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Chromecast: Cast movies on your Desktop Computer

As the title says... if you have a movies on your desktop computer, you can now cast them straight to Chromecast.

This is highly efficient, as there is no encoding/decoding taking place. It streams at full quality, with no lag. And since it is a Chrome app, it works on all platforms. No binary installation necessary; it will be available on the Chrome store.

Technical Details
I spent tonight writing a mini HTTP server in JavaScript that runs in Chrome. Full featured enough to handle requests and stream movies.

Yes, that means there is a web server running in my web browser. I'm insane.
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234 comments
 
insanely brilliant! i hope you make tons and tons of money for it!
 
I can't wait to get my chromecast to try all these apps your building your hard work is appreciated... And it's pretty cool to see you go through the process of creating them as well
 
Koush that's awesome! So because the encoding and decoding is not performed, does that remove any lag from the full quality stream? If so, you are officially my favourite person ever! :)
 
What about the performance of casting full HD movies?
Jason M
 
man damn ur awesome!
 
When can i get my hands on my cast for android
 
i bow before your mad l33t skillz!
 
Sweeet!  hahaha! I guess you're streaming this over an 802.11n WiFi connection. Straight from Mac to Chromecast and no router in between?
 
Got no ChromeCast? leapcast and nodecast to the rescue :D (SCNR)
 
+Koushik Dutta Right I see, that's even better then, considering it's performing that well across an actual realistic home network. Great job! Awesome stuff man! :D
 
Dexter!! love it :) 
+Koushik Dutta I guess youre're using a local web server running in a chrome extension and chromecast is streaming the video directly from there. So what video formats does chromecast actually support? Is there anything you haven't been able to play?
 
Nice! I couldn't tell from the video, do you have playback controls? It would be sweet if you could manage the stream using your Android app once the stream gets going.
 
This is excellent. +Koushik Dutta is the ability to run Chrome an absolute requirement, or do you think it will be feasible to work around that requirement somehow?
Reason I'm asking is because I stream everything from a Synology NAS, which of course has no Chrome. Being able to cast the content on there straight to my TV would basically be paradise.
 
+Jeroen Pardon Yes, Chrome will be a requirement. Some computer needs to act as a web server for the Chromecast.
 
+Koushik Dutta Ah I see, that's too bad. Well, with all the interest in Chromecast maybe someone will be able to make an app for the NAS that implements a headless Chrome-based webserver or something, if that's doable. 
Cheers!
 
Dexter ! Perfect video for hackers :)
 
It would also be awesome if you could do this with photo albums. I would love to show photos/pictures from my tablet, phone or PC to the TV without the need to press the cast button everytime. Would that be possible? btw, awesome job ! I really hope the chromecasts will be sold in europe fast.
 
+Koushik Dutta I want your brains. 

I have been looking for something like this for days. Now I can watch the movie I have on my computer. Thanks dude. Good work
 
+Koushik Dutta Sure, but one of the reasons I got a NAS is so I don't have to keep my desktop on all the time. I could use my Raspberry Pi I guess, but one of the things that attracts me about Chromecast is not having wires all over the place :)
 
So technically you could have the Android app communicate with the Chrome extention for playback controls and never even use the chromecast software until Google unlocks it for you right?
 
where can we get this to try it out?
 
You are the man, man! 
 
Pretty nifty,would love the ability to stream from the NAS itself. Maybe ES File Explorer or MX Player could add the ability to cast the files.. +Jeroen Pardon +Koushik Dutta 
 
Does it work on mobile chrome? xD
 
Wow , when will this insanely brilliant app be available on Chrome store?
Also I'm assuming that it will work in all countries as it runs a local Web server ?
 
+Koushik Dutta in case you don't already have enough awesome stuff to do, would it be possible to improve the Netflix experience? I haven't been using my chromecast at all because the Android app is so shitty. The computer and xbox versions all auto advance to the next episode when watching TV, but on Android you have to go to your Netflix app, reload it since it doesn't save state properly, and use the shitty scrolling that won't work right to select the next episode. at which time the chromecast reloads Netflix entirely. this sucks. 
 
