Google's Chromecast is the perfect gadget to have if you're looking for the simplest way to stream movies, TV shows, YouTube (and other web videos), and music from your mobile device to a TV. Just plug the Chromecast into one of your TV's HDMI inputs, download the official app, and start streaming.
Whether you're new to the Chromecast party, or the device is a permanent part of how you watch content, you should have this collection of apps in your library. You can find even more by searching the Google Play store for titles that support "Google Cast" (the official name of Google's streaming technology).
Whatever you like to watch, you're bound to find something that suits your taste. So consider our list a jumping-off point.
The king of streaming was one of the first to get on board with the Chromecast. If you're a Netflix subscriber, you can browse through the available movies and TV shows faster with this app than you can with the software on smart TV or Blu-ray player. If you don't have a subscription, you sign up for a free 30-day trial.
HBO Go offers an incredible amount of the TV network's catalog of original movies and TV series, sporting events, Hollywood movies, and documentaries. It will become even better when HBO delivers on its plan to offer direct HBO Go subscriptions. Until then, you'll need to pay for a cable- or satellite-TV service provider (or borrow another paying-customer's login credentials).
If you have a large collection of movies and TV shows your hard drive. Plex is the best way to get it from your computer to your television. The $2 app pairs with the free Plex Media Server on your PC for a pretty seamless setup. The app can then pull content from your computer and stream it to the Chromecast, freeing you from the need to connect your computer to the TV.
Sometimes streaming isn't for you, it's to keep the little ones entertained. With PBS Kids you get a lot of educational content so you can feel good that you're not just letting your kids' brains rot. The app brings a "Weekly Pick" video that focuses on reading, science, math, or other learning topics. You can also add videos to a favorites list for later watching or to get suggestions of similar content.
Disney Movies Anywhere
If your children haven't annoyed you enough with repeated viewings of Frozen, then Disney Movies Anywhere may help you find something else for them to watch from Mickey's massive catalog.
Sign up for a free account and you can stream any Disney movies you've purchased through iTunes, Google Play, or DVDs and Blu-ray discs that include a digital-download code. It's great for a trip because you can just grab your tablet or smartphone and a Chromecast instead of stuffing a bag full of DVDs.
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