These 9 apps stream videos from Android to Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast may be designed to let you stream media from Netflix, YouTube Pandora, Google Play Music, and other internet media sites to a TV. But what if you want to stream home videos from your phone to a TV without uploading them to the web first?

Chromceast local apps

When Google first launched the Chromecast there was no way to do that. But now that the company has released the Google Cast SDK, there are a growing number of ways to stream music, videos, and photos straight from your phone or table to your TV.

Here are some of the first apps that let you stream local content from an Android device to a Chromecast-connected TV. You can use them to watch home movies, downloaded videos, DVD rips, or just about anything else.

Keep in mind that since these apps stream content from your phone or tablet, videos will stop playing if you turn off your mobile device.

AllCast ($4.99 with free trial)

This app doesn’t just let you stream local media to a Chromecast. It also supports streaming music, movies, and photos to a Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, WDTV, select Samsung, Sony and Panasonic Smart TVs, and other devices that support DLNA.

Just fire up the app, browse your media collection, and pick a file you want to send to your TV. You can use on-screen buttons to pause, play, stop, or skip ahead or back in a timeline.

allcast_02

The only catch is that you can only stream up to the first 60 seconds of a video using the free app. AllCast Premium has a $5 price tag (although it’s not available for download as of February 17th, 2014).

Developer Koushik Dutta was among the first to start working on apps that would stream local content to a Chromecast device. He started building AllCast before Google even released a final SDK and eventually wound up launching the app at a time when it could officially support pretty much everything but Chromecast.

Now that the Google Cast SDK is available to all, so is AllCast.

Avia (2.99 through in-app purchase)

Like AllCast, Avia supports photos, videos, and music. But it also supports Playlists, and unlike AllCast, you can use Avia as a standalone media player to simply watch videos on your Android device.

Or you can tap the Chromecast button and stream content to your TV.

avia

You can use Avia for free if all you want to do is play videos on your Android device. But if you want to beam content to your Chromecast you’ll need to purchase “Avia Extras” through a $2.99 in-app purchase.

BubbleUPnP (Free, or $4.69 for full version)

Back when Chromecast was just a gleam in Google’s eye, BubbleUPnP was offering users a way to stream videos, music, and photos from a phone to a network-connected TV using an Xbox, PS3, or a range of other devices that support UPnP or DLNA.

On February 19th, the developer launched the first version of BubbleUPnP designed to support Chromecast as well.

You can use the free version of the app to send natively-supported file formats to a Chromecast. Or you can pay for the full version of the app, install BubbleUPnP server on a PC on your network, and transcode videos streamed over your network on-the-fly, allowing you to stream just about anything to a Chromecast (assuming you’ve got a speedy network connection and a relatively fast PC).

Castaway (free, or $1.99 for premium version)

Like many other apps on this list, Castaway started as an app that lets you stream local photos or videos from your Android device to a Chromecast. But the developer has added extra features including the ability to send photos and videos from Facebook or Google+ to your TV.

castaway social

There’s a free, ad-supported version of Castaway. If you want to remove the advertisements, the developer also offers a Castaway Premium for $1.99.

EZCast (free)

Originally developed as an app for streaming content to an entirely different type of TV stick, EZCast now supports Google Chromecast as well.

You can use it to find photos, videos, or even documents on your Android phone or tablet and send them to your television.

EZCast also includes a web browser that lets you surf the web on your mobile device while seeing the websites on the big screen, a utility that lets you scribble notes or pictures on photos and have the annotations appear on the TV in near real-time, and support for streaming from your phone’s camera to your TV.

The app takes a little while to load and sometimes the connection can be finicky. But EZCast is notable as an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink tool for streaming content to a Chromecast. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a future update added kitchen sink compatibility.

Juice for Chromecast ($2.99 with limited free features)

Juice also supports photos, videos and music and allows you to sort your library by date. The free version of the app lets you stream any type of content to your Chromecast — but there’s a catch. You can only stream the first item in your photo, video, or music collection.

juice

To unlock the ability to stream any media on your device, you’ll need to unlock the full version of the app through a $2.99 in-app purchase).

LocalCast (free)

The best thing LocalCast has going for it at the moment is the price. The app is completely free. The worst thing is that it can be a bit finicky when it comes to file formats.

localcast

I shot a video with the camera on my Nexus 7 and was able to stream it to my Chromecast using every other app on this list. LocalCast didn’t even see the video.

