Chromecast

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  • Dirtbox 8 Feb 2014 16:50:18 79,210 posts
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    Here in weeks

    I've had one for a while, and for what it is, I've been fairly impressed. It does fall down in a couple of places, most notably in the content department as Netflix is the only available service that's worth having and it took me a lot of hacking to get it working with the US site. Other services, like Plex, involve a monthly fee to allow you to play your own media through it.

    There are others, but the better ones are US only while most of the rest are basically shit. We'll probably be seeing iPlayer, 4oD and so on soon though and they've just released the SDK, which means all manner of interesting things are likely to appear.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 16:51:46 08-02-2014

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  • MrTomFTW Moderator 8 Feb 2014 16:58:18 39,782 posts
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    Huh, I thought they were already available here. I bought one from Amazon.co.uk in November.

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  • El_MUERkO 8 Feb 2014 17:01:17 17,149 posts
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    can't see the point of chrome cast except on older tvs tbh
  • Mr-Brett 8 Feb 2014 17:58:46 12,896 posts
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    If you just want the normal on demand video services and you have a smart TV then of course there's almost no point in it. You can install an extension in chrome and stream a tab direct to the TV though, so the possible uses are pretty broad.

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  • BinaryBob101 8 Feb 2014 18:09:41 24,447 posts
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    @Dirtbox Would you mind running through how you got US Netflix running through Chromecast please? If possible, in layman's terms?

    www.TheGrumpyVaper.com

  • Dirtbox 8 Feb 2014 18:15:01 79,210 posts
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    Well, you have to start by flashing your router with dd-wrt firmware, then you have to use an ip redirect script to get the hard coded google DNS IPs to point to unblock-us IPs instead.

    Mine looks like this, however I recently wrote a new script that only redirects the Chromecast. Hopefully it won't break EG if I paste it.

    IPS=`grep -i "^dhcp-host=.*CHROMECAST" /tmp/dnsmasq.conf | cut -d',' -f3`/32
    for SOURCE in $IPS
    do
    iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i br0 -p udp -s $SOURCE --dport 53 -j DNAT --to `nvram get lan_ipaddr`
    iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i br0 -p tcp -s $SOURCE --dport 53 -j DNAT --to `nvram get lan_ipaddr`
    done


    Edited by Dirtbox at 18:15:20 08-02-2014

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  • BinaryBob101 8 Feb 2014 19:29:02 24,447 posts
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    Um... Thats not easy. Fuck it. Ta anyway.

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  • Dirtbox 8 Feb 2014 19:32:56 79,210 posts
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    I never said it was easy.

    It's not actually that bad, the only chore is installing the firmware which turned out to be a lot easier than I realised.

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  • L0cky 8 Feb 2014 19:37:07 1,557 posts
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    Lol.

    Anyway yeh, like MrTom I got one of these for the folks Christmas from Amazon. I knew it hadnt officially launched though, they weren't on Google play.

    They just released the SDK for it so even though it's not all that useful today it should become a lot more useful in the near future.
  • Dirtbox 9 Feb 2014 09:40:28 79,210 posts
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    What I really want is an app that transcodes local media to a format that the Chromecast can use, it's currently its biggest flaw as its list of supported codecs and containers is very limited. Without some sort of jailbreak this isn't ever going to change.

    Other things that people are working on are emulators that are beamed from and controlled by your phone or tablet, but they're very early days and due to Chromecasts lack of re-scaling, they're limited to a postage stamp sized picture in the corner of the screen. A larger resolution and it's unplayably laggy.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 09:45:41 09-02-2014

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  • chopsen 9 Feb 2014 10:09:05 16,290 posts
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    Dirtbox wrote:
    What I really want is an app that transcodes local media to a format that the Chromecast can use, it's currently its biggest flaw as its list of supported codecs and containers is very limited. Without some sort of jailbreak this isn't ever going to change.
    This is what I do with Plex and my roku, and certainly don't pay a subscription for this.
  • Dirtbox 9 Feb 2014 10:24:39 79,210 posts
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    Yeah, they've slid that shit behind a paywall on everything Android. Fuckers. It'll only last as long as someone else making a free version though. Avia, the currently only supported media player is able to stream from a Plex server, sadly it doesn't fix the limited media support issue.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 10:26:57 09-02-2014

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  • chopsen 9 Feb 2014 11:16:02 16,290 posts
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    Well that's shit. Is there a normal web browser on chromecast? Pointing one of those to the plex server's ip address and port brings up a web interface.

