Okay, so maybe i am behind the times but late is better than never. I finally got a Google Chromecast today to resolve a problem of mine. My issue was to find a simple way to shows movies i have ripped easily to my TV. I did not want to setup a Media Streaming Library just yet and was looking for s simple and effective method to do the same.
Well, nothing is as simple as it seems. Chromecast in its basic, and probably intended form is basically another ROKU which i already have. To be honest, the Roku is basically useless in my home since already have devices which stream the same exact content (Hulu, Netflix, amazon Prime Video etc.). Device likes Ps3, Xbox etc already did this well, no need for another device.
However, what those devices lacked was the ability to stream just videos on my PC/Laptop. Just any move, not just content from these streaming apps. If i wanted to stream home movies or content i ripped from my DVD/Blue-Ray collection i could not. I hoped that the chromecast would resolve this, sadly out of the box it did not.
Install was simple, well would have been had it not been for my network setup. On my wifi i have it restricted by MAC address in addition to passwords. So this meant that during setup I needed the MAC address (which is easily provided) to add to the system for it to connect. Well there is no way to get this address prior, so i had to begin install then get it, add it to the list, then kill the install and try again. In hindsight, turning off the restriction for the short time of install and getting MAC address would have been a better idea, noted for next time.
As designed, playing any streaming program/app which is supported by the device is simple and works well. However, for my needs i needed to get a little creative.
Using Chrome, you can actually open a file directly on your PC/Laptop and it will play directly in the browser which you can then stream. However, this is limited to the formats and codecs which Chrome supports. So this meant a lot of videos with no audio for me.
Googling i found that VLC player will thankfully support streaming to Chromecast, but in some future update which has not occured yet. So yeah great, but being the impatient man i am i continued to look for another solution.
Divx turns out has already implemented support for Chromecast, and it supports the formats and codecs which i have ripped my content in. So i tried that out, and after turning on sharing am happy to say it worked great. What is also amazing is that it supports my Harmony remote for controlling the video!!!! Big win!
Like any person with some decent audio system for their home system i wanted it hooked into my setup. Thankfully I had a free HDMI on my receiver. Hooked it up, plugged it in and BAM! Working.
Chromecast is a great product. It may not have supported all my needs right out of the box but with the support of some open source programs and tools I got what i needed and for a great price.