The developer is considering adding support for additional file formats though. You can read more about LocalCast in the developer’s thread at xda-developers.

Plex ($4.99)

Plex is a cross-platform media player designed to let you access local media or internet video or stream your media from one device to another.

plex game

The developers recently added Chromecast support, allowing you to browse your media collection and play it on a TV connected to Google’s media streamer.

Not only do you have to pay $4.99 for the app though, but you also need to be a PlexPass subscriber to use the Chromecast functionality while it’s still under development. Eventually the team plans to make Chromecast features available to all users.

RealPlayer Cloud (Free)

Sign up for RealPlayer Cloud for free and you get 2GB of cloud storage which you can use to upload photos, videos, and other content so you can access it across a range of devices. You can use the RealPlayer Cloud app for Android to browse your collection, watch your videos on your phone or tablet, or stream them to a Chromecast.

But you can also safely disregard the “cloud” portion of this app. Fire up RealPlayer on your Android device, browse for videos on your phone or tablet, hit the Chromecast button and press play. Your Chromecast will grab videos straight from your mobile device using your WiFi network — no uploading to the cloud needed.

realplayer cloud

I was kind of surprised at how much I liked this app. You can use it to find popular internet videos to stream to your TV, access your own uploaded videos, or beam local content from your device to your TV.

RealPlayer was one of the early players in online music and video, but the company isn’t exactly known for its cutting edge software these days. That said, as of early 2014, RealPlayer Cloud might just be one of the most versatile apps available for Chromecast users looking to stream local content to their TVs.

Of course, if you want to stream media from Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, HBO Go, or Google Play Movies, all you have to do is fire up those apps and hit the Chromecast button. But we’ve officially moved beyond the point where a Chromecast is just a device for streaming internet video.

  • digi_owl

    I am guessing that Localcast ties into the preexisting player at the Chromecast end, thus being limited to the formats supported there.

  • Guest123

    OK, so which one(s) actually only use the phone as a remote and which one(s) kill the phone’s battery because it actually is streaming from the phone? Like when you have your media stored on a PC and want to stream it to Chromecast using your phone?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      These are all designed to stream media straight from your phone. That’s what makes them different from the original crop of Chromecast apps which only stream video from the internet.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        how do i stream video from the pc/nas using the phone and chromecast, so not internet streaming or local phone streaming but plex style streaming from a local server. without paying for plex..

      • Guest123

        this is what I’m looking for.

      • daskino

        Synology promises to make Ds video compatible with Chromecast so that you can browse videos on the phone and stream them from NAS to Chromecast, only issue is that the chome case decodes the files, and chromecast only support mp4. ;( so we are back to trans coding on the fly from the NAS, and that only works with beefy x86 Nas’s

      • Cmmdr Keen

        yeah this is the problem, it’s probably easier to buy a cheap android phone with hdmi compared to this chromecast

      • Irving Eskenazi

        Actually reading your comment reminded me that I have a old HTC evo 4g with a mini hdmi laying in a junk drawer for the last 2 years I’m going to have to dig it out and give it a try. Thanks for reminding me )

      • Cmmdr Keen

        and if you have hdmi CEC on your telly then you are in for a bit of a treat with nothing else required

      • Irving Eskenazi

        Not sure what you mean by hdmi cec? But I do have hdmi on all my tellies I’m guessing your from across the pond my friend and actually dug up the evo still works pretty good except the battery doesn’t quite hold a charge the way it used to and only puts out 720p which is fine for what I’m using it for I even put groove ip on it and am using as a ultra portable cordless phone around the house.
        CHEERS.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        good guess bruv i am, hdmi cec allows your tv remote to certain control devices plugged into your hdmi port, eg when i plug my xperia s via hdmi my samsung remote can navigate it from the sofa with no extra work involved

      • Irving Eskenazi

        That’s cooler then the other side of the pillow I’m definitely going to have to check that out. Thanks )

      • Cmmdr Keen
      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J
      • Mike Luck
    • Arrdee

      Honestly? Throw the Chromecast in a junk drawer, give it away, etc. and buy a Roku. The Roku Media Player channel lets you browse your PCs and media servers and such and stream music, video, and photos. The Chromecast sow’s ear isn’t going to turn into a silk purse.

