Update 1: there are several other methods to stream local video to Chromecast. Some work better. You may check this guide: Comparison of 5 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast.
Although there are a few apps that can stream local video to Chromecast, they are NOT free, and not intuitive. If you are curious, you may try Avia Media Player (Chromecast), or Plex, or the RealPlayer Cloud.
Actually, you can use Chrome browser to stream local video to Chromecast. Any videos that can be played on your PC can be played on your TV now.
You do not need any apps (except the Google Cast extension for Chrome). Of course, there is one downside: the streaming quality is limited to 720p with high bitrate, no 1080p at this time. But this quality usually is sufficient for most videos.
What you need to do is to install the Google Cast extension from Chrome store. Once this extension is installed, you can cast any tabs of your Chrome browser to the TV.
So, how to stream local video to Chromecast (and watch onTV)?
It is simple. In the address bar, instead of typing http bla-bla, now you type file://c:/yourvideo.mp4 Of course, you need locate your video and give the full path of it. Once the video is played in Chrome browser, you can sent it to TV through Chromecast using the Google cast extension.
For Google Cast extension, you can set the quality to High (720p) or Extreme (720p high bitrate) to get a reasonable video quality on a full HD TV. So this is the simplest way to stream local video to Chromecast without using any apps.
It is really simple. Just follow these steps.
Step 1: Install and configure Google Cast extension (if you haven’t done it).
You can find the official Google cast extension in Chrome webstore or use this URL https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-cast/boadgeojelhgndaghljhdicfkmllpafd?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon
In Chrome webstore, type “Google cast” as shown below to search apps and extensions. Then click “FREE” (because it is free) to add it to your Chrome browser.
Before you can add the extension to Chrome browser, you will get a confirmation page. It tells you the permission this extension is seeking.
As it is from Google, you can trust it. So, click “Add” as shown below to add this official Google cast extension to your Chrome browser.
Once the Google cast extension is added successfully to your Chrome browser, you will get a notification on this (as shown below).
For Google Cast extension, you can set the quality to High (720p) or Extreme (720p high bitrate) to get a reasonable video quality on a full HD TV.
If your network connection is not good, or your video is in 480p, you can choose 480p.
To set the video quality, you may click the Google cast extension as shown below. Then click Options to choose the suitable tab casting quality.
Step 2: Fill the location of the video to the address bar in Chromecast
In the address bar, instead of typing a web address, now you type the video file address like (without quotation marks) “file://c:/yourvideo.mp4”.
Of course, you need locate your video file and give the full path to it. Once the video is played in Chrome browser, you can sent it to TV through Chromecast using the Google cast extension.
If you are using Windows, you can also just drag your video from Windows explorer and then drop it to Chrome browser as shown below. If Chrome browser cannot play it, it will be shown as being downloaded by Chrome.
Step 3: Enable casting to Chromecast
Once Chrome is playing the video, you can then click the Google cast extension and choose the Chromecast devices as shown below. The video will then be shown on TV
Step 4: Enjoy the video on the TV.
That’s all. This is the simplest way to stream local video to Chromecast without using any apps.
You can even stream local video to Chromecast in background in full screen!
When the the video is played in full screen on your PC, you probably think you cannot do anything else except watching it. This is not true.
You can use the following windows shortcuts to switch to other programs, or start a new program (e.g.,Chrome browser):
- Alt+Tab: to switch between programs. Once the video is played in full-screen mode, use this shortcut to switch to other opened programs/apps. So, you can do something else when you stream local video to Chromecast in full-screen, and in background.
- Ctrl+Esc: to get the Star button. You can start a new program, e.g., a new Chrome browser, and work on it while you stream local video to Chromecast in background and in full-screen.
Summary of streaming local video to Chromecast using Chrome browser (tab casting)
- You need Google cast extension for Chrome browser.
- This method does NOT work on smartphones or tablets, because Chrome for Android doesn’t support extensions.
- This method does work on Chromebook and Chromebox.
- Not all video formats are supported. If the video format is not supported, you may try Videostream extension or Plex media server.
- The stream quality is limited to 720p.
- Google cast (beta) extension allows you to choose 1080p for tab casting. But it is not recommended.
- You can do something else on the PC when streaming videos through Chromecast.
- Although I used “videos” in this page, music and photos work in an identical way.
Does this Chromecast guide work for you? Can you stream local video to Chromecast now?
Let’s know it in the comment box below.
More Chromecast tutorials, tips and tricks can be find in our Chromecast How-to Guide page.
If this method is not ideal for you, you may try other methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast:
- Share PC’s desktop to Chromecast. This essentially stream all contents to Chromecast. Your TV becomes a remote screen of your PC.
- Use Chrome browser extension (Videostream) to stream local media files (video ans 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 videos with Chromecast.
- Use Android screen mirroring to stream local videos with Chromecast.
You may also check the this guide: Comparison of 5 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast.