Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chromecast - finally the one total streaming solution?

I finally got the Chromecast unit after the recent news on support for additional apps and platform opening up a bit. This post is to jot down some of my experiences.

Replacing the SMART TV functions

My first test was on my daughter's recent SMART TV. Booting up and Chromecast takes over the TV beautifully, landscape background imagery with a super easy configuration. Using an Android phone I installed the Chromecast configuration App which was used to set up WiFi. After that no more configuration was necessary.

Youtube and Netflix
Youtube and Netflix Apps on the phone finds the Chromecast straight away and plays everything as expected.

Now, how about the movies on my DLNA NAS? BubbleUpnp is already my favourite Android DLNA player, now with supposed Chromecast support. The instructions say a transcoding server (also from Bubble) needs to be installed (this is because Chromecast only supports a few media formats and other media needs converting).
I'm not intending to set up any transcoding server so I'll try without BubbleUpnp finds the Chromecast straight away (right along the actual SMART TV playback server). Playing media from my NAS does not work at all. Browsing is good but starting movies or mp3's does not work. Playing media from the phone actually works quite well (movies recorded with the phone camera and some local mp3's and photos).
This is where it all really turns: I switched BubbleUpnp to use the SMART TV instead of the Chromecast and everything just works - all movies and mp3's from my NAS play just the way I want. The TV also include apps for Netflix and Youtube so here's where I pulled the Chromecast from that TV.

Read my later posts for more Chromecast tests.

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