      • daskino

        like chromecast Roku only supports .mp4 files. ….

    • Because0789

      Plex can use a server program set up on a PC to stream from the PC to the Chromecast even transcoding as needed. The phone is basically a remote at that point.

    • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

      I have installed Plex on a computer, I have ripped DVDs using DVD Shrink but with no compression, I then used VidCoder to convert the DVD rips into MP4 (High Profile) files and added them to Plex. I then use Avia on my Nexus 4 to browse the Plex server and send full length movies and TV series to the Chromecast. The only thing I paid for was the upgrade to full functionality in Avia. I am not paying a Plex subscription and my phone is purely a remote – I gather unless what you are playing is stored locally on the device you are playing it from, Avia sends the URL to the actual content, so in the case of Plex, Avia is sending the Chromecast a DLNA link to the file on the Plex server. My phone battery doesn’t really seem to be affected.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        sounds brilliant, one thing though i have a ton of downloaded youtube videos in flv format, will they all require converting?

        and also why do you even require plex server installed, cant avia just browse your nas/pc somehow?

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        For MP4 the Chromecast requires H264 video encoded at High Profile (I have no idea what this means, an is why I just choose High Profile from the presets in VidCoder). VidCoder will batch convert files if you really want to go down that route. Plex is required because it will convert (on-the-fly) files that the Chromecast doesn’t natively play – to something it will.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        thanks so i just use aviva instead of the actual native android app and itt will work with plex server as it is?

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        Yup, open Avia, on the “Add Media” screen – scroll down to Network. When you find the Plex Media server, Tap it’s name (don’t bother with the checkbox, that doesn’t seem to work) and it will take you to a screen showing “Video, Music and Photos” folders, just tap “Videos” and you will see the various libraries / sections you have added to Plex.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        great thanks a lot bruv, that’s my movies and tv shows sorted one time ;)

        now to figure out the best way for the youtube flv vids that arent in my plex database. probably just convert them one day

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        Plex “should” convert them as you send them to the Chromecast (without changing the original files)

      • Charles222

        Handbrake Batch’ll do the trick to convert a bunch of stuff at once to .mp4.

      • eAbyss

        You can simply change the file name of most flv files to mp4 and they’ll work just fine.

      • Cmmdr Keen

        oh my days, after all that

        excuse me while i go kill myself

  • Phil Miller

    Mono, the Android music app, has Chromecast functionality in its latest release. You can cast YouTube videos, Soundcloud tracks and artist images and it promises more functionality soon. Check it out at http://mono-cloud.appspot.com

    • Phil Miller

      Local audio file casting is now also supported with remote media server support promised soon.

  • daskino

    so who does teh decdoing of thie files, the androdi phone or the chormecast device?

    the chrome does not support .mkv. avi, only mp4

  • Mike Luck

    Please can you add my new ‘NAS Cast’ App to this list:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yellowdogapps.nascast

  • Ferdi Seegers

    I am using plex, if you subscribe to plex you can login into the free plex app on Android. it works like a charm and there are no battery draining issues!

  • Thomas Yuan

    We just released a Chromecast app that play slideshow with background music on TV screen.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tapixel.castontv

  • http://www.film-en-lignee.com/ kotzarika
  • Dan J. Chiccino

    I just downloaded and am using AllCast and so far it seems to be working quite well. i can play any loval videos on my phone on the TV without any problems!

  • Calvin

    There is another new app on the Play Store which allows for some similar functionality to cast to Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku etc.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rednimbu.icarus

  • Robroy

    Download the chromecaster on Google Chrome browser, then press the button to reflect screen on to chromecast. Next press cmd + O (open file) Choose your tvshow/dvdrip and, there you go. Wireless on your browser. Enjoy!

  • blipton

    There used to be many good options for streaming pc files to a tv (iMediaShare, Mezzmo, Nero Video, etc) but Chromecast unfortunately can’t grab video from a DLNA server. Out of all the options listed in the article, is there any that

    1) mirrors the screen/desktop without too much lag
    2) transcodes mkv on the fly with minimal jitter for chromecast to play
    3) Plays files from my Google drive, pogo plug, one drive, etc

  • emgr1417

    Ok, so this means I can use Chromecast without an internet connection? Just a Wi-Fi router?