Setting up your Chromecast becomes even easier with the new Chromecast Ethernet Adapter (opens in new tab), a simple device that provides Internet access and power all in one.
Chromecast is a simple solution for streaming videos from computers, smartphones, or tablets to any display with an HDMI connection. It has been around for quite a while now.
Setting up a Chromecast has always been a simple procedure. You basically just plug it into your TV and connect the power cable. After that, using another device, you wirelessly connect to the Chromecast, connect it to the Wi-Fi signal in your house, and start watching videos.
The Ethernet Adapter makes this short setup procedure even easier, as you don't need to connect it to the Wi-Fi. It also will improve the streaming performance of the Chromecast in areas where the Wi-Fi signal is barely registering or completely non-existent. Just plug an Ethernet cable into the power supply box, and plug the power into the Chromecast as you normally would, and you are finished.
Because the only connection going between the Chromecast itself and the adapter is a single USB cable, we know that Ethernet over USB is being used. Though this ability of USB isn't especially common, protocols and standards for Ethernet over USB have been present since at least USB 1.1. Because a common USB Type-B connector is used, we know that this isn't USB 3.0 -- it's likely USB 2.0, which would mean that Ethernet speed is limited to USB 2.0's 480 Mbit/s of bandwidth, but this is still more than sufficient for streaming videos.
The new adapter costs $15, and it ultimately brings the cost of owning a Chromecast with this adapter up to $50 total. This is a little problematic for Google, as there are several Android TV sticks which can be purchased for around this price and are complete systems, but these systems typically lack a wired Internet connection. As a result, if you are planning to use the device in an area without Wi-Fi, the Chromecast and Ethernet adapter combination still has a strong advantage.
The Ethernet Adapter should be available today, but it's currently out of stock on the Google Store.