Unfournately, I switched from Chrome to Firefox because of Chrome crashing Ubuntu...
 
Looks good. Will you be adding subtitle support? :D
 
I can do that without chromecast. I just installed Plex Media server and I stream all my movies in computer in 1080p. I can even use screencast in my youtube app but the videos are not on 1080p.
 
Time to start downloading .mp4 instead of .mkv.
 
I can't wait to purchase your app! I currently keep movies on my mac and stream them to the Apple TV via the Beamer app (app for the mac). I wanted to buy another Apple TV to do the same for the bedroom tv but now I won't have to! 
 
I love that you used dexter to demo this, you must have time warner cable! As are the others, I'm extremely impressed with your progress and I hope you can turn quite a bit of profit on release. 
 
+Koushik Dutta watched the video... I really hope those aren't your dirty whitey tighties below the TV lol.
 
+Koushik Dutta challenge for you:
I have a desktop server that houses all my media. I have chrome on it and will one day be using this awesome work you're doing. Do you think its possible to point one chrome app to multiple chromecasts (different media) concurrently?
I.E. tell it to send Transformers movie to upstairs chromecast and at some point while that's playing send Star Wars to downstairs chromecast.
 
Great! Now a utf-8 unicode character subtitle support and you are done :) 
 
+Jeroen Pardon I use bubble upnp to stream currently to my devices from Synology.. They are working on chronecast target.. But I like what +Koushik Dutta is doing too.. Not sure where he finds the time :-)
 
So once the SDK gets out of beta, you're releasing like 10 different apps right? Or will it be one giant one?
 
That is what your post was about yesterday! Cheers mate! 
 
+Jeroen Pardon Bubble UPNP should solve your problems with having a NAS + Chromecast when they release their updated app.
 
+Chris Pick and +Regan McCullough thanks for the heads up on Bubble UPNP's plans, I'll be keeping an eye on that. And then I have to actually get a Chromecast over here :)
 
Gobsmacked. Google really should've had something like this or a small server app for home use prepped when they released the chromecast. Then again they are trying to build those online partnerships and this might run counter to that. 
 
The video still has to be of a format that the Chromecast dongle supports natively, right?
Tim P
 
so the big question is, when will this (and the dropbox plugin) be available? Why are you teasing us?
 
Koushik, you are awesome bro. I have been wanting a program like this for forever. I ordered my chromecast a week ago and can't wait to try this out. 
 
Chromecast gunna make you rich, son.
 
This is awesome as usual...I have bought ChromeCast and now you are making me buy a TV also :)
 
Thank you!!!! You should ask .99 cents for this and the phone app so you can keep maintaining and improving. 
 
I really can't wait until they release this thing in the UK, nice one koush! 
 
+Koushik Dutta There are some $$$ burning my pocket and asking me to send them your way.  Any ETA on your Chromecast apps?  Thanks.
 
+Koushik Dutta You're god damn ridiculous and brilliant. Can't wait till this is publicly out.

You've really taken the Chromecast to another level.
 
I hope the final SDK is released soon so Koush's apps can be released.
 
I can haz please? Koush is tearing up the chromecast
Rob Ban
 
Google should add official support for this. Both from desktop as well as Android. Glad you've got us covered 'til then, +Koushik Dutta 
 
People keep asking about mkv and subtitles but I'm sure it can play any format the chromecast can. You should find out if the chromecast supports those formats.
 
This is awesome, along with mycast, it's what I've been looking for...besides the fact that I still can't get my hands on a Chromecast. ;)
 
When can we expect a release? This is awesome man, great work!
 
Awesome. Lots of great stuff in this post!
 
Whoa.......AWESOME Koushik!
 
Just rename the thing Koushcast.
 
