Chromecast is a device that allows you to stream media to a TV over the local area network. It’s particularly useful for people who want to cut back on wires attached to the TV and other devices.
But there is some confusion about how Chromecast works and the apps that are compatible with it. Some people are wondering if you can use Chromecast to watch Live TV and the answer might not be what you expect.
I decided to look into the issue, and I tested a number of TV apps with my Chromecast to see what works. What I found is below.
How to Watch Live TV in the UK via Chromecast?
The best way to watch live TV in the UK via Chromecast is to open a TV-streaming app such as Freeview or TVPlayer on your phone and tap the casting icon to send it to the Chromecast. Most live-TV streaming apps are compatible with Chromecast, and playback is controlled from your mobile device.
What you need to know about Chromecast is it doesn’t have built-in apps. There’s no local storage. It’s more like a receiver for signals from certain apps. When it receives a signal, it will load the content and display it on the TV. You don’t install apps directly to the Chromecast, and you control the media from another device, over the network.
If you don’t see a casting icon on the app, chances are that particular app is not compatible with Chromecast. In that case, you can either try another TV-streaming app or the method listed below.
Mirror Screen or Tab to a TV via Chromecast
Chromecast allows you to mirror the screen of any device connected to the network, and you can also cast Google Chrome tabs. One way to watch TV on a Chromecast would be to open an internet-based TV website on your laptop with Google Chrome and then click the “Cast Tab” icon to send the tab to the Chromecast.
When you do that, you should see the tab and media on the TV. There might also be specific programs that you can install to watch live TV on your computer, some of which allow casting to Chromecast (look for the casting icon).
The screen-mirroring method is good for showing people pictures with Chromecast, but it’s not good for videos. Watching TV using this method is not recommended because you’ll probably encounter stuttering and framerate issues. If possible, always try to use the official casting feature on the program or app you’re using to watch TV.
You can also mirror your phone’s screen, and when you rotate it to landscape mode, the TV should become full-screen. There are also certain modes like wireless Samsung Dex that work on the latest Samsung phones. But the same performance issues should be expected.
Apps You Can Use to Watch TV on Chromecast:
Most TV apps and services will support casting to Chromecast. Here are a few free apps you can download on your phone to watch TV:
- Freeview Play
- BBC IPlayer
- ITV Hub
- All 4
- UKTV Play
- TV Player
Just open one of the above TV-streaming apps on your phone, and check for a casting icon. If you find one, tap it, and the media should be sent to the Chromecast on your TV.
It goes without saying that the major media-streaming platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Prime, and others, support Chromecast too. In fact, those tend to work much better than free TV-streaming apps.
One underrated platform is YouTube TV which allows you to watch 85+ TV channels, and it works perfectly with Chromecast. Unfortunately, YouTube TV is not available in the UK, although you might be able to bypass that restriction with the help of a VPN.
If you have a smart TV with internet access that has the ability to install apps, you could try installing the above apps directly on your TV. Doing that will allow you to watch live-TV on your TV without any extra cables.
You can skip the cable subscription fees and top-box rentals. Either way, streaming TV over the internet to your TV is a great idea, whether you use a Chromecast or another method.
There are lots of decent internet-TV services that you can look into, some require a subscription, while others are free.