Chromecast support is coming to VLC media player

Beaming videos from VLC media player to your TV may soon be easier than ever. As PocketLint reports, the latest VLC changelog suggests Chromecast support is coming to version 3.0 of the software. The log states pretty plainly:

Stream Output:

 * Chromecast output module

 * RGB24 and YCbCr 4:2:0 RTP packetization

(Emphasis mine.)

There’s no word yet on when the final version of VLC 3.0 is due out, but according to the official roadmap, the release is 81% done—and eight weeks late. For now, folks willing to live on the bleeding edge can download the latest nightly releases here.

I’ve been using VLC Streamer to play video on my Apple TV, but that solution involves transcoding and isn’t terribly convenient. If VLC itself gains Chromecast support, then I might finally ditch the Apple box altogether. It would be an overdue move, too, considering how little Apple has done with the thing over the past couple of years.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    Stopped using VLC after several rather annoying bugs in 2.1.5. Using Daum PotPlayer instead, and have been happy with it.

    EDIT: As for Chromecast, I think that the Fire TV Stick (possibly with Kodi loaded on) is probably a way cooler revolution. Kudos to Google for getting it started, but I think new additions to the field have improved upon the original.

      • Bensam123
      • 5 years ago

      The majority of bugs are fixed in their nightly builds, I don’t know they they never release them though. I had to switch to a nightly build because of a bug with picture taking. I think this is an example of attempting to over polish things (like Blizzard) and it actually ends up being detrimental instead of helpful.

    • RdVi
    • 5 years ago

    I use Universal Media Server for my smart TV or PS3 before that. Just about every AVC (h264) file I get will stream without transcoding. It works far better than anything else (free) I’ve used.

    I have even recently been trying some HEVC encoded files and find the transcoding not too bad. It uses 100% CPU for around 30 seconds to build up a buffer then hovers around 2-10% on my i5 4670 at stock clocks.

    • Flying Fox
    • 5 years ago

    As long as these wireless solutions do not support audio bitstreaming to my receiver, I will continue to use a wired connection, thank you very much.

    Anyone knows if you can wirelessly stream all 5.1/7.1 channels in LPCM? I don’t think so.

    • GasBandit
    • 5 years ago

    Sweet! I’d only seen Chromecast as a nifty toy, a curiosity, until this announcement. Now, if 3.0 delivers on this and I hear from others that it works well, I’ll definitely be buying one.

    • Milo Burke
    • 5 years ago

    Alright, this is the first time the ChromeCast has piqued my interest. I can get 1080p streaming over HDMI, but my cheap laptop seems to lower the bit-depth of the color or something, because I’m seeing banding and things don’t look nearly as Blu-ray as Blu-ray discs.

    – Would this bypass all of the shenanigans I currently deal with when streaming video to my receiver over HDMI, having to fiddle with graphics card settings and output modes and still have iffy video quality?

    – Can it do surround sound?

      • auxy
      • 5 years ago

      Does your cheap laptop have Geforce graphics? If so, it’s probably using limited colorspace (16-235) on HDMI displays.

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        That’s unlikely the cause. Blu-Rays are mastered to use that same colour space. Vibrancy controls however can oversaturate if set to high and will make colour banding more prominent.

        • Melvar
        • 5 years ago

        You keep talking about the Nvidia colorspace bug, but AFAIK there isn’t one. Drivers from Nvidia, AMD and Intel will all output the colorspace the display calls for. Some displays incorrectly request the wrong colorspace, and AFAIK only AMD provides a switch in their control panel to override that setting. Nvidia and Intel don’t provide this capability through the GUI, so correcting the offending display is a bit more of a hack.

        That said, this could certainly be happening here, regardless of the GPU maker. Sending 16-235 to a 0-255 display will reduce the contrast and mess up the white & black levels. I’ve never personally looked at the opposite, but I would expect too much contrast, and clipping in the highlights and shadows.

        Edit: Misspelled colour properly.

          • auxy
          • 5 years ago

          Sending 16-235 to [b<]all[/b<] HDMI displays was the bug; it may have been resolved but I didn't hear about it if so. [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=90500<]Here was the thread where it first came to light, at least here.[/url<]

            • Melvar
            • 5 years ago

            You need to re-read that thread. The second post (my first forum post here ever) shows that it didn’t happen to all HDMI outputs.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      Honestly you will probably see a worse picture due to recompression of the media for the Chromecast.

