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Tip: You Can Play Local Video Files Through Chromecast


We’re still playing around with the Chromecast, and will have some thoughts on it later, but we wanted to point out a feature that you may not have been aware of after watching yesterday’s demo from Google. Chromecast can play local video files from your computer to a TV. That means you aren’t stuck with YouTube or Netflix or uploading your current collection to a cloud service – you can grab files already on your computer and then stream them to a TV.Β 

Outside of owning a Chromecast device (which is sold out everywhere), all you have to do is install the Chromecast extensionΒ on your PC, then find the file path of a local video file that you’d like to play, paste that path into the address bar in a Chrome browser, and then press the Chromecast button to cast it on over. It really is that simple.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 8.44.55 AM

One of our readers said he noticed a slight frame rate drop, but it’s not all that noticeable. I tried it as well and thought video looked pretty damn good.

Again, we’re still familiarizing ourselves with Chromecast, but are hoping to have more later today.

Cheers Corey and Leo!

  • Here is our simple video tutorial explaining exactly what to do to make it work – we hope it helps anyone who wants to watch locally stored videos. http://youtu.be/kutb_5umG3c

  • MH11

    I did that and all i get is sound, no picture… All of my movie files are in MP4 format

  • whatfreedom?

    Spoiler Alert *Check out app called PLEX* allows you to stream any video format through chrome. Google is lame for not allowing this to begin with. Get it before the MafiAA finds out and blocks it. ~ <3 the chicagoaan

  • Kristie Robinson

    Thank you for this post!!!

  • Henrik Haaverstein

    You can remove the upper line by pressing F11(fullscreen).

  • Nick

    Bought it at BestBuy… Love it. Great for travel.
    Getting better and better

  • Adrien

    What am I doing wrong? I keep trying this with AVI files but it just downloads them.

    • Anuj Goyal

      .avi is a container format, anything can be in a container. Chromebooks have decent but not robust support for container contents, known as codecs (h.264 is the most popular you’ll hear about which Chromebooks do support). What this means to you is that some .avi files will play while others will not. I’d recommend trying to play the file and when it doesn’t work go into the menu and select “Report an issue” and tell Google about it so they can work on supporting whatever you’re trying to play.

      trying renaming the .avi as a .mp4. If that doesn’t work you could try uploading to Google Drive and playing it from there, but you require offline viewing so that’s not a good solution as you’d have to let the entire video buffer while you have a connection

  • david

    Can it play local video with subtitles?

  • Xanderalmighty

    I tried this and it keeps Re downloading the file instead

    • Suman Gandham

      Same here, what gives? πŸ™

    • Dakender

      Same here on the continuous download ;(

  • Jesus

    Not happy with performance so far. Choppy video streaming, even when scaled back to 480p. Certainly not an Apple TV replacement. Hoping for a firmware update, fast.

    • Jueceman

      u need faster wifi

  • manilaboy1vic

    But will chromecast see a mediaserver?? like mediatomb? like how the ps3 sees mediaservers.. that needs to be implemented asap.. then this device would be awesome..

  • Greg MontaΓ±o

    Any idea if I could turn on WIFI tether on my phone and still send it to Chromecast from the phone or would I need a separate internet source? We canceled home internet long ago and still have unlimited data plans.

  • Downhome

    I am trying to do this but Chrome downloads the file instead of opening them in the browser. I have tried it using all methods – paste location in address bar, ctrl+o and open from there, or just drag and drop the file.

    However, every time I try to do that Chrome DOWNLOADS the file instead.

    Anyone have a clue on how to prevent that and for it to actually play the file?

    • Derek B

      I’m having the same issue on both of my computers.

      • Anuj Goyal

        hopefully the explanation will help… it is not device.. its chrome browser limitation…

        .avi is a container format, anything can be in a container. Chromebooks have decent but not robust support for container contents, known as codecs (h.264 is the most popular you’ll hear about which Chromebooks do support). What this means to you is that some .avi files will play while others will not. I’d recommend trying to play the file and when it doesn’t work go into the menu and select “Report an issue” and tell Google about it so they can work on supporting whatever you’re trying to play.

        trying renaming the .avi as a .mp4. If that doesn’t work you could try uploading to Google Drive and playing it from there, but you require offline viewing so that’s not a good solution as you’d have to let the entire video buffer while you have a connection

    • Anuj Goyal

      refer to my comment above… I am not able to post it again… πŸ™‚

      .avi is a container format, anything can be in a container. Chromebooks have decent but not robust support for container contents, known as codecs (h.264 is the most popular you’ll hear about which Chromebooks do support). What this means to you is that some .avi files will play while others will not. I’d recommend trying to play the file and when it doesn’t work go into the menu and select “Report an issue” and tell Google about it so they can work on supporting whatever you’re trying to play.

      trying renaming the .avi as a .mp4. If that doesn’t work you could try uploading to Google Drive and playing it from there, but you require offline viewing so that’s not a good solution as you’d have to let the entire video buffer while you have a connection

  • comatose1978

    does the USB port support OTG?

  • confused

    Come on google why cant we do this on our androids?!?!?

  • Scott R. Frost

    If it’s 1080p video, I’m sure you’ll be wishing that the Chromecast had wired ethernet or at least 802.11ac

    • nathan118

      What bitrate do you think 1080p requires?

    • Robert Bohannon

      Most Blu-Rays have bit-rates under 50Mbps.

  • Ray Lehman

    If I’m camping and using my Verizon Hot spot to access the internet will viewing Netflix or uTube videos count against my data plan?

    • jclardy


    • AndySamberg


  • CrazyLIkeAPsyhicFox

    Very nice.

  • Jackie Chen

    It’s not playing on the browser for me, Chrome just downloads the video for some reason. Any way to fix this?

    • Jackie Chen

      Never mind, chrome doesn’t support AVI files.

    • Anuj Goyal

      wow.. so many people with same issue?

      .avi is a container format, anything can be in a container. Chromebooks have decent but not robust support for container contents, known as codecs (h.264 is the most popular you’ll hear about which Chromebooks do support). What this means to you is that some .avi files will play while others will not. I’d recommend trying to play the file and when it doesn’t work go into the menu and select “Report an issue” and tell Google about it so they can work on supporting whatever you’re trying to play.

      trying renaming the .avi as a .mp4. If that doesn’t work you could try uploading to Google Drive and playing it from there, but you require offline viewing so that’s not a good solution as you’d have to let the entire video buffer while you have a connection

  • You can make a batch file and/or a small program to run a shell command and open movies in a new tab using chrome.exe — “filename”

  • ddevito

    But can we play local media on our android files off the gallery app via chromecast?

    • Steve Benson


    • u_fail

      I would say an app that can read local media and cast it will come very soon.

  • ddevito

    Just one more reason to NOT own a chromebook

  • Fresh360

    This thing keeps getting better and better.

  • huskerhog

    Amazon wants $60 for it.

  • beng8686

    Chromecast is retarded. Just give us a google-made Google-TV. Ive been happy with my Revue, aside from the lag. It’s a good idea, just poorly implemented in my opinion.

    • Phill_S

      Yeah, buying a new TV vs buying a $35 peripheral that plugs into the TV you have – you have successfully evaluated what the majority will decide :rolleyes:

      • Ajmcnicol

        what the f are you talking about. new tv?? google tv is a standalone box like apple tv. You can keep your tv..pay a bit more and for a 100 bucks get a full google tv box that can do chromecast stuff as was recently announced.

  • kirk

    Best Buy Just canceled my order

  • My question is will this work with HD MKV files creating using MakeMKV? I’m talking 1080P movies on a computer?

  • edmicman

    I didn’t understand all the fuss…the way it sounded was that if you had a phone/tablet app that supports Chromecast and plays local media, then you would be able to send that local media playback to your TV. Wouldn’t it be that simple?

    • Fresh360

      There aren’t any ChromeCast apps that stream local media at this time, so theoretically you are correct but in reality right now it’s not possible.

  • jwinford

    Andddddddddd sold!

  • Alex Farra

    Just an FYI if you just hit ctrl + o in chrome it opens up the file browser. Much easier than finding the file path and pasting it in.

    • Nathaniel Webb

      holy crap, thanks for this!

    • Steve Benson

      Nice. Thanks for this.

    • RobertNeal

      Or just drag and drop your video into the browser!

  • Greyhame

    This. Is. AWESOME!! Best $35 ever spent? Here’s hoping.

    • Steve Benson

      If you already have Nexflix, it’s the best $11 you’ve ever spent.

  • Myk Robinson

    Can you confirm or deny if the Chrome extension works with Ubuntu, and if so, outside of Netflix, what doesn’t work?

    • Steve Benson

      Can you install the Chromecast extension in the Chrome browser for Ubuntu? If you can, it will work. It will cast anything you have open on the tab.

  • SnrSuave

    If you want one, Best Buy’s site now shows local availability for in store pickup. Just did it and got confirmation that my order is ready for pickup. Easiest way to get one in my opinion.

  • teknologikl

    Does it support DTS? I know highly doubtful but that is the one feature that I wish was supported by GoogleTV.

  • The Reverend Dak

    Looks like anything that can play natively in Chrome can be Cast?

    • Steve Benson


  • Chris Johnson

    I just picked one up half an hour ago at a Brick and Mortar Best Buy here in Chapel Hill, NC. There were 4 left.


    Hey if your in Connecticut and want to pick up a chromecast best buy still has some available in west simsbury , enfield and meriden stores

  • CaptM

    I just ordered mine through the Play Store about 15 minutes ago.

  • Alex Clements

    What I’m wondering is if someone could make an app/Chrome Extension that would allow you to share you entire desktop. I’m not very technically knowledge on the subject but it seems like it should be possible

  • jnt

    @Kellex (or whomever) – does it have to be plugged into the USB power source continuously, or just charged occasionally with it?

    Also, if you live in the DFW area, a LOT of the Best Buy’s have them in stock already today, with the others expected to get shipments today or tomorrow.

