How to Use Google Home Video

The Google Home Hub does more than just control your smart devices

The Google Home Hub is the control center for all your connected smart home devices. This centralized display unit has a touchscreen interface that makes it easy to organize schedules, play music, and activate your smart devices. Google Home Hub also has a variety of video capabilities. Here's a look at how to set up a slideshow using Google Home Hub along with some other fun video features.

Information in this article applies to the Google Home Hub and its successor, the Google Nest Hub Max.

The Google Home Hub

Use Google Home Hub as a Photo Display

It's easy to turn your Google Home Hub display into a continuous slideshow photo frame. Before you get started, create a photo album in Google Photos to be your slideshow's source. Then name it something like Google Home Hub Slideshow to identify it easily.

  1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone and tap the Google Home Hub device.

    Google Home app main screen with Google Home Hub selected
  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon), scroll down to Device Settings, then tap Photo Frame.

    Google Home device settings page with Photo Frame selected
  3. On the Ambient Mode screen, select Google Photos to enable it as your ambient mode.

    Ambient Mode settings screen with Google Photos selected

    Ambient mode is the default Google Home Hub display. It's originally set to display the date and time, but you can configure it to use other information sources.

  4. In the Google Photos settings screen, select an album to use as your Google Home slideshow.

    Album options in Google Photos settings screen.
  5. When your Google Home Hub enters ambient mode, it displays a slideshow of the photos in your selected album.

Create a Live Album Slideshow Display

Take your Google Home Hub slideshow to the next level by creating a Live Album. A Live Album lets you select the people and pets who appear in the slideshow. Live Albums use artificial intelligence to identify people in new photos you add to Google Photos. Here's how it works:

  1. Open the Google Home app and tap the icon for a Google Home Hub device.

    The Google Home main screen.
  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon).

    The location of the settings icon on the Google Home hub page.
  3. Tap Google Photos > Select Family and Friends.

  4. Tap Open so that Google Home can access your Google Photos.

  5. Tap the faces of people and pets to include in the Live Album.

    Select people & pets in Google Photo album
  6. Tap Done. Your Live Album appears on the Google Home Hub display.

    There can be up to 20,000 photos in each Live Album.

Use Google Home Hub as a Video Display

Using your Google Home Hub as a video display is a great way to watch cooking videos in the kitchen, view movies and shows, or watch how-to videos while working on a project.

It's easy to use voice commands to watch something on a linked video service, such as Netflix. To do this, enable your Google Home Hub as the default TV device, and then link video services to your Google Home Hub.

  1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone and tap a Google Home device.

    Google Home main screen with Google Home Hub device selected
  2. Tap Settings (the gear icon).

    Settings icon on the Google Home hub page.
  3. In the Device Settings screen, tap Default TV.

    Google Home Hub device settings page with Default TV selected
  4. Select your Google Home hub device as the default TV. Tap Done to finish.

    Choose a default TV setting page with Done highlighted
  5. Return to the Google Home app main page and tap Settings (the gear icon).

    Google Home app main page with Settings selected
  6. In the Settings screen, tap Linked media accounts.

    The Google Home settings menu with Linked Media Accounts selected
  7. Scroll down to the Video section and tap the plus sign next to each service to link that account with your Google Home Hub.

    Google Home linked media accounts.
  8. Once linked, use voice commands to watch a linked service's content on your Google Home Hub.

    Google Play Movies & TV and YouTube content is automatically available on your Google Home Hub, so you don't need to link these services.

Cast Video Content to the Google Home Hub

When you connect your Google Home Hub to your Wi-Fi network, you can cast audio and video from Chromecast-enabled apps. This makes it easy to cast video from your laptop or smartphone to the Google Home Hub video display. Many commercial casting devices, like the Roku, also support casting to a Google Home Hub.

Casting to the Google Home Hub display

Google Duo Video Calling

It's easy to enable the Google Duo video calling service on a Google Home Hub. To link your Google Duo account with your Google Home Hub, open the Google Home app, tap the Google Home Hub device, and select Settings > Duo calling to link your phone number.

On the settings screen where you enable Duo calling, scroll up, and enable Personal results. This setting is required to make video calls to your Google contacts.