Google Home brings voice control to all your favorite Chormecast devices. The Google Assistant will cast your content to which ever device you ask it to. It could be a TV with Chromecast built in, or a speaker with Chomecast audio. Google Home can control it with the power of your voice.
Google Home Video
I am a fan of Chromecast devices. Bringing the Google Home into my house gave me a new avenue for control. Now I can control the lights in the room, adjust the temperature and start my latest binge watching fix on Netflix. Perhaps there is a streamer on YouTube I would like to check out. For those of us that remember, maybe I just want to play VJ for a day. Have my favorite videos served up by voice.
Perhaps video is not your thing and you would like to display your latest set of photos from your last family trip?
Google Home will let you do it all with your voice. Right now Google Home supports YouTube, Netflix and Google Photos for sending content by voice.
The setup is pretty easy. Its all done with the Google Home app. Simply open the Google Home app, select more settings, TV’s and Speakers. Then you will see a list of all your linked devices. If you have not already linked your other Chromecast devices you can hit the plus sign to do so now. If your devices are already in the list you are almost ready to go.
Secondly you have to link your video apps to your Google account. This is also done in the Google Home app. Once again in the menu to the more settings, this time select videos and photos. Then you can link your Netflix account and see the Google account you have configured for photos.
Once I had everything linked up it worked quite nice. I had Netflix up and streaming with a few short commands.
OK Google, Watch Dexter from Netflix on Projector
As easy as that sounds the Google Assistant went to work and started playing Dexter on the Chomecast ultra that I have named Projector. The syntax was a little tough. A few times I asked to cast Dexter to the Projector and didn’t frame the command right. I ended up with search results about the show Dexter.
I could not get the commands right to select a specific episode. For example,
OK Google, Watch Dexter, season 4 Episode 6 on Projector
Google Home politely told me that it couldnt play TV shows by season and episode yet. I could use my phone if I wanted to do that. It did reassure me that its learning.
OK, Google, Next episode on projector or Previous Episode on projector.
I was able to control subtitles and got the skip back commands to work. As excited as I was about being able to control video by voice. The experience was underwhelming. At least for me, its not as easy as turning on the lights, the commands were a little tougher to roll off my tongue. So it will need some getting used to.
Google Home audio
Google Home also gave me a new member of my audio casting crew. I have a couple Google Chromecast audios. They are very much like the Chromecasts, but only do audio. You can hook them up to any device that supports a 3.5mm audio input.
Listening to music with Google Home is much like other personal assistants.
OK Google, play country music
OK Google, Play 311
I have been able to play whole albums on request from Google Play music. As well as individual songs. You can also ask for playlists. The Google Home app is always at your finger tips to suggest playlists and artist stations for your listening pleasure.
I would like to add, the Google Play speaker sounds great. For its small size, there is a good amount of sound. Full of lows and highs a like.
One thing I thought was funny, is you can make the request.
OK Google, turn it up to 11
That will cause the Google Home to go full volume. While the Google Assistant will say the range is 1-10, it will crank it up to 11.
OK Google, play nirvana – Google Home will play Nirvana.
OK Google, Cast Nirvana to Family Room – Google Home will play Nirvana on the Chromecast audio I have setup in the Family Room.
One of my favorite things now that spring is just about here and its time for spring cleaning and BBQ hosting, is group casting. Google Home with one simple command will stream the music of my choice to my whole house.
OK Google, Cast Nirvana to Home Group
Google Home will echo your command, OK Casting Nirvana to Home Group.
With that command, Google Home will start casting your selected music to all the speakers in your group. The best part of this is that when I am casting music throughout my house, I am not tying up my phone. As Google Home will cast the music directly to the speakers in the group, you can use your phone as you please.
The group casting is available in apps that allow Google Cast functionality, so you can send content to your group of speakers via just your phone. Although when you do it with your phone, your phone becomes the streaming control. Even so, its still nice to be able to broadcast music through out your house. Really allows you to take advantage of all those Bluetooth speakers we are all collecting.
Google Home offers a lot in the way of AV control. The ability to cast my music through out my house with out investing thousands in wireless speakers is pretty cool. Especially as its all voice controlled.
I have covered a lot and there is more to Google Home. As Google likes to say its just a voice enabled Bluetooth Speaker, it really is so much more. On the next page I will provide the review summary, that all important round up of all my likes and hopes for Google Home. Giving you the information you need as you decide what products will be a part of your smart home system.