    • Steve Benson

      It must be plugged into a power source 100% of the time. It comes with a usb cable and a wall adapter if your tv doesn’t have usb.

      • jnt

        Thanks – their ads yesterday showed otherwise, but that was my suspicion.

        • Christopher Nee

          If your TV supports HDMI 1.4 you will not need external power

          • jnt

            Ah ok – 2 year old Insignia from Best Buy… I’m guessing no 1.4 support there πŸ™‚

          • EC8CH

            I’ve seen no proof of this being true and my personal experience says that it is in fact false.

    • thebigmann

      Continuously unless your HDMI port is capable of supplying the power.

    • Chris Johnson

      It needs to be plugged into either a USB source or into the 120V adapter that is included.

  • StankyChikin

    Mine is in transit from Amazon and to be delivered tomorrow πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to give it a try..

  • jamdev12

    Now what I want is the ability to show a presentation from my phone on a big screen. I think if the presentation is in Google Docs it should as it ties perfectly to Chrome. I can’t wait for my Chromecast to come home. COME HOME TO PAPA!!!

  • John charitos

    I don’t see why people are excited . If it had miracast and was 35 $ i would do it , sense google used miracast on the nexus 4. Playing games on my phone and puttign them on the big screen is great , but sense i use my tv as my computer monitor , youtube , google play music and watch movies through a dongle is useless for me. And now days most TV’s have youtube and etc build in.
    Personally i don’t see the excitement in this but i guess there must be something about it

    • Steve Benson


      You’re killing me

    • Ajmcnicol

      You dont have to type words for searches using the crappy tv remote. you can use your phone and then beam it over. And if you watching a video already and want to show someone..you dont have to spend the 15 minutes getting the tv remote, navigating the usually crappy smart tv software to youtube or netflix..then spend forever tying it in one letter at a time. You can pause the video on your phone..say “hey guys watch this video..its awesome”,,click he cast button and bam..no fuss or muss.

      And people need to realize that it JUST came out..you tube and netflix are just two progams that support it right now..but google released an API..soon many man more programs will.

      • u_fail

        you just use a program like unified remote and the phone acts like a trackpad and keyboard on your phone for a computer, but not all people have an extra computer lying around to hook up to the tv.

  • PC as in windows only? Or also on a Mac?

    • Steve Benson

      Any computer running Chrome browser.

  • sean carey


    • capslock…really?


    • Steve Benson

      It’ll work from your computer through Chrome browser for sure. I image the Android and iOS app will be updated shortly to support this. Google said the API to make this work was incredibly easy to integrate into existing apps.

      Hopefully in 3-6 months every Android app will have this build in.

  • cmonnats23

    Is it just me or does this whole ‘Chromecast’ thing seem like nothing more than a watered down wireless hdmi cord? Like, I don’t see what the big deal is. Instead of being able to extend your desktop using an hdmi cord could, you can only view video footage using this. Seems a little lame imo. Someone needs to come out with something like that works exactly as an hdmi cord would, but can come from your phone, computer, or any other device.

    Someone prove me wrong, please.

    • Steve Benson

      This would be ideal of course. If it was easy, someone would have done it already.

      • cmonnats23

        I guess conceptually its very easy. I don’t know. Just seems like something that should have been done awhile ago.

        • Steve Benson

          What you’re describing is Miracast which was on the Nexus 4 and maybe the 10 as well and is built in to some tv’s. The problem is there’s no industry standard so it’s impossible to get it widely adopted.

    • Danny Cotton

      Intel WiDi does this but you will need support for it on your computer. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/intel-wireless-display.html

    • thebigmann

      It’s not meant as a mirroring device. It’s meant to allow easy delivery of content from any device to your TV. Limited? Sure. But it’s only $35 and it sounds like it works great. Plus, I’m sure the capabilities will grow with developer support.

    • ddh819

      there are things like what you’re looking for, but they cost more than $35

    • Nee Austin

      You don’t need to be proven wrong. This solves for a particular use case.

      We also don’t know yet how very clever app developers will be able to exploit the functionality beyond browser tab mirroring and “casting” browser content.

    • onDroid

      I actually find this much more useful than mirroring. I can use any device I want interchangeably. It streams pretty much anything you could want with the Chrome functionality. I’m not tied to a specific device. If I’m mirroring I would have to have the mirrored content running on my device the whole time it is mirroring meaning it will destroy my battery which probably wont allow me to finish the stream. I lose control of the device during the stream so I can’t check texts or emails or make a phone call or surf the internet while the stream is ongoing. I wouldn’t be able to queue up content. Resolution wouldn’t be as good if I had a phone with a lower than 1080p resolution(I believe HDMI would transmit content at my phone’s native resolution but I’m not sure). Also, I’m sure the connection with wireless HDMI streaming would be horrendous causing slow choppy streams. Content streams directly to chromecast from the remote server not the device so this wouldn’t be an issue. I’m sure there are more advantages but I’m done typing.

  • Steve Swall

    Woah Woah Woah, Stop the clock!

  • huskerhog

    Isn’t this just a wireless version of connecting your device to your TV with an HDMI cable? Am I missing something?

