.
  • Tap the device you want to connect and then follow the steps.
  • When the pairing is complete, tap Done.

Benefits of Video Streaming with Google Home

Here are some of the benefits of streaming videos using Google Home:

  1. Play Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies

Once you connect the three devices, you can play your favorite shows and movies.

Chromecast works by mirroring the screen of your smartphone, tablet or laptop. For example, you can view TV shows and movies on Netflix and HBO if you have accounts on these streaming services.

If you want to watch the Netflix TV show Stranger Things via your Chromecast, you can tell your Google Assistant through the Google Home; just say “Ok Google (or Hey Google), watch Stranger Things on Chromecast”.

If you use your smartphone to watch a TV show through Netflix for instance, you can watch it on your TV without the need of logging into your Netflix account again or downloading anything. The great thing about streaming your favourite shows or movies using your smartphone to your Chromecast is that this won’t drain the battery of your smartphone.

  1. Stream Your Security Cameras

With your Google Home, Chromecast enabled TV and your security cameras, (Nest Cam Outdoor IQ, Nest Cam Indoor IQ or Nest Hello) you can stream the live footage straight to your TV.

To stream your security camera to your TV, you can say, “Ok Google (or Hey Google),” and add any of the following statements:

“Show [camera name]”

“What’s on [camera name]?”

“[Camera name] on [Chromecast device name]”

“Play [camera name] on [Chromecast device name]”

“Show [camera name] on [Chromecast device name]” 

  1. Use Only Your Voice

One of the benefits of using Google Home and connecting with your Chromecast enabled TV and your other smart devices, such as mobile devices and security cameras, is that you can stream shows, movies and security footage without using the remote control for your TV or doing anything on your mobile devices or computers.

All that you have to do to stream your favorite shows, movies and security footage is use your voice. For instance, you can monitor via your TV what your dog is doing in your backyard while you’re cooking at the same time.

Other family members or friends can also tell Google Home to stream shows, movies or security footage, as six people can use a single Google Home. You simply have to set-up voice match to enable Google Home to be able to recognize specific voices. 

If you want to watch your favorite shows, movies or monitor what your security cameras have captured on a bigger screen hassle-free, go on and connect Google Home with your Chromecast built-in or enabled TV and with your other smart devices.

Contact ustoday and learn more about Google Home and stream away!

7 Things You Can Do with Google Home Smart Speaker

7 Things You Can Do with Google Home Smart Speaker

7 Things You Can Do with Google Home

Google has just made life easier with its smart speaker and home assistant called “Google Home”.

Gone are the days when you have to write on paper, pick up the phone, go online and type or click something to accomplish things. With Google Home, you simply use your voice to get things done.

Here are 7 things that you can do with this smart speaker and home assistant:

1. Plan Your Day

You can start your day with one of the features of Google Home called “My Day”. The moment you wake up, you can say “Ok Google, tell me about My Day”.

My Day gives you an organized summary of the information that you need for the day without the need of looking into your calendar or typing or clicking things online. It gives you daily snippet of the following:

  • Weather

It tells you about the current weather, whether it’s sunny, cloudy or rainy outside.

  • News

Through My Day, you can listen to news from your chosen news source.

  • Traffic

Google Home gives you an estimated travel time from home to work based on the volume of traffic.

  • Calendar

You can listen to your appointments for the day.

  • Flight Status

You can listen to the status of your upcoming flight, whether it’s still on schedule or delayed.

2. Manage Tasks

With Google Home, you can control your timer and alarm – check, set, pause, stop, and recur – with just the use of your voice.

3. Accomplish Tasks

With Google Home, you can effectively accomplish tasks. It allows you to complete the following tasks:

  • Shop

You don’t have to go to the nearby store to buy your everyday necessities – from groceries to food for your pet. With Google Home, you can order from Google’s participating retailers, including Walmart. To order from Walmart, for instance, you can say, “Ok Google, order dog food.”

To set-up your order, use the Google Home app. Go to “More settings” and look for “Payments.” From there, set your delivery address and credit card details.

  • Cook

If you’ve an unexpected guest and you want to cook something of this guest, you can ask Google Home to give you step-by-step cooking instructions. Google Home’s system has over 5 million recipes from Bon Appetit, The New York Times and Food Network.

  • Make Calls

If you want to call someone, you don’t anymore have to pick up the phone. With Google Home, you simply say, “Ok Google, call (supply the name of the person you want to call).”

