One of the newer features Google has added to Nest smart security cameras is the ability to bring up any of your camera feeds on the big screen, via a Chromecast, with a little help from Google Assistant. Once everything is configured, a simple spoken or typed command is enough to see live video on your TV (or wherever you've plugged in your Chromecast).
You can switch between multiple cameras quite easily, so it's a great way of checking on your property from the comfort of your sofa or bed. You basically get the same feed that shows up in the Nest app on a much bigger display.
We're going to assume you've already got your Nest camera(s) and your Chromecast(s) set up around the homeâfollow the quick start guides included with your hardware, install the Nest app for Android or iOS and the Google Home app for Android or iOS, and you should find everything pretty straightforward.
With those devices up and running, here's how you link them together.
Get your Nest camera working with Google Assistant
Before you can sling your Nest feed over to your Chromecast, you need to get it working with Google Assistant. Open up the Nest app on your phone, tap on the video feed you want to set up, then tap on the cog icon (top right).
Choose Google Assistant from the menu that appears, then change the toggle switch to on (if it isn't already). The Google Assistant settings link underneath leads to the general settings for Google Assistant, so you don't really have to change anything there (though you might want to review them anyway).
Bear in mind that you're not now barking orders at your Nest camerasâyou're controlling them through the Google Assistant. That means you can speak out commands to a Google Home speaker, or talk or type to the Assistant app for Android or iOS, as long as everything's on the same home network.
Also, this only works with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor for the time being, as per Nest's support documents. It's possible the feature might be added to the outdoor version in the future, but it's not here yet. We wouldn't expect older Nest cams to get added to the party.
You've got one more step to complete the link and get everything ready. Open the Google Home app on your phone, tap the menu button (top left), then choose Home control. Tap the plus icon, then pick your Nest security camera from the list. It should then be added to the screen showing configured devices.
Start casting video to your TV
As we've already said, you're interacting with Google Assistant rather than your Nest camera directly, so get your Google Home within earshot or fire up the Assistant app on your phone (you can speak out or type out your commands with the mobile app).
All you need to say (or type) is "[camera name] on [Chromecast name]", though you can put a "play" or "show" command in front if it helps. So, for example, "basement on dining room" would send the feed from the security camera in your basement to the Chromecast in your dining room.
Now, as you'll have noticed, this relies on your devices all having names that make sense and that are easy for Google Assistant to understand. If you're going to set this up, you really want to give your gadgets labels that are quick to say or type and that don't get the Assistant app confused (maybe don't call your Nest camera "Chromecast").
To change the name of a Nest camera, go into the Nest app, tap the camera feed, and then tap the cog icon to the top rightâyou can change its location and name by tapping the Where button. For Chromecasts, go into the Google Home app: tap the Devices icon (top right), then the menu button (three dots) by the Chromecast, then Settings and Name.
When you're tired of the security feed, say (or type) "stop [Chromecast name]". Your Chromecast goes back to the usual rotating slideshow of wallpapers until you give it another job to do.
Hopefully everything will be up and running first time around. If something does go wrong, the most basic issues are usually to blameâmaybe one of your devices doesn't have a strong Wi-Fi connection perhaps, or has gone into standby mode.
Go through all the steps again to make sure you haven't missed anything out, and double-check your Nest camera is connected to Google Assistant. Is the Chromecast working correctly? Can you beam content from other apps to it? If not then you might need to get the dongle reconfigured first.
Reinstalling the Nest and Google Home apps can also make a difference in fixing flaky connections, as it forces them back to their default settings and (in theory) gets rid of any corrupted data or badly configured settings that have sneaked in while you've been using your Nest camera or Chromecast.
Rebooting your router and phone, and resetting your Chromecast and Nest camera, can helpâthough this can take some time, so only start from scratch as a last resort. You'll basically be setting up everything again from the beginning, to reestablish the connections and make sure all your devices can see each other.
Right now this functionality is rather basicâyou can bring up the Nest camera on the big screen and that's about itâbut as time goes on we'd expect Google to add more features as it continues to push Google Assistant as the future of just about everything.