Skip to main content

Now you can control Chromecast with your TV remote, play tennis Wii-style

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Apple’s streaming device, the Apple TV, may be the toast of the town right now with its (somewhat) exclusive deal for HBO Now in April, but don’t forget Google’s ever-evolving Chromecast. The device just added some cool new features including using your TV remote to access basic controls, and even turning an Android device into a motion-controlled remote.

Discovered by a user on the Chromecast subreddit, Chromecast now includes a new feature that will allow many users to trade their phone or tablet for their TV remote for basic play/pause functionality. The service should work with any TV that is equipped with HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) communication, which nearly all new TVs offer.

As we reported in our piece about ARC HDMI, CEC can be tricky, and doesn’t always work as intended. Plugging into your TVs ARC HDMI input (if you have one) may help smooth the communication, and some users will also need to enable CEC in their TV’s settings.

However, the new functionality should allow most users to play and pause content from a TV remote while watching a plethora of apps, including HBO Go, YouTube, Allcast, WatchESPN, Plex, And Google Play Music. It’s a very convenient new feature for those tired of controlling basic playback from their mobile device, though it appears the feature unfortunately does not yet work with Netflix.

In addition,  a cool new tennis game called Motion Tennis Cast, can essentially turn your Android smartphone into a motion-controlled remote, working very similar to a Wii Controller. As reported by The Next Web, the game developed by Rolocule must first be installed and calibrated on your Android device.

From there, you can move your character into position, and get down and dirty with some serious tennis action, with your choice of four difficulty levels. The TNW report claims playback is fairly intuitive, though it likely won’t be as responsive as Wii Tennis. It’s also a bit of a hazard when it comes to protecting your phone — there’s no strap here, so you’ll have to be careful not to just toss your device into the TV screen. Consider yourself officially warned!

Rolocule is also reportedly working with Android Wear gear, which could allow users to replace their Android phone with a smartwatch for even more intuitive play, and a lot less risk involved. We’ll keep an eye on that update for the near future. No word yet as to whether or not an iOS version is in the works for iPhone, but even if it’s only for Android users, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

So there you have it, the world’s most reliable budget streaming device is still growing as it moves towards its second birthday. Chromecast’s $35 price point never looked so good.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Waniata
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Waniata is a multi-year veteran of the digital media industry, a lover of all things tech, audio, and TV, and a…
You can buy a Google Stadia controller now, but it won’t grant you access to play
Google Stadia controller individual purchase available now

After all the pricing and game reveals ahead of E3 2019, we’re finally on a clear path toward the Stadia launch. If you are interested in trying out Google's cloud gaming service, you're likely trying to figure out the best way to access the new platform.

The only current option is through the Founder's Bundle that's available for pre-order in the Google Store. And if you're a pal benefiting from the included Buddy Pass, you'll be happy to hear that the Google Stadia controller is now available for individual purchase.

Read more
Common Amazon Prime Video problems and how to fix them
Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power on Amazon Prime Video.

Can you remember the last time you popped your Death to Smoochy DVD in? Neither can we, and that’s because we spend most of our time streaming movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video these days. Not only is it one of the top streaming platforms for new and old titles alike, but you’ll be able to enjoy a wide selection of these films and shows in 4K, HDR, and even Dolby Atmos.

Read more
Rock your next garden party with Victrola’s solar-powered speakers
Two Victrola Rock Speaker Connects in a garden.

Victrola is mostly known for its turntables, but the company is taking audio outside with its Rock Speaker Connect, a Bluetooth landscape speaker designed for the backyard, garden, or patio. What really sets it apart is that the speaker is solar-powered, so you don’t have to worry about running wires or plugging it in to keep it powered up.

Designed to blend in with all types of gardens via its Stone, Sand, or Granite finishes and realistic rock texture, the durable speaker is IP65 dust and water resistant. This rating means the outdoor speaker is protected against light water pressure jets, like your sprinkler or rain, as well as sprays and splashes.

Read more