The Chromecast has been one of Google's biggest hardware hits of recent years, an inexpensive and versatile streaming dongle that lets users get content from their smartphone or tablet up on the big screen. Now it's launched an official Ethernet adapter to get the Chromecast working in Wi-Fi dead zones.
The original Chromecast HDMI dongle uses a local Wi-Fi network to receive instructions from a phone or tablet – essentially those instructions tell it which YouTube video, Netflix show or Spotify playlist you're enjoying. That content is then streamed directly from the web by the Chromecast device.
NEW ATLAS NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
Upgrade to a Plus subscription today, and read the site without ads.
It's just US$19 a year.UPGRADE NOW
If you're in an area with spotty wireless coverage or no wireless coverage at all then the new Ethernet adapter can keep the streams coming. It plugs into a wall outlet power and then connects to a Chromecast via USB and a home router via Ethernet). Presumably, you could also use it in conjunction with a powerline networking kit if your router isn't situated near your TV.
The device you're casting from still needs some kind of internet access to pass instructions over to the dongle, but at least your music and video streaming should be rock-solid with the new adapter installed.
There's obviously a lot of demand for wired Chromecasting, because the new attachment sold out in less than a day. Presumably Google will restock the virtual shelves before too long, and hopefully bring the device to countries other than the US at the same time.
Google executives have previously confirmed a second-generation Chromecast is in the works, but as for when it'll arrive or what features it's will have when it gets here, we're not sure. In the meantime you can get Chromecasting in the attic or the basement beyond the reach of your Wi-Fi network, just as soon as the adapter is back in stock.
Source: Google StoreView gallery - 3 images