    • JamesU513

      Look up the features friend… More than just that

    • onDroid

      Except the user experience is much better. Native 1080p decoding so your phone resolution won’t matter. You wont need to have the content playing on your device. You can start the stream and then back out of it an do whatever with your phone. Your phone could even die and you would still be streaming. You would also be able to sit on your couch instead of leaving your phone plugged into the tv. It won’t destroy your battery like mirroring will. It will work with any device not just the one connected vi HDMI. Am i missing anything

      • William Ku

        wait. you said your phone can die and it would still be streaming? how is that possible if the video file is coming from your phone? its like saying if you were streaming something from your PC and then you turn off the PC and it will still be streaming. or are you just talking about streaming netflix and youtube? but that still doesn’t make sense to me though because the phone is the source of the stream. does the chromecast put the whole video into its memory first or something?

        • Steve Benson

          You’re not streaming anything from your phone. Your phone just tells the Chromecast were to find the content from the cloud and plays it independently. That’s why your phone could die, you could turn it off, you could switch devices, etc and it will continue streaming on it’s own.

          • William Ku

            what if you were streaming a local video file that’s coming from the phone though? surely it’s not gonna work then if the phone turns off.

          • zwieblekopf

            then obviously the phone needs to be on

          • Steve Benson

            It’s not possible to stream a local video file from the phone. Only from the cloud.

          • onDroid

            It has been demonstrated that this kind of streaming is possible. We just need to wait for a developer to release an app to do it. Obviously though, if it is local file, your phone will need to stay on to continue the steam. I don’t believe the chromecast has ROM memory so it can’t save your stream. It just basically points the device to a file path in which to stream from, regardless if that file path is on a remote server or your personal device. That is why your device can die and the steam can persist. It isn’t streaming from your device but from the remote server that the content resides on.

          • Steve Benson

            Where was this demonstrated?

            I just find this hard to believe because the entire concept behind Chromecast is to pull media down from the cloud.

          • onDroid

            Look at the post. That is exactly what it is doing. By placing your file path into chrome and casting it you are just defining a file for the chromecast to open and stream from. They said at the event that chromecast is just a specialized version of chrome. All you do when you cast something is sent a location for something to stream from. There are added protocols to communicate between your device and the destination file path and the tv and the file for content control.

          • Steve Benson

            Obviously. I don’t think you read my post.

            I said you can’t stream a local video file (stored on the phone) from the phone.

          • onDroid

            The post demonstrated that it is possible to stream local files on your computer over chrome. What is so inherently different about a smartphone that the same thing wouldn’t be possible through the phone. Your phone has a file structure very similar to a computer. The only reason you can’t do it through your phone right now is because chrome doesn’t have an extension for chrome casting on the mobile version. All a developer needs to do is port the extension to mobile or use the same casting functionality used in the other cast capable apps like netflix and you tube and point the chromecast to the file on your phone which will then be streamed through WiFi the same way that it is done through chrome on a computer. I was just saying that this post was a proof of concept.

        • thebigmann

          Video file is not coming from your phone, it’s coming from the cloud. The phone is only synced up with the video to control it.

        • aye_winchell

          Take netflix as an example, If i start watching, something on netflix and i cast it too my this device, its now playing netflix on the device, not from my phone, and while i can control what is playing from my phone its not actually streaming from my phone its getting it from netflix. If my phone dies, it keeps streaming on chromecast.

          Now with local content it would be streaming from where ever its located on your network, so yes, if your pc dies while your playing a video from it, it will die, but if i start it on my phone (from file located on pc) and my phone dies, then the stream continues. If the file is on your phone, then obviously you lose the stream, but only if that is where the file is located.

          I have a pc, while a large media selection that is on a shared drive, with this i can open a chrome browser on my n7, point it to my file on my pc share, then cast it too my tv, if my pc dies, my stream dies, if my phone dies, it does not, also at this point i can do other things on my phone or tablet, without interupting the stream, its going right from my pc, to chromecast via the browser.

          Is this the most elegant solution, not really, but i bet we can count the seconds until some media player integrates this and gives us a nice interface to connect to network shares, select and play video, and send it too the chromecast device plugged into your tv, at which point now your tv is interacting with your network share, leaving your tablet or phone free to do whatever, like browse other content.

          • Steve Benson

            This is a very good example.

      • thebigmann

        -You can queue up videos and songs from multiple connected devices.
        -Casting something will automatically turn on your TV and switch to the correct input to play it.

    • cmonnats23

      THANK YOU finally someone else is on the same page as me. I am at a loss as to how this is anything more than a limited usage wireless HDMI cable.

      • Steve Benson

        Limited usage? haha.

        More like HDMI cable is limited usage.

        • cmonnats23

          No way. HDMI cable has the ability to dual screen, browse the web, share screen, etc. which also gives it the ability to play videos on youtube, your own collection of videos, netflix, HBO Go, etc. This Chromecast only allows specific videos on specific services.

          Again I reiterate, limited.

    • Steve Benson

      It’s actually nothing like that. It’s much more powerful and flexible than HDMI mirroring.

