Popular multimedia app VLC has just been updated to version 3.0. Among other things, the update brings support for streaming videos from a PC to a Chromecast… even in formats not natively supported by Chromecast hardware.
Other highlights include support for 360-degree video, 3D audio, and hardware-accelerated decoding for 4K and 8K video on supported platforms, and support for more formats… which is impressive, since VLC was already known as a Swiss Army Knife that could handle most popular audio and video file formats.
VLC 3.0 is available for download for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone and RT. It’s an open source application, so you can also access the source code if that’s your sort of thing.
Other new features include:
- BD-Jave menus and overlay in Blu-ray
- Support for more types of subtitles
- Rewrite of the AudioTrack Android output
- HDMI/SPDIF pass-through support for WASAPI
- Pitch shifting module
The VLC team notes that this is the first time a major version of VLC has been released for all platforms at the same time.
Some new features are only available on specific platforms for now. For example, HDR10 support is available if you’re using VLC on a computer running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. And while there’s support for hardware-accelerated video playback across all platforms, it’s implemented differently depending on the operating system, so some devices will likely work better than others depending on the available hardware and OS.
Android users can also now use VLC in picture-in-picture mode and use VLC 3.0 in Android Auto with voice action support. VLC for Android also now officially supports Chromebooks and Samsung’s DeX station desktop mode.
Other Android-specific changes include the return of a delete option, letting you delete files from internal or external storage without using an external app, a fast seek option enabled by default, and the option to disable automatic subtitle loading.
“VLC was already known as a Swiss Army Knife”
mplayer has been known as *the* Swiss Army Knife player of media on Linux for a much longer time.
Installed it as a snap on Xubuntu 16.04. Don’t have access to play with video casting at the moment as all of those screens are in use. Have been playing with casting mp3 and ogg files to the Google Home Mini on my desk though. Works. Some oddities. Pause and Play work fine and Rewind seems to work OK. Fast-Forward does not. Also it just stopped playing on one file out of the blue.
One interesting thing is that you set the renderer and it remembers it. So setting my GHMini to be the renderer it continues to cast to it as I play new files.
Also the volume does not do anything. Volume control is strictly with the GHMini.
If I bring up the cast widget from my Chrome browser it shows that GHMini in use casting and properly lists the track playing. Volume control works there – as it just adjusts volume on the mini. The time in track and remaining are listed but completely out of whack. LOL.
VLC hasn’t even caught up their 4K game yet, as their HEVC support sucks ass.
Don’t get too wound up about this. Some people are reporting problems. Plus the glaring issues that exist due to the Chromecast devices themselves are still there, like the limited selection of Codecs (especially with the 1st & 2nd generation devices). AFAIK on-the-fly transcoding is not performed (or if it is possible, it’s not working for me.) Finally REMEMBER: Chromecast devices are from Google, so there’s an excellent chance they are always spying on you 🙁
Chromecast information that you might find helpful:
* Supported Media for Google Cast. NOTE, capability depends on Chromecast version:
Was excited about Chromecast support. Emphasis on ‘was’. The only thing that it casts for me on my Windows 10 laptop is a blank screen with a title – the video doesn’t play. Casting works perfectly with Chrome on that computer. Using Chromecast ver 2.
Too much anime, need update my RPi 3 VLC again and compile it for HW use 😀 few hours as usual.
too bad it can’t be a Chromecast receiver as well.
Well that is pretty interesting. I wonder if this could be put to use with RTSP camera streams being sent to Chromecast devices.
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