    Not elegant but functional.

    Edited by Chopsen at 11:17:48 09-02-2014
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 9 Feb 2014 12:53:55 39,782 posts
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    You can broadcast your phone/tablet's Chrome session to the screen I believe. I've not actually tried that yet though!

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  • BinaryBob101 9 Feb 2014 14:37:58 24,447 posts
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    I thought you could only do that from a pc/laptop.

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  • Mr-Brett 9 Feb 2014 14:43:42 12,896 posts
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    Last time I checked it could only be done from a computer.

    I'm curious about DB getting US netflix on Chromecast, since I didn't think it ran apps, only received video from other sources.

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  • mrpon 9 Feb 2014 14:45:24 29,580 posts
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    Plex offer a lifetime sub option - 45. Obviously go monthly first, see if it's for you.

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • Dirtbox 9 Feb 2014 17:20:20 79,210 posts
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    Mr-Brett wrote:
    Last time I checked it could only be done from a computer.

    I'm curious about DB getting US netflix on Chromecast, since I didn't think it ran apps, only received video from other sources.
    It connects directly for a lot of the web-based video apps. You can power your phone off after selecting something to watch on Netflix and it'll carry on playing no problem.

    Most simply have a splash screen and link the Chromecast directly to an MP4 somewhere online. Which is an interesting one, as the chromecast doesn't need to be logged into anything by itself so there's a whole unsecured database of mp4s that can be downloaded gratis from some server somewhere.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 17:39:12 09-02-2014

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  • Mr-Brett 9 Feb 2014 17:51:38 12,896 posts
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    Oh interesting, make sense since that removes the unnecessary go between of the phone/whatever after you've made the selection but I had no idea.

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  • kadooosh 21 Feb 2014 11:18:29 1,556 posts
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    So does Chromecast literally just act as a medieval player for an external device? I've just ordered one but say I want to watch Netflix, do I need to use my phone/tablet/Pc as the remote? I'm not bothered as that's a good way for me to do it just wandering..
  • BinaryBob101 21 Feb 2014 11:29:29 24,447 posts
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    In short, yes.

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  • sport 21 Feb 2014 11:35:32 12,811 posts
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    Don't forget to hash the iptables.
  • Dirtbox 21 Feb 2014 11:42:33 79,210 posts
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    Bubble UPNP is useful, it'll stream your media from your PC or NAS to your chromecast. The transcoding part is a one off payment, but for what it does it's very useful. I'm probably going to hold off for a couple of weeks to see what else rears it's head.

    I've found that while it's pretty good with it's codecs, it's not infallible and a bunch of older AVIs refuse to play.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 11:43:59 21-02-2014

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  • MrFlay 21 Feb 2014 12:34:53 1,024 posts
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    Why not just buy a fully functional streaming media player like a WDTV Live or something similar? It used to be a bit buggy but the current firmware is quite robust. I know it's slightly more expensive but it's a lot less hassle.
  • Dirtbox 21 Feb 2014 12:40:00 79,210 posts
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    It's a fair question. Roku is a far better choice as of right now, but it's unlikely to see the kind of support that chromecast will recieve in the future. Google are rolling it out internationally and that means it'll get a lot more attention than anything else in it's class.

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  • BinaryBob101 21 Feb 2014 12:40:40 24,447 posts
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    Because this is very cheap, almost invisible and will probably be as fully functioning in the near future anyway.

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  • kadooosh 21 Feb 2014 13:09:02 1,556 posts
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    Glad I got this then, more of an investment as of today I guess, is there any plans we know of for updates yet?
  • mcmonkeyplc 21 Feb 2014 13:33:27 39,569 posts
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    Excellent, my XBL subs runs out on the 17th of March. Perfect timing.

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • sport 21 Feb 2014 13:45:20 12,811 posts
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    WAIT TILL MARCH!!
  • BinaryBob101 21 Feb 2014 13:53:11 24,447 posts
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    sport does have a valid point here, it's not officially released here until March.

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