Chromecast – casting local content

As soon as I heard Google’s Chromecast was available in the UK I had to have one.

I knew useful apps are in their infancy (although BBC iPlayer and YouTube both work very well), but I particularly wanted a Chromecast to stream (“cast”) videos, music and pictures I already own and store on my own computers, tablet and ‘phone – and consign the Xbox 360 to the skip!

But casting local content is not yet as easy as we might hope, given this is a Google technology. Trawling the web and experimenting has given me some useful insights, so I thought I would share these. If you know of any better ways to cast local content, I would love to hear.

So, ways to cast local content I have used are:

Browser:

  • Set up Chromecast with Chrome, click the Cast button in the Chrome toolbar (top right hand area) of your browser.  WARNING: CAN SEEM SLUGGISH

Desktop:

  • Click the Cast button in Chrome, click the little down arrow box in the pop-up, and select “Cast entire screen”

Video:

  • Videostream (http://www.getvideostream.com/features.html) – good quality/speed, but restricted formats (e.g. won’t play AVI).
  • LocalCast Media 2 – tried it, utter rubbish, uninstalled!
  • Chrome browser itself (or casting the desktop) can play many media formats, including AVI, MP4, and MKV. Open new Chrome tab & press Ctrl+O to play their locally-stored videos from the browser, and then stream it to Chromecast via the Google Cast browser extension. WARNING: SLOW & JUDDERY

Music:

  • LocalCast Media 2 – works OK, but one track at a time, painful!

Pictures:

  • Dayframe app – seems OK initially, butwill not connect to DropBox and very difficult to get it to cast correct files; occasionally seems fixed on a single picture.
  • LocalCast Media 2 – didn’t even try it (other problems too big to tollerate!)

SOLUTIONS NOT TRIED YET:

  • TRY: running the Plex server as a player in a Chrome PC window (free), and then casting the tab using the Google Cast Extension.
  • TRY: For WMV files, you need install windows media player firefox plugin in firefox, then, Chrome can play such files in Chrome. Yes install the plugin in Firefox browser, then the files can be played in CHrome….
  • TRY: For some MPEG files, you need to download and install QuickTime. Then, you can play such files in Chrome.

 

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