Google’s home theater integration between Chromecasts and Nest speakers is here (sort of)
Google introduced dynamic audio grouping on the Nest Hub and other assistant-enabled smart displays earlier this year. With this function, devices can be added to and removed from audio groups on the fly without having to edit groups beforehand. This feature was introduced in the Google Home app last week. It provides a workaround that allows you to cast video to Chromecast devices while the audio is playing through Nest speakers.
The new UI makes it easy to create an audio group that combines Chromecast and Nest devices. Usually this is only for music. However, it looks like once a dynamic group is created it will also appear as a casting target in video focused apps like YouTube and Disney +.
Here’s a screenshot showing the functionality in action with a little guest appearance from @AutomateYouLife 😂 pic.twitter.com/IUUiLDmcWZ
– Phil S. (@Phil_S_UK) November 20, 2020
This allows you to watch videos on Chromecast devices while the audio is playing through Nest speakers in the group. The current success rate seems to vary – some say it works well with videos streamed through the YouTube app, but report shaky issues when streamed from third-party providers like Disney +.
While this isn’t the home entertainment solution we’ve been waiting for from Google, it seems like a solid step in that direction. Apple’s new HomePod mini speakers work with Apple TVs to create a complete sound system. I look forward to the day that Google’s products do the same. For now, this workaround offers a tantalizing taste of what will be in store later.