Chromecast is the sort of device that does one thing and does it well. While Google wants to treat it more like a complement to their Chrome and Android platforms, consumers want to do more with it – including playing their own videos and beaming their own contents to the Chromecast. Natively, you can already consume most of your content on Chrome through the Chromecast, including YouTube and even web browsing on your TV. But today, we’ll show you how you can extend your usage to your personal files, and we’ll show you how you can control everything using your Android device as a remote as well!
Videostream is the name of the service that we will be using to allow this. All it does, quite simply, is allow you to stream your personal files over your network over to your TV. As long as you have your Chromecast connected and the service enabled, you can simply pick the file you want to see and Chrome will send it over to your TV over the Chromecast. It works really well, it’s reliable and even better, the basic set of features is free, with an optional Premium option.
In order to install it all you have to do is, first of all, set up your Chromecast. Make sure to install the Chromecast extension required for Chrome. If you’re already using the Chromecast, chances are that you already have all that set up, but it never hurts to mention it. If you have everything set up correctly, just head over to this link to install the Videostream Chrome App. Once you install it, the app should launch automatically and it will detect that the Chromecast is connected. You will also see that a new icon will be added to the taskbar or dock on your computer, from which you will be able to launch it later if you wish.
And, believe it or not, that’s about it. Once you open the app, you will see a button that you can click to choose what you want to see. Once you click it, it will open a file selector that you can use to manually indicate a file. This could be, for example, episodes of your favorite show that you have downloaded beforehand, or even just your home videos from your vacation or something, as long as you have it saved on your computer. Then, just open that file, and you will see that a few seconds later the video will start playing on your TV. It’s that simple.
You might remember that we mentioned an Android app as well. The Android app is very useful if you want to use this service regularly, and it just serves as a remote control – it allows you to pause and control the current playing video, and it shows you what’s playing as well. The Android app is still pretty barebones, but it shows promise and the objective is to allow for more options in the future. You can download and install the app here.
The service is pretty awesome and by itself justifies the existence of the Chromecast. While it is kind of sad to see that Google really doesn’t want to come up with these sorts of options by itself, probably due to all the legalities and issues that could arise, it’s nice to see that due to awesome developers like the ones behind this service, the Chromecast goes from sitting on a drawer to probably the best way to see your computer content on your TV, no wires or setup required. The service also supports features such as embedded subtitles, playlists and MP3/MKV support, and new cool features are being added all the time. It’s definitely a must have if you have a Chromecast!