  • Guest

    Isn’t this a wireless version of connecting your device to your TV with an HDMI cable?

    • Craig Hawkins


  • charlie hustle

    bluray iso’s?

  • sk102704

    Ordered mine from amazon. And know the waiting game begins…

  • Travis Keany

    Is file type support determined by the host PC or by Chromecast? i.e will this method work with my entire video library (AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV, etc)?

    • Tres Waters

      I was reading up on this earlier. I’ve tried them all and they all work perfectly aside from MKV. The MKV file I tried to play would play video but no sound.

      • Robby

        File support is determined by hardwaresoftware codecs. Some hardware, such as nVidia Tegra chips may not support the audio, but using an app like MX Player that allows you to use a software codec when the hardware codec isn’t sufficient can resolve that issue on a tablet. Not sure ifwhen MX Player will have Chromecast support though

        • Tres Waters

          Yeah, I understand as much. Another solution would be to get a DLNA app for Chromecast so that you could run a DLNA server like Playstation Media Server on a local computer and use the computer’s codecs for playback. PMS includes FFMPEG and I think some others. I don’t have any issues streaming any kind of file via PMS to my PS3, Vizio Smart TV, nor GNex.

          • Kie

            Not sure this makes sense. It’s my understanding that no mater what program you cast from, the chromecast toggle with it’s chrome browser is what will be playing the file from the cloud. If the dongle doesn’t support the codec than it wont play. Just my asumptions.

            Here are the supported media types of the chromecast dongle https://developers.google.com/cast/supported_media_types

          • Tres Waters

            Not if there’s an app released that’ll act as a DLNA client. With DLNA, the server is what decodes the video.

      • jathak

        I think that has to do with the Chromecast running some version of Chrome OS, because sound on MKV files won’t work most of the time on my Chromebook.

        • Tres Waters

          Yeah, that’s a codec issue. Unless Google adds support to whatever audio codec that file is encoded in, you’ll need a thirdparty app for Chromecast that’ll allow network file playback.

      • Scott Kart

        MKV is huge for me..that’s the only file type I use for HD videos

        • Rbq

          This x a million billion trillion

          • TeeJay

            MKVtoMP4 converter.. quality may suffer a tad.. but nothing too major..

      • Lue

        I think it doesn’t support DTS audio so might need to try a MKV with AC3 audio. Know issue in the GTV world.

        • Shruti Bagla

          Can you help me how to set this mkv with ac3 audio thing? Would it be possible to transfer audio also if we can set that up? I am trying to play a vlc player media file using chrome browser but its no use without the audio. Thanks

    • tekdemon

      So far I can only get mp4 files to play.

      • Shruti Bagla

        I am trying to play an mp4 file. but no audio… how can i fix this? can u help? thanks

    • SonTriton

      A quick test just now confirmed something for me. I uploaded an mkv to my google drive account on my desktop and started playing. Hit the “cast” button and was watching said file in my living room within 5 seconds. 5 seconds of buffer and then it played flawlessly…

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    Did best buy seriously have these on the shelves yesterday? Am I an idiot for order from google and now I have to wait 2 weeks?

    • PhilyP

      yeah they had it yesterday.

      • Taylor Abrahamson

        Guess I’m going to call all my best buys to see if they have one on my way home today haha

    • onDroid

      Some Best Buys had it in store yesterday. They weren’t supposed to sell them yet. They don’t officially go on sale at Best Buy until the 28th

    • Chris Johnson

      I just picked one up half an hour ago at a B&M Best Buy here in Chapel Hill, NC. There were 4 left.

    • ddh819

      just get one at the store then cancel the google order

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    I went into the chromecast settings, and there is a quality option, and it only has 720p?? Anyone else notice this??

    • Firelight

      That’s the Chrome plugin’s max quality while in Beta … is my guess. Google’s support docs only mention 480p/720p as options for the Chrome extension as well.

  • Bunklung

    Can we confirm if AC3 5.1 works?

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Awesome. That is all.

  • skyskioc

    Im just trying to get my hands on one ? So hard to find right now…..

    • KleenDroid

      I just happen to have one for sale for $75.

      πŸ™‚ I think a few others do also.


  • Robert Abe

    Someone needs to try this with a movie file that is in a shared network folder. That should play smoother as it’d be streaming that file directly rather than having to beam it from the device to the Chromecast, right?

    • ddh819

      i wonder if the file will go from the network folder to your device, then to chromecast

      • starnovsky

        It will. Because it’s just a network folder and actual streaming server is still your device.

  • sssbbb

    Given the video codec and compatibility questions I wonder if the VLC chrome plugin would solve any issues? Not able to test right now

    • ddh819

      would like to see subtitle support

  • PhilyP

    tried it with a 1080p video i recorded on my phone and put on my mac. I sent it to chrome, but played REALLY laggy with choppy sound. Strange. I’m literally right next to my router too. probably needs some tweaking from google idk. :/

    • joseph barrientos

      what’s your internet speed?

      • PhilyP

        just did a speed test. Shows my download speed at 20.99 mbps. Upload speed at 7.97 mbps. So it might just be my work haha

        • Tres Waters

          Internet speed does not come to play here.

