The Chromecast's design has changed since Google first announced the product, but the basic setup instructions are the same. Here’s how to set it up and turn any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV - how to set up Chromecast. See Best free apps for Chromecast you don't know about.

The Chromecast is available from £30 direct from Google, or from Currys/PC World, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco and Maplin.

Chromecast requirements

The basic requirements for Chromecast are a TV with an HDMI port and either a USB port or the ability to plug in a USB cable to a mains adaptor somewhere near the TV. It connects over Wi-Fi (only the Chromecast Ultra can support ethernet), and you'll also need some sort of device to use as a remote control - you can use an Android or iOS phone or tablet, or a PC, laptop or Mac (in the following walkthrough we are using an Android phone). See also: What can you watch on Google Chromecast in UK? and Why Google's Chromecast is a game changer.

See also: full Chromecast review and Chromecast Ultra review

How to set up Chromecast

Step 1. The original Chromecast (pictured below) comes with an HDMI connector as well as a short HDMI extension cable that you may need to use depending on the location of your TV’s HDMI ports. The most recent version of Chromecast has a longer HTML dongle so you're unlikely to need to extend it, but the Chromecast itself still connects to the TV and is powered in the same way.

Plug in the Chromecast to a spare HDMI slot on your TV, then make a note of which HDMI port the Chromecast is connected to. Now plug in the supplied Micro-USB cable to the other end of the Chromecast. Attach this either to a USB port on your TV, or connect it to a USB adaptor and plug it into a nearby mains power outlet.

How to set up Google Chromecast - Step 1

Step 2. Turn on your TV. If it doesn’t detect the Chromecast and switch to the appropriate input, use the TV’s remote control to select the HDMI input you noted down in step 1. You should see a setup screen.

Step 3. Now install the Google Home app or visit on the device you will use to control Chromecast. Accept the Terms of Service, and ensure your device is connected to the Wi-Fi network you wish to use for Chromecast if you have more than one.

How to set up Chromecast

Step 4. Select the devices icon at the top right of the Google Home app and allow it to search for any casting hardware on your network. When it finds the Chromecast select this and choose Set Up, Continue.

Step 5. A code should pop up on your phone and match that shown on the TV screen. Tap I See The Code to continue.

Step 6. You can now change the Chromecast's name to something more memorable if you wish, or simply click Continue.

Step 7. Choose your Wi-Fi network and click Continue. Your Chromecast will connect to the internet and, if necessary, download and install any updates. Follow the prompts to sign into your Google account and complete the setup process.

Step 8. Now you're ready to start streaming. Many apps now support casting, and to begin streaming you simply tap the Cast icon on their interface and select your Chromecast. You can also mirror the screen of your Android phone or tablet by opening the Google Home app and choosing Cast screen/audio from the menu on the left, then choosing your Chromecast.

Step 9. You will also find apps written for Chromecast in Google Play when you search for Chromecast. For example, you might want to install a game that you play on the TV but control on your phone.

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