      • brucethemoose
      • 5 years ago

      What video player are you using?

        • Milo Burke
        • 5 years ago

        VLC media player.

        I’ve got some 1080p files that look stunning on my desktop with a bottom of the barrel IPS monitor, but they don’t look nearly as good from my laptop into my home theater. My TV isn’t stellar, but Blu-rays look noticeably better than this implementation.

          • RdVi
          • 5 years ago

          Does your TV or Blu-ray player have an ethernet port? Maybe you should try streaming using a virtual media server instead. I personally have no issues with picture or sound doing that, where as seeing friends who connect laptops to their TV via HDMI I’ve noticed the results are usually pretty sketchy.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            Nope, it’s a first gen Blu-ray player I got second hand, and a dumb TV.

            It’s funny, because way back when I first heard that laptops could send HDMI to TV’s, everyone said it was perfect. But I’ve learned it takes both a high end laptop and a high end receiver or TV. Change one factor and the device with cut corners doesn’t know how to talk.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]But I've learned it takes both a high end laptop and a high end receiver or TV. [/quote<] What? There is sooo much wrong in that statement. What in earth possesses you to make that remark? My low end $300 piece of crap Acer laptop has no issues hooking directly to the TV (one of which is an old entry level Samsung 43" Plasma.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            I forgot to add: personal research with extremely small sample size.

            My parents each have $2,000 laptops (about 18 months old). They have no issues using them via HDMI into a nice receiver and a medium-high end Panasonic plasma.

            I got a laptop second hand that was $1,500 new in 2009, and it also looks fine on their TV, no monkeying in the settings needed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t carry multi-channel audio over HDMI, only two channel.

            I’ve got a Asus’s take on a Chromebook with Windows on it, and it doesn’t want to play nice with TV’s. I can’t find any settings that can make it look good. Even with 1080p, things are a bit fuzzy and the color bit depth seems super low.

            I’ve tried plugging the 2009 laptop into a variety of TV’s to see how they react. The nice Panasonic worked like a dream. Same with some nice Samsungs. I’ve tried Westinghouse and Dynex, and they look truly horrid.

            I know some people that have one Insignia model, and it looked fantastic but the screen flickered maybe once every ten seconds. The issue went away when I changed the color format to something else (RGB vs 4:2:2 or something like that), but then the picture looked super fuzzy, over-exposed, and had wonky color reproduction. Resolution and color depth were the same: 1080p and as high as it goes. And my girlfriend has a different, much newer Insignia model, and I can’t get it to look good with a computer source for the life of me, but it looks fine with a Fire Stick or with a Blu-ray player.

            I’ve got a third Insignia TV in my home, different model still. It looks great with the 2009 laptop (Nvidia graphics), but again, only two channel audio due to its limitations. It looks less good on my much newer Asus laptop (which can do surround sound).

            Sorry for the wall of text. You asked what could possess me to make that statement. That’s the “research” I’ve done. I really just want to know what cheaper PCs and cheaper TV’s can look decent in an HTPC capacity. In my experience, it can’t. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I can’t buy 20 TV’s and 20 PC’s to test them all in varying configurations to find a winning combination on a budget.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<] got a laptop second hand that was $1,500 new in 2009, and it also looks fine on their TV, no monkeying in the settings needed. Unfortunately, it doesn't carry multi-channel audio over HDMI, only two channel.[/quote<] Only two channel is it working properly. Your TV only has two channels and no multichannel decoder so it sends either a) a two channel LPCM stream or b) if your TV can decode DD/DTS 2.0 streams it will use those. If it were to send a 5.1 stream, and your TV has a 5.1 capable decoder, it would downmix it to 2.0. Also if you are hooking it up to a multichannel capable receiver and only receiving 2.0 through the HDMI, chances are that you are using the wrong output device (i.e. using your sound card output that is piped through also into the HDMI connection instead of passthru).

