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Chromecast Is Pixelated (Why and How to Fix)

As an owner of a Chromecast device, I know how frustrating it can be when your Chromecast is pixelated. I recently encountered this issue and decided to do some research and testing to try and solve the problem. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing what I discovered and how I eventually fixed the issue, as well as other solutions that I came across.

This could be due to the Chromecast being too far away from the casting device or router. The Chromecast may also be receiving insufficient power or internet.

Distance Between DevicesChromecast is too far from the casting device or router.Keep the distance between the Chromecast and the casting device or router within the recommended 15 feet.
Wi-Fi Connectivity IssueRouter location or insufficient internet bandwidth.Ensure the Chromecast is within 15 feet of the router and check your internet speed to ensure it meets the requirements for your Chromecast version (5 Mbps for Chromecast, 20 Mbps for Chromecast Ultra).
Insufficient Power SupplyChromecast is not receiving enough power from the TV’s USB port.Connect your Chromecast to an external power supply to ensure it receives adequate power.
Resolution SettingsChromecast’s default resolution settings need adjustment.Make sure your TV is set to the highest resolution before casting and use apps like VLC Media Player to adjust the resolution of the casted media.
Check Wi-Fi ConnectionConnectivity problems with other devices.Check if the internet is working on other devices, and if the speed is sufficient, disconnect and reconnect the Chromecast and router.
Update Chromecast FirmwareOutdated firmware may cause glitches.Open the Google Home app, select your Chromecast, and check for firmware updates under “Device Settings” > “General.”
Adjust Resolution from VLCStreaming issues may be due to Wi-Fi connectivity.Cast video files using the VLC media player app and adjust the resolution settings to see if the casting quality improves.
Reboot the ChromecastRestarting the device may resolve the issue.Open the Google Home app and reboot the Chromecast, or unplug it for at least 60 seconds.
Clear the cacheCached data may cause performance issues.For Chromecast with Google TV, clear the cache by going to “Settings” > “System” > “Storage” > “Internal shared storage” > “Cached data” and selecting “Clear cached data for all apps.”
Factory reset the ChromecastA factory reset may resolve persistent issues.While the device is plugged into the TV, hold down the power button for around 25 seconds until the device flashes red, then white. Release the button when the TV goes blank.

Why Is My Chromecast Pixelated?

Before we get into solutions for restoring Chromecast resolution, let’s take a closer look at the possible reasons. Here are four of the most likely causes of pixelated images on your Chromecast:

  1. Distance Between Devices

The distance between your Chromecast and the casting device is one of the first things to consider. For example, assume you’re casting from your phone; if the distance between your phone and the Chromecast is relatively far, the casting will be pixelated.

Always stick to the Google Support Center’s recommended distance of 15 feet between both devices.

  1. Wi-Fi Connectivity Issue

There could be a lot happening with the Wi-Fi connection that’s resulting in a pixelated image. The following are the two most common issues:

Router Location

The same recommended distance between devices applies to the Chromecast and the router. The Chromecast should be no more than 15 feet from the router. Otherwise, the Chromecast will stutter and cast poorly.

Internet Bandwidth

The second factor to consider is whether your internet speed meets the requirements of the Chromecast version you have

For example, Chromecast requires an internet speed of 5 Mbps to stream in high definition. Whereas Chromecast Ultra necessitates a speed of 20 Mbps to cast in 4K UHD. Keep in mind that online streaming demands even faster internet speed. 

Therefore, if your internet bandwidth is inadequate with your Chromecast device, you may experience pixelated casting.

  1. Insufficient Power Supply

Chromecasts are typically powered by plugging them into the TV’s USB port. Except for the most recent Chromecast version, Chromecast with Google TV. Briefly, this version requires more power, so it can’t be operated by TVs.

If you plug your Chromecast into the TV, there’s a chance that it won’t receive enough power. When this happens, the Chromecast’s performance suffers in terms of both audio and visuals. 

Simply connect it to an external power supply, and see if it works.

  1. Resolution Settings Need Adjustment

Chromecasts, by default, tend to adjust to the TV’s resolution. That’s why, before casting from your device, make sure the TV is set to the highest resolution you want

Doing this guarantees that the Chromecast will set the aspect ratio of the content it casts to the appropriate resolution.

Moreover, most streaming apps, including Netflix, don’t have the option of changing the resolution of the casted media. 

Meanwhile, apps like VLC Media Player will allow you to stream video files from your phone and adjust the resolution, as we’ll show you shortly.

How to Fix a Pixelated Chromecast

Read more: Chromecast has distorted video

Here’s a step-by-step guide to restoring the streaming quality on your Chromecast:

  1. Check Wi-Fi Connection

First off, check to see if the internet is working on other devices, as there could be a general connectivity problem. If everything’s fine, follow this basic drill:

  • Check your internet speed to see if it’s sufficient for your Chromecast (You can test it on the Google fiber speed test)
  • If the speed was adequate, disconnect the Chromecast and the router
  • Reconnect the devices and verify that the image has returned to normal; if not, continue to the next step
  1. Update Your Chromecast Firmware

Check to see if a new firmware update has been released that you haven’t yet installed. New updates usually fix common glitches, so here’s what you should do:

  • Open the Google Home app
  • Click the “Devices” button and select your Chromecast
  • Press the three-dot icon in the upper right corner
  • Select “Device Settings”
  • Check for firmware updates under “General”

If an update is available, install it; otherwise, try adjusting the resolution using a supporting mobile app. 

  1. Adjust Resolution From VLC

You should stop streaming at this point and try casting video files instead. That’ll determine whether you need to contact Google’s support team or if the problem is simply one of connectivity.

Put differently; if the casting returned to normal after adjusting the resolution in the VLC app, there’s nothing wrong with your Chromecast. This suggests that the core issue might be related to Wi-Fi connectivity. 

  • Open the VLC media player app
  • Tap the “More” button at the bottom
  • Select “Settings” at the top
  • Choose “Video screen orientation”
  • Select Automatic (sensor), which will adjust the Chromecast’s aspect ratio to match the resolution of the TV

If the image is still pixelated, you can try changing the orientation to Landscape. This will ensure that the Chromecast employs the correct resolution levels on the VLC player app.

Reboot the Chromecast

Often, an easy solution is to simply restart your Chromecast device.

  • To do this, open the Google Home App, Touch and hold the device’s title, tap settings, more settings then reboot.
  • Alternatively, you can simply unplug the Chromecast for at least 60 seconds which will reboot the Chromecast.

Clear the cache

It would also help to try clearing the cache of your Chromecast.

To clear the cache on Chromecast with Google TV, you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to your profile icon and select Settings, then System, then Storage, then Internal shared, storage then Cached data. Select “Clear cached data for all apps,” then click Ok

Factory reset the Chromecast.

As a last resort, you can also try factory resetting the Chromecast.

While the device is plugged into the TV, hold down the power button for around 25 seconds. The device would flash red, then white. Once it flashes white and your TV goes blank, release the button

Wrapping Up

Read more: lines on screen with Chromecast

We hope that our “Chromecast is pixelated (why and how to fix)” guide has helped you identify and fix the problem. 

Fortunately, following the guidelines outlined in this article usually fixes a pixelated or low-resolution casting. So, best of luck with these quick fixes!