+Jeroen Pardon +Koushik Dutta synology already has a WebServer, and a video streamer app... shouldnt be to complicate to mimic Koush code in python for it to conect to chromecast and ask it to pull videos from there!
 
Is it possible to cast video with srt subtitles?
 
+Jeroen Pardon Map your NAS within Windows, and then select the file from the file explorer. It doesn't matter that it isn't a local drive. 
 
+Fernando Miguel Chromecast isn't the device for you then. You still need a computer to start the stream. Maybe a roku or HTPC would be better for your needs. 
 
How would this work with NFS/CIFS shares?  If I'm on a laptop and I point to a share, will chromecast pull it from the share?  I assume it will stream from the share to the app on my laptop, then to the chromecast (so over the wifi twice).
 
Okay, how can we get our hands on this app?  Looks great, I'd love to check it out!
 
I just ordered my Chromecast - this makes me even more excited about getting it!
 
This is the development I was waiting for. Great job. 
 
+Carl Wouters There is currently an extension for Chrome that appears to do what it is you are asking.  It is called Fullscreen Slideshow
 
+Koushik Dutta brilliant.  My question is, since this is a web server of sorts, does this introduce any type of security risks?
 
+Jeroen Pardon This is what I came here to say, it would be great to be able to just tell the Chromecast to stream a file from a NAS. Not relaying the stream through a PC from the NAS to the Chromecast.
 
Koush, any chance that the chrome app/extension could also stream dvds/bluray to Chromecast eventually? I've got money. :)
 
+Koushik Dutta will you make some android app to select the files with our phones and all that stuff?

This way we could do it all from the phone on our living rooms and all.

Also, what about mkv? Any way arround that?
 
You're making my Chromecast better and better. I'm loving it.
 
Great job. Can't wait for mine to come! 
 
My favorite part of the demo was the first thing you thought to Cast was "Dexter" !!  +1
 
+Koushik Dutta Can't wait until this is ready happy to test it anytime... I wear out my chromecast....
 
All of your hard work has everyone optimistic, however you nor google has given any indication that they will let you release these applications. I hope we can use them as youve made them.
 
Sorry if people already asked this, but when will this be available for regular users?
 
Bad ass! What if I am at my couch and I am too lazy to get to my PC? We need remote access of that tab! Get to it!
 
+Kyle Thomas he already told us. He can't release them because this app's are coded with a SDK key that only some devices can run since it's a private limited program. You just have to WAIT. As always. And read more. Already responded that long ago.
 
+Koushik Dutta I'm guessing what you technically send to the dongle is a url for it to stream? If so, if we were able to enter a url as an alternative to a file, it could stream from anywhere (am I right?). This could spell pc-less streaming from a nas, you'd just need your pc (or android device) to get it starting (given that your nas has a built in http server ofc). 
 
+Koushik Dutta , you know if this will work on Chromium as well or does it only work with Google's Chrome?  I think a lot of Linux distributions only have Chromium available and not Chrome.

You think there could be a standalone version of this not dependent on Chrome?
 
+Koushik Dutta Thx, this is awesome!
Now if I only could buy Chromecast...

Thx #2 goes to Google for marking Poland (Eastern Europe, in general) as third world. I'm really glad that I have to wait for unofficial (greedy) resellers...
GOOGLE Y U NO SELL UR STUFFZ WORLDWIDE?!
 
Since you are running a web server and all, you should be able to provide a REST API to Play/Pause/Next/Prev (and skip x secs back/forward would be nice too).... so I can use a normal remote control via some lirc magic
 
I wonder if the movie file I got contain more than 1 audio language, is it possible to choose them and what about subtitle is it also possible to display them and choose them? Thank you so much for all your great apps (I'm a big fan) 
 
+Koushik Dutta Will the MyCast Chrome app eventually add the functionality to connect to Dropbox and Drive? Ideally, the same exact experience on both platforms will be what makes MyCast great.

Thanks for the hard work! 
 
