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Tech tips

Put your video meetings on your TV with this $30 gadget

Coronavirus has changed almost every facet of the way we live and work. Not only have we pivoted to online shopping and delivery platforms for everything from groceries to clothing, but a large number of us are still working from home, too. Tap or click here to give your home office a high-tech makeover.

As you may have discovered firsthand, working from home has a pretty significant learning curve — especially when it comes to maintaining video contact with clients and coworkers. If you’re one of the millions still conducting Zoom or video meetings from your kitchens or dining room, you may have noticed how grainy or small the videos on your laptop are.

Your dinky laptop screen can make it difficult to feel connected to the people you’re meeting with. There’s a fix for this issue, though and it won’t cost you more than about $30. Using this inexpensive device you can cast your video meetings onto the massive TV screen in your home. Here’s how.

Using Chromecast and your TV for video meetings

If you’re using Google Meet and have a Chromecast, video meetings don’t have to be confined to just your laptop screen anymore. You may already be using a Chromecast device to stream movies and shows to your TV to help pass the time while you socially distance.

Related: How to video conference from your Android phone

If you aren’t familiar with Google Chromecast, this device plugs into any TV or monitor with an HDMI port so you can cast what’s streaming on your phone or computer directly onto the screen. While it’s common to use Chromecast for entertainment, you can also use it to cast video meetings onto your TV screen. To do this, you’ll need a Chromecast device, a Nest smart display, or a TV with a built-in Chromecast.

You can snag a Chromecast for about $30 or so and connect it to your TV if yours doesn’t have one built-in. You’ll also need to use Google Meet to cast the video call to your screen.

How to cast Google Meet to your TV

You can start casting before you join a meeting or anytime during a meeting. 

To start casting before you join:

  1. Open your meeting using Google Calendar or the Meet app. 
  2. Select Cast this meeting.
  3. In the Cast tab, select the Cast-enabled device you want to use.

To start casting during a meeting:

  1. In the bottom right, select the three-dot menu and click Cast this meeting
  2. In the Cast tab, select the Cast-enabled device you want to use.

To stop casting during or after a meeting:

  1. In the bottom right, select the three-dot menu. 
  2. Select Stop casting meeting

Related: Free work at home tools

How to cast Zoom to your TV

Casting Zoom video meetings to your TV is a little more complicated than using Google Meet, but it can still be done from both Android and Apple devices. You’ll need the same main components to make it work: A Chromecast or a built-in Chromecast TV, your laptop or phone, and the right apps.

To mirror Zoom to Chromecast from Android:

  1. Download and install the Google Home app on your phone.
  2. Open the Google Home app on your phone and then click the “+” icon at the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Click Set up new devices in your home.
  4. Open your Wi-Fi settings and choose Chromecast from the list of networks.
  5. Return to Google Home > Continue.
  6. Confirm that the code on your phone matches the code on your TV by clicking I see it.
  7. Start a Zoom meeting on your phone.

To cast Zoom to Chromecast from your iOS device:

If you want to cast Zoom to Chromecast from an iOS device, it will require a third-party app. Streamer for Chromecast is a good option.

Once Streamer is installed:

  1. Connect your Chromecast device and your iOS device to the same WiFi network.
  2. Download the Streamer for Chromecast app on your iOS device.
  3. Once the app is downloaded, open it and tap Screen Cast > Connect.
  4. Tap Start Mirroring > Chromecast to start the Zoom cast.

That’s it, you’re now ready to have video chats on your TV. Once you see how crystal clear everyone looks on the big screen you’ll wish you knew how to do this a long time ago. Enjoy!

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