For quite a long time the Google Chromecast had been sitting in my mind. There was an unexplainable attraction but not enough to conquer the “why DO I need it?”. As a dear friend of mine says: “Why do I need it? Feeling beats relevancy”
For years I have been searching for the best & cheapest way to connect my Plex media server to my TV. One of the main requests was a huge W.A.F. (Wife Acceptance Factor).
- Apple Mac Mini? Great device but $$$
- Roku player? $$ but with mixed reviews
- Samsung TV with Plex app? Nice but I don’t have a Samsung TV
A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Chromecast for € 35, an amount that allows you to buy it, decide it’s crap and give it to someone else. When it arrived it was connected within 5 minutes using the iPhone Chromecast app.
I started the Plex App on my iPhone, played a video and pressed “send to Chromecast”. Voila.
Video playing on my TV.. What??
Yes, it’s that easy. How does it work?
The iPhone Plex app tells the Chromecast to pull
a video stream from location <whatever>
To change to the source of my TV to the HDMI output of the Chromecast I had to set it to auto-detect. Auto switching back to the cable decoder is not possible because the Chromecast, when awake, will always send an image. So for that I use a button on my TV remote.
An even greater use-case turned up when I went on Holiday for a week. The house we rented had internet and a TV with HDMI. Guess what. I plugged in the Chromecast, connected it to the network and used my iPhone Plex app to move the stream to the Chromecast.
Instant access to all of my Plex content!
This probably works anywhere in the world, providing there’s enough bandwidth. Fantastic. The down-side: the Chromecast does not support 5Ghz wifi which typically provides better bandwidth. The Chromecast also comes with an “HDMI” extension making you more flexible to connect it to your TV. In most cases you can use a USB port on your TV to power the Chromecast.
List of Chromecast enabled Apps