Installation was a breeze. Plug into the TV, connect the USB cord for power, either to the supplied power adaptor or a spare USB port on your TV. Then switch on the TV, and follow the on screen instructions from the Chromecast itself, which directs you to the setup website from your computer, phone or tablet. That did two things: installed the Chromecast application on my computer (to configure the device) and then installed the Chrome browser extension required for casting from the computer to TV. All of this was really easy and took just a few minutes.
Google touts the Chromecast setup as “plug and play,” and that’s not far off. Once you have the device plugged in, your TV will prompt you to visit the online setup using a laptop or smartphone, where you’ll download the Chromecast setup app. The setup process takes a few minutes, and Google has done a great job of leading you step-by-step through the process with lots of helpful illustrations along the way.
Behind the scenes, the Chromecast is creating its own local hot spot for the initial setup, but those technical details are all hidden. (The most arduous step is that you’ll need to have your home Wi-Fi password handy.) If you’re on a laptop, the final step is installing the Chromecast extension, then you’re ready to go. It’s easy to take the painless setup for granted, but Google deserves a lot of credit, especially considering how tough I found it to get the very similar PLAiR up and running.