Can’t find your remote? No need to worry. The best remote control is the one in your pocket. And now that Fandor has come to Chromecast, that smart phone can be your guide as you explore the world of film!
Your iPhone or Nexus 7 is so much more powerful and can offer an infinite array of contextual buttons compared to the standard TV remote. It’s also a lot easier to use because you always have with you and you use it constantly (right?).
Chromecast debuted with much fanfare at the end of the summer. They sold out instantly but were not supported by many services (only YouTube and Netflix, to be precise). More apps have come out since then but most have focused on TV, blockbuster movies and news. But now, you can get your indie film on, too.
Beyond using your iPhone or Galaxy as a remote control, the benefits of the “second screen” experience abound:
- Rich contextual information is now at your fingertips. Want to know more about the film? With just a click or swipe or two, all of that information is at your fingertips. Having access to all of these supporting materials makes festival, classic, cult, and indie film fare all that much more compelling.
- Love the film or hate it, you can now easily share your views. For Fandor and the films we curate this is crucial. It’s word of mouth that bring the films to a wider audience.
- Finding the films you want to watch is now easier than ever. Many VOD services display films alphabetically and have limited search. With a native app on your phone you get much greater discoverability.
Using the app, casting is easy. Connect to your Chromecast by tapping the icon in the top right of the screen and selecting your device.
Then go to a film page and press play. The movie will begin playing on your TV.
You phone will display cast controls allowing you to jump skip forward, rewind or pause. Volume is controlled with the physical buttons on the phone.
To switch films, just go to a different film page and press play again. The cast controls will display and the new movie will load on the phone and, as if by magic, start to cast on your TV.
You can access the pause/play function at any time by tapping the Chromecast icon or using the persistent controls displayed on Android.
If you want to switch apps or shut off your phone, no problem: the movie will continue playing undeterred. On Android, the notifications and lock screen give you instant access to the playback controls.
So what does this mean for you, film fan? Getting great movies on your TV is possible and easier than ever with just a $35 dongle (that’s a technical term) from Google, available here.