For instance, you can say, “Ok Google, call Mom.” Even if other family members also use Google Home, it’ll call only your mom, not your hubby’s mom as the system recognizes specific voices. You can also make free calls to businesses and personal contacts located in any parts of the US and Canada.

4. Get Answers

With close to 20 years of experience of answering myriad of questions, Google is guaranteed to give informative answers to questions pertaining to anything under the sun and even beyond.

  • Weather

You can ask Google Home about the weather forecast for tomorrow, specific day, weekend or in the one to 10 days. You can also ask how the weather in certain location is. For instance, you can ask “Ok Google, will it rain tomorrow in Winnipeg?”

  • Calculations

If you’re bad with numbers or you simply don’t want to use your brain to calculate complicated numbers, you can ask Google Home to do this task.

  • Translation

You can ask Google Home to translate for you words and phrases in supported languages. For instance, you can ask, “Ok Google, what’s ‘call me’ in French.

  • Currency Conversions

You can ask Google Home conversions of global currencies and unit conversions. Examples of questions you can ask include:

“How many Swiss Francs is a Canadian dollar worth?”

“How many liters are there in 5 gallons?”

  • Nutrition

If you’re on a strict diet, you can ask Google Home for nutritional content of certain products or natural foods. You can ask these questions:

“What are the foods rich in calcium?”

“How much sugar is there in a Diet Coke?”

  • Dictionary

Consider Google Home as your talking dictionary. You can ask it about the meaning things like El Niño, cryptocurrency or anything that’s unclear to you.

5. Watch or Listen to Media

With Google Home, you can stream video content to any TV that has Chromecast plugged in or Chromecast built-in using only your voice. You can also stream audio to any speaker that has Chromecast Audio plugged in or Chromecast built-in using only your voice.

6. Play Games

If you’re tired of watching videos or listening to music or podcasts but still want to be entertained, you can opt to play games using Google Home. With this smart speaker and home assistant, you can play games, such as “Lucky Trivia”, “Crystal Ball” and “Mad Libs”. You can also ask Google to talk like Yoda to you.

7. Control Your Home

Using only your voice, you can control other smart devices in your home using Google Home. Examples of smart devices that you can integrate with Google Home include August Smart Lock, Philips Hue lights, Chromecast, Sony Bravia XBR-A1E, Nest Learning Thermostat and iRobot Roomba 690.

By using IFTTT, you can also control other online services and third-party smart devices that aren’t directly integrated with Google Home. IFTTT, which stands of “If this, then that”, is a separate company from Google. Through IFTTT, you can, for instance, connect Google Home with your smart coffee maker or to your social media accounts. For instance, you can say to Google Home:

“Rise and shine, let’s start a new day,” and then your smart coffee maker turns on.

“Tell my friends I’m unavailable for one week,” then a status update is posted to your social media accounts.

There’s no limit to how many third-party smart devices and online services that you can connect Google Home with. This makes the possibilities of this smart speaker and home assistant limitless.

Connect with us today to learn more about incredible deals on Google Home, and other smart home devices

How to Make Google Home as Your Smart Home Devices Control Center

How to Make Google Home as Your Smart Home Devices Control Center

Here is How to Make Google Home as Your Smart Home Devices Control Center

From locks to thermostats, our home gadgets are getting smarter and connected. You can control your smart home devices using Google Home.

What Are Smart, Connected Home Devices?

Many of today’s home devices operate beyond their physical components. They are now smarter and connected.

Physical Components

The physical aspect of a home device refers to the electrical and mechanical parts. In August smart lock, the batteries and deadbolt parts – the thumb-latch and turnpiece – are the physical components of this home gadget.

Smart Components

The smart aspect of a home device refers to the computer hardware and software components. Smart components include microprocessors, data storage and sensors. The hardware and software components of standard computers – desktops or laptops – greatly differ from the smart devices. For one, smart devices are smaller compared to standard computers.

A standard computer is meant to accomplish a number of tasks, including researching, calculating, recording and other tasks. A smart device, on the other hand, is typically meant to do a specific job. In the case of the August smart lock, its specific purpose is to keep the bad guys out and keep the good guys in.

Connectivity Components

The connectivity aspect of a home device refers to the ports, antennae and protocols enabling wired or wireless connections of the device.

Connectivity comes in three forms: one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many.

  • One-to-One Connectivity

This refers to a device that connects to the user, the manufacturer or another product. An example of this type of connectivity is when the Nest camera indoor is connected to the user’s smartphone through the Nest app.

