How to voice control Chromecast with Google Assistant

Get your Google kit working nicely to play movies and TV via voice commands

How to use Chromecast with Google Assistant

So you've got a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker - like a Google Home - and a Chromecast plugged into your TV or one with Chromecast built-in. Voila - you can now control your TV (or at least the apps supported by Chromecast) with your voice via the Assistant speaker.

And getting them working together can take as little as five to ten minutes. Here's how:

1. Set up your Chromecast/TV with Google Assistant

This bit's straightforward - you need to get your smartphone (running the Google Home app); your smart speaker and your Chromecast/Chromecast built-in TV all connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Also check you're signed into the Google account you want to use in the app.

Next, go to Menu in the Google Home app, then More Settings, then Services, then TVs and Speakers. This is where you add the new device.

Click the 'add' plus button in the bottom right and then when the app scans for compatible devices, click the tick then 'Add' to select the correct Chromecast or TV. They should now show up in the Google Home app under TVs and Speakers. To unlink, go to the app homescreen, hit Devices in the top right, scroll down to Linked devices, select the device and tap the X.

Note: voice control via Google Assistant/Home doesn't work with Android TV yet which is a pain - that's coming "soon". So if you have an Android TV and you're trying to add it, it may show up in the search but it won't work just yet. You can use the mic on the remote to voice control Android TV but you won't get extras like Voice Match with Netflix.

How to voice control Chromecast with Google Assistant

2. Sort out your streaming apps

The streaming services and apps that currently work with voice controls via Google Assistant and Chromecast are: Google Play Movies + TV (which has just been added), Netflix, YouTube (including Live), CBS, CW, HBO Now, Viki and Crackle.

Some of these like YouTube will simply start working once all the devices are linked but for some, like Netflix, CBS, HBO Now and Viki, you have to add your account to the Google Home app first.

Go to Menu, then More settings, then Videos and photos. Here you can find the app under the list of services under Video. Tap Link then Link account then follow the sign-in instructions from the app itself. To Unlink, just select the service and select Unlink, then Unlink account.

For Google Play Movies and TV shows, assuming your library is tied to the same account, you can simply ask Assistant to start playing them without specifying the service.

For Netflix, if you and your family/housemates have set up personalised Voice Match, you can link your own personal Netflix profile to your voice which is pretty cool.

How to voice control Chromecast with Google Assistant

3. Get voice casting

So what can you do?

The most obvious one is that for movies and TV shows you can say "Hey Google, play Rick and Morty on Netflix" or "Hey Google, watch Rick and Morty on [big TV]". So you can specify the streaming app and/or the name you've given to the TV or Chromecast.

You can't specify an episode or even a series yet (even when playing from your Google Play library), but with Netflix it will pick up where your last session ended, for the CW meanwhile it will jump to the last aired episode.

"Hey Google, next episode" - Also works with previous episode. Note: you don't need to keep specifying the TV name once you've done it in the first voice command which is nice.

"Hey Google, pause/resume/stop" - Pretty self explanatory

"Hey Google, skip back/jump back/rewind 30 seconds" - Does what it says on the tin

"Hey Google, subtitles/captions/dubbing on/off" - There's actually quite a lot of things you can do in terms of subtitles and dubbing with voice controls including switching languages too. We guess that's pretty handy as it can be a faff to navigate the onscreen menus sometimes.

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