I heard you like web sites, so I put a web server in your web browser so you can browse webs that you serve in your web browser on your web browser.
 
Koushik, is it possible to implement not only media files, but office files streaming as well? It would be extremely helpful if presentations and other similar files could be steamed over Chromecast to tv's/projectors. 
 
Is there a way to use something like this for screen mirroring? I'm having a tough time finding good use for my chromecast...being able to use it in the conference room at my work would be awesome. As it stands, we have a netgear ptv3000 and a widi laptop that they work off of, but if anyone else comes in with their own laptop, we have to run cables and it gets messy. Mirroring via chromecast would solve that. Surely that's something that's possible. I mean, there's a chrome rdp client/server...so that should be a start...no?
 
Koush is the man! I knew someone would add this feature with the SDK, I'm just surprised how fast he got it working! 
 
Is there nothing you can't do, Koush? 
 
+Koushik Dutta So I'm guessing the supported file type are the ones that are supported on stock android gallery app? It is running ICS? And it is directly streaming from the http:// of your web server inception?
 
But can it be made to run on a headless server?
 
A web server IN a web browser? Holy crap.
 
+Koushik Dutta How does this work with a 10GB MKV with DTS Audio? Does it play it? If so.... that is amazing.
 
+Koushik Dutta this is awesome, but I guess the question now is what codecs are supported, or are just the codecs supported by the Chromecast supported? I ask because I have some older videos that my GTV won't play but my PC will. It sounds like you're doing a simple web file server and pushing to the Chromecast.
 
Now gimme an app for my phone to act as the file browser and remotely enable the stream via your web-server in the tab on some network PC.
 
Great work +Koushik Dutta! Wondering how you control the video after it is started though. Controls on the Chrome app? Android device? Or is it once you start you just let it be.
 
Can we have a link to it? Sounds awesome.
 
+Jayson Reis That's a Chromecast receiver (emulator), not a sender. Very cool nonetheless. Has given me some ideas.
 
+Matthew Lucas Yes, same concept. Completely rewritten though. The first pass I did a few months ago was a complete hack. This implementation is much better designed.
 
please release, i will pay for this if it really streams with no lag!
 
Ill pay double what Luis will pay!!!!!
 
Just got the chromecast; please release your apps Koush!
 
Cool. I will look forward to it. What's it going to be called? Chromecast is already taken. 
 
This has new yacht written all over it. Good shit Koush!
 
Great job dude. Is the app for playing media from the gallery/videos to Chromecast now live? I.e the one where you took a video of your dog. 
 
If this post was a female, id F*** it, that's how excited I am.!
 
+Jeroen Pardon NAS should show up in your file browser, and hopefully you have it wired with gigabit, so it should be enough pipe to overcome the extra hop
 
How is it that you can create more sensible and highly useful aid and add-ins than paid developers for these companies??

 
I wanna try this app .....where I can download this...plzz plzzzz
 
What's it called so I can try it out??? This is a MUST HAVE!
 
It's a Chrome App and I believe he said it would be called MyCast.  Go to the Chrome Web Store when it's released.
 
Nice now I just need a way to cast streaming content...
 
Nice idea, but playing the devils advocate, how is this different than running chromcast under a linux running in one's browser?
 
Amazing!!!  How is the picture quality, is it loosing frames when watching 1080p mkv files? 
 
Great, thanks. I can't wait when you will be able to release it.
 
And we all bow to you yet again. This is EXACTLY what I was hoping you would build. Thanks for all the work on this and past projects
 
Hi Koush, please send me a PM. I'd like to discuss with you a collaboration on Chromecast development for a video streaming app. Thanks, Dom
 
After installing the Google Cast browser extension for Chrome on your PC, all you need to do is drag & drop an mp4 movie onto the Chrome browser window & click the Google Cast icon. No javascript or httpd server needed.
You can do the same with mp3 files, although it only works with one file at a time (for a big playlist, you'd have to combine some mp3 files). This is a kind of workaround for the "cannot play a sideloaded song remotely" that you get when you try to cast a local mp3 with the Google Play Music app on Android on phones & tablets. It only does tunes in the cloud.
This mp3 casting doesn't seem to work with the Chrome browser on Android, even though you can open an mp3 with Chrome & play it locally (in ES File Explorer, select the mp3, then choose Open As from the More menu then choose the Chrome app) - there's no "Google Cast" icon to hit.
 
cant wait to use this.  !!!
 
