Update 1: Now there are six methods. The new approach is to use Android screen cast.
Update 2: Added the image illustrating the differences of the six methods to stream local media files with Chromecast from the book: Chromecast 101: How to stream local media files with Chromecast (Kindle Edition, released November 2014, ASIN: B00Q7TSL3G).
Update 3: with the release of VLC 3.0 on February 9, 2018, Chromecast is now supported.
You can use VLC media player to stream local media files from a PC or an Android phone without using any additional apps or servers. On Android phones, you may check this guide on how to use VLC for Android to stream local media files to Chromecast device.
Chromecast can not only stream internet contents, e.g., YouTube, Netflix, but also can it stream local contents, your videos, music, and photos to your TV. It can also turn your TV into your remote monitor for your PC!
There are several methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast. Each has its strength and weakness.
A lot of Chromecast owners get confused on these methods after we illustrated different possible ways.
The purpose of this comparison is to guide you to choose the most suitable methods for you to stream local media files to Chromecast.
What are the
5 6 8 different methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast
To stream local media file to Chromecast, in All About Chromecast, we have released step-by-step guide for the following eight methods:
- Stream local media files (videos, music, and photos) to Chromecast through a tab of Chrome browser.
- Share PC’s desktop to Chromecast. This essentially streams all contents to Chromecast. Your TV becomes a remote screen of your PC.
- Use Chrome browser extension (Videostream) to stream local media files (video and music) to Chromecast.
- Use Plex media server (and a free web app) to stream all media files (video, music, and photos) to Chromecast.
- Use Android apps to stream local media files to Chromecast. The local media can be on your Android devices or in your local media server.
- Use Android screen cast with Chromecast. You can mirror everything on your Android devices to the TV!
- Use VLC for Android to stream local media files to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.
- Use VLC media player to stream local media files on your PC to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.
We will add more guides for streaming local media files once they are tested.
You may check these guides individually for the detailed steps to use the corresponding approaches.
Please also note, Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max are all Chromecast enabled. You can stream local audio to these devices just like streaming to Chromecast Audio.
So, for local music files, all these guides apply to Google Home as well.
5 6 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast
In addition, for method 3, VLC for Android now supports Chromecast. So, using VLC or Android to stream local media is the best streaming option in Android.
Besides, with VLC media player 3.0, Chromecast is officially supported. You can stream all your videos and music on your PC to Chromecast directly.
Among all these methods, only VLC media player supports HDR 10 when streaming to Chromecast.
|Features||Method 1: Chrome Tab casting||Method 5: Desktop
|Method 2: Videostream app||Method 4: Plex Media server||Method 3: Android apps||Method 6: Android screen cast|
|Easy to use||*****||**||*****||***||****||******|
|Reliability and stability||*****||*||*****||****||***||*****|
|Supported media type||video, music and photo||everything||video and music, no photo||video, music and photo||video, music and photo||video, music and photo|
|Video formats limited to those supported by Chromecast natively||yes||no,
by your PC
|with some extensions||almost no limitations||yes||no,
by your device
|Stream quality (up to)||720p||720p||1080p||1080p||1080p||1080p|
|Recommended usage (user) scenario||occasional users, without a large collection of local media files||special usage
for desktop sharing,
|occasional to regular users, with small to large local media collections||regular and heavy users, with large local media collections||occasional user, or regular users with own media servers||only works on selected devices|
Do you have any questions on these methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast?
Please leave your questions, comments, and feedback in the comment box below, if you have anything on streaming local media files to Chromecast to share with other Chromecast owners.
For Chromecast Audio guides, please visit Chromecast Audio guide page.
If your question is on Chromecast including both 1st generation Chromecast, and new Chromecast (aka Chromecast 2015), please visit Chromecast how-to guides page.