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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Using Android Devices with Google Chromecast

AllCast Premium Android Apps on Google Play

Applications on the Nexus 7

The first application to be installed is the Chromecast application and it didn't take much to get the Nexus 7 talking to the Chromecast device. It just asked me on the Nexus 7 if I saw a set of numbers on my TV, which I did. All I had to do was to click on okay and things started working. Then what is necessary is to have some other applications that you can use to send media from the Android tablet to the Chromecast with the TV. The first one that I tried was Google Play Movies and I was surprised that I didn't really have too many options in there apart from buying movies from Google. I have been automatically connected up to the Spanish Google Play store and it is only offering me movies that are in Spanish. I will have to find some way of connecting to the UK store instead. There was one movie available that I could watch for free, this was a Disney Pixar movie called La Luna of only seven minutes in duration, but was very enjoyable. The quality of the video was absolutely stunning I thought and I have high hopes of being able to watch top quality video content using this Chromecast.

Plex on the Nexus 7

The way that this works is that the Plex application on the Android device connects up with the Plex application that you have on your desktop computer. I had already set up a few TV shows to be available using Plex on my Mac and these became available in the section called My Library. There is another tab called On Deck and these are videos that you are in the process of watching, so maybe you started but didn't see it all. This is a very quick handy way to be able to get back to that movie. Then there is also a tab for recently added movies and another tab for a queue. I haven't yet worked out how to queue movies up, I think that will be my next task. Then we have Channels and for some reason or other I have two iTunes channels and no clues on the icons as to which one is which. One of them is the music, audio podcasts and audiobooks that you have available on iTunes, while the other one gives you access to your movies, video podcasts and iTunes U. Every time so far when I have tried to play any videos to the Chromecast I just get a message on the television saying unable to cast. The information that I got was that it was down to DRM issues concerning videos that you have bought from iTunes. This was a little bit odd because all of the videos that I tried to play and also the video podcasts were not the paid for types of movie. The way that I was able to get around this was to set up collections of video that were based on folders on my Mac and I was able to get videos playing that way.

Plex on Nexus 7

The NoStylus verdict on the Google Chromecast

After I had found the application LocalCast I was very pleased with the Google ChromeCast altogether. Right at the very beginning it did seem to be a little bit confusing. I thought that all I needed was the application Chromecast on my Nexus 7 or my Galaxy S3 and then I would be able to just use the thing. I have found out since, that it is necessary to have Chromecast enabled applications to be able to complete the circle. So there is Google Play Movies where I can get content that is available to purchase. I can Cast movies that I have on the device itself using LocalCast and then there is AllCast that I have used for sending photos to the TV. For the price of the device and considering what it can do, I have no hesitation in saying, just go and get one.