Similar to avi files, I found Chrome also won't handle/play drag&drop flv files. I guess the solution IS to have a web based media sever running on your device, then access it & then cast from it to Chromecast.
 
How can it play mkv files without any codecs installed? Curious.
 
To render local files, just type as follows;

File:///c:/folderName/filename.mkv

It worked fine even today to see a 3hr movie in Win 8.
 
I actually tried that and it acts like it want to download the file instead.
 
I tried again whit drag and drop qnd even typing the path of the file in the omnibox and it still dowloads the file via chrome. If I enable vlc plugin in chrome://plugins the video will play in the tab but it will cast as grey screen on the tv. So this workaround doesn't work, Koush's does work, but we can't have it yet.
 
Dude, do you dream in android?
 
Just a silly question +Koushik Dutta :

Does the codecs and format of the video files matter at all?

 I'm an avid anime series watched and nowadays all the guys on the Internet encode each episode in HI10p mkvs and probably all the usual media center players don't support these kind of files.

 Since there is no recoding whatsoever, will I be able to play those files in Chromecast as long as my computer is able to? Thanks and keep up! :)
 
Any update on when this app may be available?
 
Google, WTF are you waiting for?  Just release this app already.  The guy did the work for you, jeeeez...
 
Your app must to be approve by Google on chrome store ? is it possible to release that out of web store ? ^^
 
Can't wait for this to be released :)
 
any idea how much longer this is going to go on, when can we expect to use this app?
 
Any update? Would love to download the amazing extension/app :D
 
same here...my only reason to buy the chromecast is if i can use it to cast local files...waiting since ages!
 
How's this different from simply tab casting a movie that you open with Chrome, which was available from the day Chromecast was released?
 
 +Koushik Dutta, now that the Chromecast team has blocked the development of local-streaming apps, is there any change of releasing this software  (and the other chromecast-related software from your hand)  in a form in which the experienced end-user can add its own app-id, and compile it for "home usage"? Similar to what +Leon Nicholls has done with Fling? 
 
Would having an app like this once the SDK is released mean I can stream media from a crappy laptop and still get good quality? or is the core i3 for standard quality still a minimum requirement?
 
Obviously Google® does not want to pay $$$ to a lowly programmer for his app...
They are probably trying to develop a crash-prone implementation in house! lol! :)
 
+Koushik Dutta you are rad. So this appears to have major benefits in quality over playing the local file through a chrome tab, then casting the tab?
 
Great Work..!!! I m also a dev.. And really appreciate what u have developed.. Just simply awesome... And thanks from everyone here to u..
 
Not sure whats going on here...even I am waiting for this type of feature to work. This is my only reason to buy the chromecast.
 
No .srt support on Chromecast, also mkv support seems to be not 100% ok. Showstopper for me.
 
see plex.tv you can stream mkvs and everything else to Chromecast, works beautifully. 
 
@Piotr,
Thanks for this info. Tried a few months ago Plex (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) in combination via PCH-A110, 8 out of 10 times did PCH browser not find Plex server. Which let to a lot of rebooting on both ends, Very tiring, not making me exiting when I read/hear about Plex. If even connectivity is that bad, team Plex has a lot of work to do, or this combination has bad support.
 
Hi. You only use ubuntu? I have a plex server on pc an from the site plex.tv i can stream to chromecast no problem. 
 
could you just have a router, chromecast and desktop with ripped dvd's with no internet connection and still play videos to the chromecast?
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