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            I’ve spent maybe eight hours researching that one. It’s plugged into an aging (pre-3D) but high end Yamaha receiver that has a bunch of bells and whistles I’m not using. The specific laptop graphics by Nvidia that handle the HDMI actually don’t support more than two channel audio. It was difficult to find, but that was the answer.

            Ideas for the rest? Either to make my Asus laptop look good on my TV or for which low-cost TV’s and HTPC’s don’t have issues playing nicely?

            Edit: Thanks for your interest, Deanjo. I appreciate it.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            If you are looking for cheap playback and does it well I recently picked up one of the HDMI Atom based dongles.

            [url<]http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sell-Mini-PC-with-both-Android-Windows-8-system/2044898752.html[/url<] I installed openSUSE and XBMC on it and I can't complain at all. You would have far greater flexibility with something like this than a Chromecast. Your nVidia based graphics must be an old duck (even the MCP67 and MCP73 were able to) that it cannot passthru at least AC-3 5.1. Even the older based 7000 series nvidia graphics could pass that through (but not HD audio as the connection was basically a spdif connection going through the HDMI connector.) It is possible however that Asus cheaped out on their HDMI out and just put a pair of analog puts from the integrated DAC. BTW, nvidia has some really good documentation on their HDMI implementations. [url<]ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/gpu-hdmi-audio-document/gpu-hdmi-audio.html#_pre_azalia[/url<] As far as how to improve the video quality, a lot of the symptoms you describe seem like the EDID info is being lost or is incorrect. A Dr. HDMI may help here. You also have to keep in mind that cheaper TV's are likely to use cheaper TN panels which will display banding more prominently than a better quality screen. Also source media encoding will also determine how it looks on the screen. If you are viewing rips that are not 1:1 rips you will encounter a poorer picture quality than the original due to additional dithering and recompression of the video stream.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            That was a mighty post, and I’d give it +10 if I could. Hopefully the rest of the community will right this for me. =]

            I didn’t know there were such PC’s available cheaply. I saw the TechReport news bit for it during CES, but I didn’t know it was available yet (still looks like it isn’t widely available in the US.) It looks like the same guts as my new Asus: quad core Bay Trail, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB flash storage. I wouldn’t have believed it, but apparently it’s all you need for web browsing, YouTube, Netflix, etc., even with a base installation of Windows! But hopefully this has better video output than the Asus. It’s actually my work laptop, but I usually take it home on the weekends for streaming. A battery-free permanent installation would be great, particularly if it could serve up HDMI flawlessly.

            It looks like the Asus has Intel graphics, probably integrated into the BayTrail processor. I wonder if that gives me more stability or less control for monkeying with the settings. Either way, I’ll give it another go. I want to keep using it for it’s surround, but I want the picture to be good too.

            Thanks for digging on audio issue for the Dell 2009 laptop with gimped Nvidia graphics. I dug deep on it two or three years ago and found the hardware simply didn’t support it.

            When I bought my TV, my only concern was the ability to properly and sharply display 1080p from a computer over HDMI. As I said, I’ve found many cheap ones that couldn’t. I asked the (in hindsight, probably clueless) sales guy what made other TV’s more expensive, and he said it was “the processor”. I asked him what that meant for a TV, and he said it would enable it to flip channels quicker. I’ve only ever wanted HDMI input, so I bought the cheapest TV that looked sharp and clear over HDMI plugged into the Dell 2009 laptop.

            Later, I discovered “120hz” on it was a filtering mode that destroyed the image quality, not a spec. And that it has some color reproduction issues, particularly in low light, and it ghosts pretty bad. Too bad I didn’t know about these things at the time. I’m hoping to feed it the best signal it can get from a computer and get another two years out of it, maybe three. Hopefully by then, the economy of scale will make it affordable for me to get a cheap, name-brand 4k TV and there will be 4k sources widely available, be it optical or streaming or Yuri’s Psi-Core troopers beaming it to me.

            Never heard of the HDMI Dr. Does it work? It seems pricey, but when I think about it, I’d much rather pay $100 than have 2-3 years of crappy HDMI performance from my current setup.

            Do you have any tricks for getting the Intel graphics in the Asus laptop to work better? Any settings in particular I should pay attention to?

            Any resources on EDID you recommend?