  • One-to-Many Connectivity

This refers to a central system that’s connected nonstop to many products simultaneously. An example of this type of connectivity is that of Tesla cars connected to Tesla’s single system that monitors and conducts remote service and upgrades.

  • Many-to-Many Connectivity

This refers to multiple products being connected to various other products. For this type of connectivity, Google Home plays a big role.

What is Google Home?

Google Home is a multi-purpose home device. At the heart of Google Home is Google Assistant – an artificial intelligence (AI) – that enables you to do myriad of tasks. The list of things that Google Home can do keeps getting longer. It plays music from the cloud based on your preferences. It contextually answers your questions. It manages your alarms and timers, your to-do lists and shopping lists. It can call any phone number for free in the US and Canada. Most importantly, it can connect and control other smart home devices.

You can do all of the above-mentioned tasks by simply activating Google Assistant through your voice or simply by saying “Ok Google”. This AI assistant is also multi-lingual. It can understand English, German, French, Brazilian, Portuguese and Japanese. Later this year Google will add Spanish, Italian and Korean. It can also support multiple users. No need to worry though as it can differentiate your voice from others in your home.

“With Google Home, you will be able to get hands-free help from your Assistant,” tech giant Google describes Google Home. “Turn up your party mix, get the morning news, manage your schedule and control your smart home without lifting a finger. Just start with ‘Ok Google’.”

You can connect the following smart devices to your Google Home:

1. Connect Chromecast-Connected TV or Speaker to Google Home

Chromecast, formerly Google Cast, is a small device that plugs into a speaker or TV, allowing you to stream audio or video from your phone, tablet or laptop right to your TV or speaker.

You can also connect Chromecast-connected TV or speaker to Google Home. For example, you can use your voice via Google Home to search YouTube videos on your Chromecast-connected TV. To do this, ensure that your Chromecast-connected TV and Google Home are on the same network. Open then your Google Home app and look for the “TVs and Speakers” tab under the “More settings” tab. From there, tap the plus symbol located at the bottom of the screen.

2. Connect August Smart Lock to Google Home

You can connect your August smart lock with Google Home. In order to connect these two devices, you need the August Connect – an accessory that plugs into any power outlet near your August smart lock and connects your smart lock to your home WiFi. You also need to download the Google Home app.

There are two ways to connect your August smart lock and Google Home.

Option 1:

For option 1, after setting up Google Home, launch the Google Home app. This message “Link to August” will appear in the “More Settings/Services” section of the Google Home app. Tap the “Link” and then login to your August account.

Option2:

For option 2, after setting up your Google Home speaker, launch the Google Home app, then go to “More Settings”. From there, tap “Services” and then find August home. From this August home, if you’ve already said “Ok Google, talk to August” and still haven’t connected your August and Google accounts, you’ll see a “Link Account” option.

Once the August and Google are paired, you can then tell Google Home, “Ok Google, tell August to lock the front door” or “Ok Google, ask August to check the front door”.

3. Connect Nest Products to Google Home

The good thing about Nest products – Nest thermostat, Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, Nest camera indoor, Nest camera outdoor – is that these products are owned by Alphabet – the same company that owns Google. All Nest products can be integrated or connected with Google Home.

To connect Nest’s thermostat, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, indoor camera and outdoor camera with Google Home, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • Tap Menu and then Home control in the top left corner of the Home screen.
  • In the “Devices” tab, at the bottom right tap “Add”.
  • Tap the device you want to connect to Google Home and then follow the steps.
  • When the pairing of a particular smart device with Google Home is complete, tap “Done”.

There’s no limit to the number of smart devices you can link to Google Home. When you need help making your home smarter, give us a call and we will be happy to help.

5 Ways Google Home Smart Speaker & Home Assistant Will Make Your Life Better

5 Ways Google Home Smart Speaker & Home Assistant Will Make Your Life Better

5 Ways Google Home Smart Speaker Will Make Your Life Better

We’re used to having Google around us all day. We use it often to search for something that we more information. We use it to check our emails, calendar and for up-to-date news coverage. So, why not have Google Home smart speaker and home assistant as our personal robot at home as well?

Three tech giants – Google, Amazon and Apple – are all vying for the smart speaker and home assistant market. In 2014, Amazon released its smart speaker and home assistant called “Echo”. Google released its own smart speaker and home assistant called “Home” in 2016. Apple announced that it’ll release its own version called “Homepod” in December 2017.

