Google is now allowing Chromecast users to control the service using their standard TV remotes.
Until now, users could only navigate Chromecast using the dedicated app on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
The new addition, bundled in firmware update 27946, allows users to play or pause using TV remotes, although no other commands are working just yet (via Medium).
It’s worth noting that this feature won’t work with older TVs; your set needs to support the HDMI-CEC standard.
That’s a HDMI protocol that lets your TV route infrared signals from your TV remote to the Chromecast.
It’s a standard built into many new TVs that means Chromecast can understand infrared signals, despite not having its own dedicated infrared receiver.
Chromecast has actually been using the HDMI-CEC technology since it launched, namely to turn your TV on when you begin streaming media to the stick.
Users posting to Reddit suggest the new feature is working on a host of apps, including YouTube, Play Music, HBO Go, ESPN, BBC iPlayer, and TuneIn Radio. There’s some dispute about whether it works with Netflix currently.
It’s a great move by Google as the lack of TV remote support is one of the most common complaints regarding Chromecast.
What’s more, it’s likely Google pushed out this feature to have it ready for the launch of Android TV sets, landing in the coming months.