            Thanks again.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]Never heard of the HDMI Dr. Does it work? It seems pricey, but when I think about it, I'd much rather pay $100 than have 2-3 years of crappy HDMI performance from my current setup.[/quote<] Ya it works, it also doubles as a HDMI signal booster. The fact that you have signal and then it disappears leads me to believe that the HDMI port on that laptop may have weak signal strength or having difficulties with the handshake. A Dr. HDMI may help in that regard. Of all the solutions however, I would probably just go for the HDMI Atom dongle. [quote<]When I bought my TV, my only concern was the ability to properly and sharply display 1080p from a computer over HDMI. As I said, I've found many cheap ones that couldn't. I asked the (in hindsight, probably clueless) sales guy what made other TV's more expensive, and he said it was "the processor". I asked him what that meant for a TV, and he said it would enable it to flip channels quicker.[/quote<] Sounds like he handed you some techno babble. If you bought it from a big box store, they do not do much, if anything for product knowledge training since sales people were taken off commission. As with any electronics purchase now days it is better to research first online and ignore the sales people. When it comes to the intel graphics options, I really haven't had to touch anything in terms of settings. Granted all my PC's run linux so Windows performance may differ. Your choice of render method could also come into play. You may want to try a different DX or oGL renderer in the advance settings of VLC.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            Weak signal? It’s only a 6 foot HDMI cable from laptop to receiver. I don’t recall saying the signal disappears. The issue is general fuzziness and color reproduction. It’s just substandard. And since that’s even just showing the desktop background, with extra color banding on the background image, I don’t know that changing rendering settings in VLC will help. VLC on the desktop plugged into the cheapo IPS monitor with no settings or configuration work looks stellar.

            Although what I’m dealing with isn’t as bad as that other Insignia TV. It had to have a number of settings exactly perfect, including the refresh rate, or the image quality would go from perfect to abysmal. Then again, I was able to get that one perfect, and I’m not able to get mine perfect.

            Maybe it is the handshake. Maybe I should try the new mini PC and install Linux as you did.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]Weak signal? It's only a 6 foot HDMI cable from laptop to receiver. I don't recall saying the signal disappears. [/quote<] You mentioned the screen "flickered". [quote<]extra color banding on the background image, I don't know that changing rendering settings in VLC will help[/quote<] Renderers can make a lot of difference in picture quality. [quote<]VLC on the desktop plugged into the cheapo IPS monitor with no settings or configuration work looks stellar.[/quote<] Your Insigna probably has a 6-bit TN panel and that would explain a lot.

          • Melvar
          • 5 years ago

          Have you checked your video driver settings to make sure nothing is set up wrong? I know the Nvidia drivers will let you set the video overlay to a different colorspace than the desktop, and that can make video look bad even if the desktop & everything else looks fine. Intel and AMD may have similar options in their drivers.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            I spent half an hour monkeying with the settings. I tried everything I saw. I should try everything again, I suppose.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]I've been using VLC Streamer to play video on my Apple TV, but that solution involves transcoding and isn't terribly convenient. If VLC itself gains Chromecast support, then I might finally ditch the Apple box altogether. It would be an overdue move, too, considering how little Apple has done with the thing over the past couple of years.[/quote<] I have to ask why? There are far better apps out there. VLCStreamer was a crutch that was needed 3 years ago or so but with applications like infuse and the changes made to airplay it is no longer necessary. My synology NAS even has an app for it that allows streaming content to the AppleTV 3. Edit: And BTW, if the video/audio format is not in h264 / aac, your media is still being transcoded by vlc for playback on the Chromecast.

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 5 years ago

    Would this work for screen mirroring to a PC?

      • xeridea
      • 5 years ago

      You can do full desktop with ChromeCast, it is still beta, the biggest issue being audio not working on a lot of setups.

    • brucethemoose
    • 5 years ago

    More chromecast support is good… But can’t plex already do that without any transcoding?

    If you’re gonna ditch the Apple TV, why wait for VLC?

      • Laykun
      • 5 years ago

      Plex still needs to transcode files that aren’t H264 and I imagine the same rules apply to this plugin. Hopefully more competition in this space will make the products better because to be honest, I was not impressed with Plex, particularly it’s media browsing interface.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This