        • Tres Waters

          Network speed is what you need to worry about.

          • PhilyP

            yeah. I have an apple airport extreme 802.11n from 2011. Is this not good enough? :/

          • Tres Waters

            That definitely should be. Do you know the specs of your wireless adapter on the computer? It could also be that the wireless adapter on the Chromecast might not be up to snuff. My Galaxy Nexus, albeit Wireless N, still only pushes 64mpbs max, which is barely faster than wireless g, and isn’t capable of streaming most 1080p files. I seriously doubt that Google would sell a network video streaming device without the required bandwidth of streaming a HD video, though.

          • Tres Waters

            I’m not very Apple savvy so I wouldn’t know where to check your connection speed between the Mac and the router if they’re connected wirelessly. Also, is your Chromecast relatively far from the router? The further you get from the router, the lower the connection speed gets.

          • PhilyP

            well it might be my macbook which is from late 2008. :/

          • Tres Waters

            Yeah, probably so. I did a little research. Find the network utility (http://www.macosxtips.co.uk/index_files/how-to-use-network-utility.php) and look at the link speed. If it’s <100mbps that's definitely your culprit. Depending on the video file's bitrate, even 100mbps might not do the trick, but that'd only be the case if you're trying to stream an uncompressed blu ray rip or you have a lot of network traffic. I stream 1080p to my TV flawlessly over a 300mbps connection, though, and haven't found a video yet that wouldn't play at that speed.

          • PhilyP

            Just checked. (thanks for the help) It says my link speed is 300mbps…i don’t know anymore lol other than this thing probably needs some updating? Have you gotten your hand on a chromecast yet? i’d like to know what other people are getting. One thing I think it could be is that the chrome mirroring is still in beta. Netflix and everything else is perfectly fine.

          • Tres Waters

            Not yet. Hardware-wise you shouldn’t have any issues as far as the router, computer, and network connections between them are concerned. The only bottleneck I can think of would be the connection between the Chromecast and the router, possibly due to distance or even the Chromecast adapter, but I couldn’t tell you how to check that. But, like you said, it could be a bug with all of this stuff being brand new. Best of luck to you, man.

      • Tres Waters

        Internet speed shouldn’t matter since he’s not streaming from the internet, he’s streaming from a local device. Router speed would be a lot more relevant. Depending on the wireless speed of your router (definitely need at least 150mbps wireless n), then I’d imagine your bottleneck is the speed of the connection of your phone’s wifi adapter. My GNex’s wireless n only connects at 64mbps at the highest, which wouldn’t be enough bandwidth to stream a 1080p video.

        • joseph barrientos

          ok i was under the impression that the file would be sent to “cloud” and streamed to your device, however if it streams from the router that makes me even more excited considering my speeds lol

    • thebigmann

      Do you mean you tried this on a Chromecast and it was choppy, or it’s choppy in your Chrome browser?

      • PhilyP

        runs fine on browser, but laggy on chromecast.

        • Tres Waters

          It’s most likely your router’s wireless speed doesn’t have the bandwidth to push a 1080p video wirelessly.

          • Tres Waters

            Like I said in my other comment, you need at least 150mbps wireless n to stream 1080

          • Robert Bohannon

            Most Blu-Rays (1080p with HD lossless audio) have bitrates sub 50Mbps.

          • Tres Waters

            But I guarantee you that you can’t steam it over 54mbps wireless g. You have to give room for network traffic and signal loss.

    • ddh819

      see if using ethernet on the mac makes a difference?

  • housetiger77

    Are you using a Mac? WTF!

    • Drome

      like it or not, many if not most computer programmers use macs. Android included.

      • Scott Hardy

        I would say most use Linux.

        • DroidFTW

          not even close to true. Some use linux for sure just like some use Windows but Mac users dominate the development scene for iOS and Android.

          • Scott Hardy

            If you limit to Android and iOS, then yes, Macs are probably most popular. But the statement was that “most computer programmers use macs”, not, “most iOS and Android programmers use Macs”

          • DroidFTW

            Well I think it is fairly obvious people are not developing Windows software on Macs and vice versa. Linux is big on back end/server side stuff but not many people are developing software on Linux accept Linux devotees and there just are not very many of them. People seem to forget that OS X is a UNIX based computer and you can do the exact same things that you could on a Linux computer except the Mac will actually work and you won’t have to spend your entire life searching for drivers to make your keyboard function.

        • John R. Peters Jr.

          OSX is Unix…Linux is Unix….one simple math property later and OSX is Linux.

        • Drome

          potentially running on a mac.

    • DroidFTW

      you know that over 85% of Googlers use Macs right? Android is developed on Macs and lots of your favorite Android Apps are created on Macs by Apple users. You kids have to get over this.

      • Tyler Durden

        yeah i think everyone forgets that android people only hate iOS. Mac OS is amazing

        • Scott Hardy


        • u_fail

          no, some linux variant is mostly used by devs

  • caclark74

    This is awesome news! You can also upload movies to Google Drive, which Chromecast utilizes, but you’re limited to 15GB for the free version. I have 5 or 6 movies I uploaded last night and they play on my tablet and phone perfectly. It takes forever to upload them to the cloud but they can be accessed and played anywhere.