Amazon Echo has Alexa as its intelligent assistant; Google Home has “Assistant”; while Apple Homepod has Siri. Amazon Echo can be activated by saying “Hey, Alexa”; Apple Homepad by saying “Hey, Siri”; and Google Home by saying, “Hey or Ok, Google”.

Here are 5 ways Google Home smart speaker and home assistant will make your life better:

  1. Wealth of Knowledge

Google, which was launched in 1998, has close to two decades of working as the world’s biggest search engine. It has accumulated a wealth of knowledge that’s incomparable with other tech companies, including Amazon and Apple.

Amazon Echo is using Bing – launched in 2009 – as its search engine. Safari, Apple’s browser, has been using Google as its default search engine for years. According to StatCounter, from May 2016 to May 2017, Google controlled 92.37% of the search engine traffic, followed Bing (2.74%) and Yahoo (2.35%).

Given the two decades of knowledge accumulation, Google knows a lot about anything under the sun, and literally, a lot about what’s above and underneath it. This vast knowledge is valuable for a smart speaker and home assistant that’ll aid you as your personal robot at home. If you say, “Ok, Google, tell me about the weather 50 years ago.” Google will be able to tell you what the weather was like 50 years back. You can proceed, by asking, “Ok, Google, how’s the weather today.” And it can tell whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside your home, and gives you the day’s temperature.

  1. Conversational

Talking to Google Home is very much close to talking to a person. It can recognize multiple voices inside your home. Up to six people are allowed to connect their account to one Google Home. So now Google can distinguish your voice from your wife’s, pull your personal playlist, own commute time, own schedule and more.

Google Assistant can also understand the context, saving you time and breath. If you say, “Ok, Google, play Shakira’s World Cup song.” Google understands that you want to play “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song.

  1. Connectivity to Other Google Products

Through the years, Google has branched out from its humble search engine business to develop multitude of other products. Many of these products live on the internet. Of course, we know about Gmail, Calender, Google Maps, YouTube and other software solutions that are easily connectable to Google Home.

Another notable product developed by Google is Chromecast – a media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV. Google Home easily connects with Chromecast, allowing you to stream your favorite TV shows, movies, music, sports, games and more. You can connect Google home to Chromecast-based speakers, letting you listen to audio in different parts of your home.

  1. Makes Your Home Smarter

Google Home, not only connects you to other Google products, but it also connects to third party products. Notable of these third party products is the Nest Learning Thermostat – the first thermostat to get an Energy Star certification (products that meet strict energy performance standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). This Nest’s product learns what temperature you like. As Google Home can be connected to Nest Learning Thermostat, you can say, “Ok, Google, set my temperature to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.”

This smart speaker and home assistant can also be connected to Philips Hue – a lighting system that allows wireless control and personalization. You can say, “Ok, Google, turn the lights off.” Google Home can also be connected to Chk-In’s wireless home security camera. So you can say, “Ok, Google, turn camera on.” Other third party products that can be connected to Google Home include TP-Link, Wemo, SmartThings, IFTTT, Alarm.com, Anova, Deako, FireBoard and many more.

  1. Entertainment Upgrades

You can get entertainment upgrades by connecting Google Home with Chromecast. With Chromecast plugged into your TV, you can say, “Ok, Google, play Justice League trailer.” Home will then start up YouTube app on your Chromecast and play the trailer on your TV.

If you’re not sure of the title of the movie that you want to see, Home can also help you out. For instance, if you tell Home to play the latest James Bond movie, it’ll start up Netflix and correctly play the latest James Bond movie “Spectre”. Gone are the days when you need a remote control to change what you see on your big screen. If you think, you’ve not enough time to sit through the whole Spectre movie, you can tell Home to change it to the latest episode of “The Big Bang Theory”.

Google Home smart speaker and home assistant also works with Spotify, Pandora Internet Radio, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and Google Photos.

Addressing Your Google Home Privacy Concern

Is Google Home recording all of your conversations? Google in a statement said:

“No. Google Home listens in short (a few seconds) snippets for the hotword. Those snippets are deleted if the hotword is not detected, and none of that information leaves your device until the hotword is heard. When Google Home detects that you’ve said ‘Ok Google,’ the LEDs on top of the device light up to tell you that recording is happening, Google Home records what you say, and sends that recording (including the few-second hotword recording) to Google in order to fulfill your request. You can delete those recordings through My Activity anytime.”

Interested in learning more about Google Home? Connect with us today and make your home a Smart Home.