Google Chromecast turns any TV into an Internet-connected Smart TV. And with this your TV can also talk to your PC. A few simple apps can cast movies, music, and photos from your hard drive to a TV, bypassing the Internet.
In this article, we will show you how you can cast local media from Windows to Chromecast.
Note: Although these programs use your local Wi-Fi network, the Chromecast itself will not work if you do not have Internet access.
What do you need to share local media on Chromecast?
Google Chromecast: Native Chromecast, Chromecast 2.0 or 3.0, or Chromecast Ultra with normal setup will all work with this guide.
One Computer: The Guide works with both desktop and laptop, or any other type of Windows-running PC.
Active Wi-Fi Connection: Make sure both the Chromecast and PC are connected to the same home network, and that neither VPN is running.
Google Chrome is installed on your Windows PC.
How to Stream Movies from Windows to Chromecast
If you want to stream movies from Windows to Chromecast, here are some apps that can do the job.
1. Air Flow
Airflow is one of the best paid Windows video-casting applications. And, undoubtedly, it is worth every penny. Thankfully, you also get a free trial to check out the software before making a purchase. A free trial is a good way to find out if you want to pay for it. With its help, you can watch videos of up to 20 minutes at a time. Once you know it’s the best, you can pay $19.99 and use it.
But, what really makes it better than free apps? Performance is the main aspect, as Airflow supports hardware-accelerated transcoding. Apart from this, it also has 5.1-channel audio support for surround sound. Airflow includes complex control over subtitles and also remembers playlist and last position.
Surprisingly, this is the only one out of the entire list that we’d even give the “It Just Works” tag. Also, if you have a Chromecast Ultra for 4K video, you may notice a performance difference over unsupported native Chromecast file formats like MKV.
2. Soda Player
If you don’t want to pay for a program, get a soda player. For anyone who wants to play any video on Chromecast quickly, it works flawlessly. Open the file in Soda Player, click the Chromecast icon, and it starts up.
There are some great features that both the soda player and the Airflow have in common. It includes hardware-accelerated transcoding, automatic subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and more for any file format.
However, the soda player lacks two key features. Scrubbing has no thumbnail preview. So when you’re fast-forwarding or lagging to a different point, you have no idea where you’ll end up.
Also, for some reason, Soda Player doesn’t let you create playlists. So, if you have downloaded a great TV show, you will not be able to binge-watch it. You have to start a new video every time the previous video ends.
3. Videostream for Chromecast
Videostream has been the longest running app to cast videos successfully and easily. It’s still great, and the only one with a free remote control for mobile. The app can even sync with a folder of videos on your PC, controlling everything from the phone.
That being said, you can also use Google Assistant as a remote for basic playback: play/pause, rewind, and fast forward.
While it works as advertised, it is good for the single video you want to watch. The paid version has several important features, including playlists, additional subtitle settings, night mode, and auto-playing the next video.
Videostream Premium costs $1.49 per month, $14.99 per year, or $34.99 for a lifetime license.
How to Stream Music from Windows to Chromecast
While Chromecast is best for video, you can also cast music or podcasts to it, especially when you have Chromecast Audio set up. No matter what device you use, these are the programs you should try.
1. VLC 3.0
VLC 3.0 works perfectly as an audio player for Chromecast. You’ll want to download and set up the Media Library plugin. Once done, you’ll be able to cast MP3 files to Chromecast with one click.
The program is also good enough for creating playlists. That’s all you need to do with VLC. And if you have ID3 tags for it, you get a glimpse of the album art on the TV as well.
Beyond that, VLC has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve, ranging from scrambling tracks to Last.FM. You’ll probably want to normalize the audio as well.