  • opcode

    I wonder if you can stream videos from google drive? This would solve the mkv’s not playing. I can copy mkv’s up to google drive and play them fine in a browser after drive converts them.

    • Natesh

      agreed, it needs google drive and/or dropbox support

      • Jaredsutter

        And Drive or Dropbox apps on Android and iOS could be updated to support streaming to Chromecast, so no computer would be needed.

    • Tres Waters

      I was thinking the same

    • ddh819

      wonder if it works from skydrive

    • Tad

      Or play it through Plex’s web interface.

      • PC PIMPin

        Yep! Works great! That’s the first thing I tried when I got it πŸ™‚

  • Black Roger

    Can I stream ummm TubeGalore to my TV with Chromecast?

  • bqluong

    I would like to know if you play Amazon Prime Video on your computer, and you cast it to Chromecast?

    • Michael Hildebrand

      Some people have tried it using the chromecast extension, and said it works. Either take their word for it, or try it yourself!

      • ShadrachCA

        Oh really? That’s great to know. I didn’t think it would work since Amazon uses Silverlight. I guess I’ll know soon enough when mine arrives (hopefully today or tomorrow).

        • Glenn

          What was the verdict on this? I remember seeing in another post browsing around that Silverlight and something else were not supported, even in Chrome.

          • BillB

            Amazon doesn’t *have* to use Silverlight. You can disable it in your browser settings. If you do that it uses Flash.

    • Steve Benson

      It works as long as you’re using Chrome browser.

    • sirmeili

      Any tab can be broadcase to chrome cast. So open up amazon Prime, start the video, send it to chromecast, make it full screen and you can continue to browse on your computer as normal (using alt-tab to navigate away from the video). Though oddly enough, you will still have a full screen video playing in the background.

  • chris420o

    so if i have a video file on my phone…i cant use this to play it? only from a pc?

    • Steve Benson

      Only from pc, through the Chrome browser.

      • Justin

        PC or Mac, right?

        • Steve Benson

          Right, I guess I should have said only from a “computer.”

  • Firelight

    Best Buy in Wilson, NC had 9 left as of last night!


    • Chris Johnson

      I just picked one up half an hour ago at a B&M Best Buy here in Chapel Hill, NC. There were 4 left.

  • Al-Burrit0

    I havn’t kept up with the chromecast news, so i don’t really no how it works. Is it like a roku that has certain apps like netflix, pandora, and other media apps?

    • onDroid

      No, it’s so much better. It will stream content from apps on your phone or webpages from chrome. You can start a netflix movie on your phone and cast it to your tv. The video will run from the chromecast not your phone so you can use your phone for whatever or you phone can die and the movie will keep playing. You use your phone or tablet or laptop to control the movie, play, pause, whatever. You can use each interchangeable meaning you can start the movie on your phone then pause it with your tablet. You can queue up content so when the current video stops playing the next will start. You can use google music to stream music to your tv. You can go to any website on your computer through chome and then stream the content of that website to your tv. Google has released an API for chromecast so I’m sure more functionality will come once developers have time to work with it. Also, it’s only $35 where the Roku and similar devices are $99.

      • Al-Burrit0

        That’s pretty neat, but i was wondering if its something like the gbox midnight mx2 (internet tv box) because ive been checking it out and you can stream live sports and certain tv channels and thats something i like so i can get rid of my satelite. Has android 4.2 and you can access the play store.

  • blootz

    ok now its official Kellex has found an easier way to stream his porn collection from his phone to his big screen. πŸ˜‰

  • fiveHellions

    Awesome. I ordered one hoping that playing local files would be possible.

    What would be even sweeter is a content management app on your phone that would organize all the video files from you computer with pretty meta data (covers, descriptions, ect..) and then allow you to start any of those on chromecast.

    But at least for now we know its possible to play local network videos.

    • thebigmann

      This is ALMOST what Windows 8 Music allows you to do with an Xbox via Windows Media Center. Except it’s buggy, has a crappy interface, and is relatively complicated to set up and use.

      Really hope an Android app and Chromecast eventually fill this role.

    • john

      Would be cool if that management app is XMBC.

  • Boss As Hell

    Has there been any confirmation on Plex videos working through the browser?

    • Scott Hardy

      There is a full web interface for Plex. Load that up on a computer and Chromecast it.

    • JimmyHACK

      Plex said they ordered a bunch of Chromecast dongles and are looking into support etc.

    • BradleyGogats

      if you open up Plex Web and play through there it works just fine I just did it, it also appears Plex is interested in adding casting to the app natively (comment on G+)

  • Isaac

    no mkv files btw

    • Logan

      I play MKV files on my Chromebook all the time… I’d imagine it would work the same in-browser?

      • Steve Benson

        Try playing it locally through the browser and see if it works.

        • Logan

          No luck. like MJZ said below, it tries to ‘download’ it instead of playing it. Pity. I was trying to see if there was a way for the VLC video plugin to work with local files, but it doesn’t seem to open it in the web plugin.

  • MJZ

    Just remember you cannot play .MKV or .AVI files… at least not yet.
    .MKV plays but it’s video only, no audio. and .AVI is wonky, Chrome tries to download it instead of playing it

    • Steve Benson

      Why is that? Limitation of Chrome?

      • Matt

        Probably codec issues. If *mkv video plays but not audio, it could be a lack of aac/ac3 codecs in Chrome (I imagine mp3 is supported, but almost nobody encodes audio with mp3 in mkv containers).

    • Firelight

      I played both and it played – but frame-rate was off on MVKI and AVI was way more jumpy than frame-rate-ie. Sound worked on both. I did try some .mp4 files as well – same as MVK. I’m guessing it’s a decoding issue.

      There needs to be a VLC Player extension (not YouTube) that plays within Chrome and then … Eureka!

    • jstew182

      Chrome is playing an avi I just dropped in on my Mac…not sure if it will cast though cause I haven’t received my Chromecast yet.

  • BeLogical

    Video or it didn’t happen! lol

  • dragonflyr

    This (or a process like it) is what will make this a must have for me. So happy to see Google put out a product like this! Take my money … now!

  • warenmac

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way

  • Steve Benson

    Whoa! I didn’t know you could do this with Chrome!

    Awesome, this seems to address most people’s concern over being able to play local files.

    • litobirdy

      yes but hoping we can do this from tablet/phones as well soon

      • dragonflyr

        agree 100%

      • sirmeili

        Now that we know you can send a local file to chromecast, all it will take is for someone to create an app that streams the files from the phone itself or sends a network location (guessing on the latter).

        From the looks of it, in this instance, chrome is acting as the “source” of the file and just streaming it to chromecase.

        • THIS!

        • Kenneth Akiki

          I feel like this idea above will work for the mobile version of chrome as well. I’m curious; I guess I’ll try it when mine shows up!

      • u_fail

        its very simple install xbmc on your android tablet/phone and setup a samba file share from your computer with the local media.

    • Butters619

      The reason I didn’t order one is because of that concern. Now I can’t order. Bah.

    • Tyler Durden

      Now I can stream my illegally downloaded blu-rays. sweet

      • DroidFTW

        good luck streaming 1080p video through this method, unless you don’t mind chop, chop, choppy video.

        • Tyler Durden

          well….i was having a good day

          • Greyhame

            You should still be able to do it by setting up an in-house server.

        • starnovsky

          Why should it be choppy? Just the fact that video is 1080p doesn’t mean that it’s going to be choppy. It depends on how good is is Google’s DIAL protocol (used in Chromecast). If it’s adapting to bandwidth then streaming will not be choppy.

          • Alex S

            You actually can’t stream a chrome tab any higher than 720p, as far as I understand it.

          • Lastb0isct

            Yes, 3 settings. 480p, 720p, high bitrate 720p

          • nate

            If it can buffer than it should be fine. for some reason streaming live TV and local content to other computers on the same network over wireless is difficult. There is probably a technical reason, but it seems like it tries to decode and display every bit of information as it receives it, so higher resolutions come out choppy. I don’t understand why the PC playing it can’t buffer, like with youtube or netflix.

          • Scott R. Frost

            Netflix 1080p is 5-6mbit maximum with 2 channel audio. Most (legal of course) blu-ray rips are 8-11mbit with 6 channel audio.

          • ceejw

            Netflix 1080p is almost always 6 channel audio.

          • starnovsky

            I believe Netflix does 5.1 audio. But video is highly compressed, yes. And why can’t chromecast do the same with bluray rips?

          • You’d need to transcode on the fly. That’s a lot of processing power.

          • Lastb0isct

            1080 via Netflix is much lower bandwidth/bitrate than a local 1080p file…generally speaking.

          • starnovsky

            But it’s not like Chrome can’t lower bitrate on the fly when streaming. This is called adaptive streaming because it’s adapting to your bandwidth. I don’t know if chromecast is going it but it would be logical to do.

          • Lastb0isct

            No, Chrome can not do HLS or Adaptive Bitrates. That is much more complicated and doing HLS on the fly from a normal file is nearly impossible on a consumer machine. You have to re-transcode the file to several different files of different bitrates to accomplish what you are talking about. (I’m a digital media engineer)

        • cmonnats23

          I was curious how that would work. Not sure if this thins=g is strong enough to support that kind of output.

        • kalleguld

          If a raspberry can play 1080p, why shouldn’t a chromecast?

          • raspberry can’t stream 1080, can only handle local files

          • Mauth

            My raspberry streams 1080 just fine with the latest raspbmc build over my network, albeit wired, not wireless… so i don’t know how well a wireless only chromecast will work.
            On a side note – does the proximity to the TV impact the wifi signal in the event that the TV is between the router and the chromecast? (IE: How beefy is the wifi adapter in the chromecast)

        • Some of us have really fast processors πŸ˜›

        • michael arazan

          Or just wait a couple of minutes and let it buffer ahead of the play