Got dem 'ole Chromecast blues

It all started with a lightning strike last week.

We love the TV show 24. Jack Bauer is the man, so we DVR'd the series when it started again in May.

Last week a TREMENDOUS thunderstorm moved through our area and there was a lightning strike at our house. It was so close that there was no delay between the flash and the thunder.

Nothing appeared damaged until Monday night. We always start watching the show about 15 minutes after it starts so that we can zip through the annoying swamp of commercials. So, we settled into the den around 9:15 and turned on the DirecTV box and the TV.

"No Signal" was the message on a beautiful blue background.

The little orange light on the front of the DVR indicated that it was recording the show so I didn't want to power cycle the box, but after 20 minutes of trying, I determined that the satellite receiver had taken a hit. No 24 for us tonight and we had no recording of this episode.

The next day, I went looking for the video. Since I don't deal with warez sites, I couldn't find any legit source of the show except for Hulu. Last night, we decided to watch it on the big screen in the bedroom. We wound down the evening and settled in for some TV violence and turned on the set.

I had gotten a Chromecast a few months ago and installed it on this TV. We rarely use this set anymore, being so tired by the time we hit the sack that it just hangs out on the wall, lonely, with that soft orange "Vizio" being the only indication that it is ready to entertain us at the push of a button. So, I pushed the button and the beautiful Chromecast screensaver pictures came up on the screen. Cool. We are ready to see how Chloe and Jack are going to save London.

I opened my iPad, clicked on the Chromecast app and nothing happened. No Chromecast device was registered. I told it to search for devices. None found. I unplugged the Chromecast's USB power and plugged it back in. I watched it reboot itself and start showing a fantastic looking seascape photo. It sure looked like it was working.

There is a little button on the Chromecast key right by the USB plug. After checking the Interwebs for help, I held it down for about 10 seconds and it went into FDR (factory data reset) mode. I was able to set my iPad WiFi connection to the Chromecast device, I went through the whole initialization procedure and it worked perfectly, but when it was done and switched back to my normal home WiFi signal, it didn't connect. Oh well, it should default anyway.

So, I tried running Hulu on my iPad but I didn't have the app installed. I downloaded and installed it. I am ready to see what happens with the drones. I logged into the Hulu app and was told that you have to be a Hulu Plus member to use the Hulu app. Damn! They want $7.99 per month for that. These $7.99s start adding up after a while (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, WSJOnline, etc.) By this time, we just HAD to watch that missing episode, so I opted for the free 7 day trial and reluctantly gave them my credit card info.

Once done, I pulled up 24, found Episode 9 and pressed play (that Hulu screen is a bit cluttered, don't you think?) The show started. "Previously on 24..." But wait, no Cast icon. Crap! I hit pause, then I hit Google looking for answers. Sho' nuff, it should be there.

I loaded up the YouTube app. I know that worked when I originally had set up the device. I started a video but there again, no Cast icon. Same with Netflix. No Cast icon.

Back to Google. I finally found a posting of someone who had the same situation I did. The Chromecast device showed up fine on the TV. It even displayed the SSID of my wireless AP in my home. BUT NOTHING WAS WORKING. He described how he made some changes with his wireless configuration to get things working.

We have an Engenius Access Point, so I dialed into it and started looking. The settings he recommended were already set on mine, so as a last desperate act, I set my WiFi signal to 802.11g only, turning off the b/g mode. The Chromecast display on the TV blinked and showed me that it was making some adjustments and when I opened my iPad app, not only did I see my bedroom Chromecast device but I also saw the one I had installed in the den.

Into Hulu I went. I pressed play and THERE IT WAS, the elusive Cast icon. A quick tap on the icon and there it was on the big screen, a drone missile strike right on center field at Wembley Stadium!

Jack was back and so was my Chromecast.

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