Many media players support streaming to a Google Chromecast (making it ideal for use as a stripped down media center). However, some still don’t. One of the main culprits is the popular VLC Media Player, a versatile tool in many other areas. So, why doesn’t VLC support Chromecast streaming?
Well, it turns out that this is a feature under constant development. And while it isn’t available on stable releases, Chromecast streaming actually is included in development versions. Unfortunately, it still isn’t 100 percent stable, which is why this feature isn’t included in the main VLC Media Player.
In this article we show you how to stream videos from your PC to a Chromecast using the VLC Media Player.
Time to Prepare
If you want to stream video from VLC Media Player to your TV via a Chromecast, you’ll need to ensure you have the following:
- Google Chromecast.
- Strong signal/proximity to your wireless router.
- The latest nightly build of VLC Media Player: the 64-bit build or the 32-bit build.
Simply download the version of VLC that matches your PC’s architecture, and install it. You’ll also need to ensure your Chromecast is connected to your TV, and be powered on. Check our guide to setting up your Chromecast for tips and tricks if you run into any trouble.
Connect VLC to Your Chromecast
Once you’re confident the Chromecast is set up correctly, open VLC Media Player on your PC.
Now, open Video > Render > Scan.
This commences the search for the Chromecast on the network. Wait a few moments, then open the menu again, this time selecting the Chromecast option.
You’re now ready to start streaming to Chromecast, so open a video file to view in VLC. Use Media > Open File to find the video you want. Alternatively, drag a video file from an open Windows Explorer window into the VLC Media Player window.
Because you’re playing to a network device, the Insecure Site warning will appear. This is totally fine: click View certificate, then Accept Permanently to add the certificate to your PC.
When VLC Cannot Find Your Chromecast
In some cases, you may run into problems. There are a couple of solutions you can try here.
- Are you using a PC-based VPN? If so, attempting to check for the Chromecast will probably not work. Disable the VPN on your PC before attempting to connect (for the best results, set up your router with your preferred VPN server).
- If VLC Media Player still cannot find your Chromecast, you can input the IP address manually.
Find this by opening your router’s admin page, or by checking the Home app on your Android phone (specifically, the Device settings screen).
Open Tools > Preferences, and click All. Here, find Stream Output, and expand Sout stream, selecting Chromecast. Input the IP in the IP Address field, and click Save. Now when you open Video > Render you will see an entry for your Chromecast. Select this to continue.
Playing Videos From VLC on Your TV
All you need to do now is click Play, and the video should begin streaming to your TV. The Chromecast is capable of HD streaming, so you should be able to enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows, smartphone videos, maybe even video game streams, in high definition.
If you need to control the video, use the VLC window on your computer to pause, forward/rewind, adjust volume, etc. Any changes you make to the video in VLC will be reflected on your TV. Note that by default, the video you’re streaming will not be displayed on your PC desktop.
Future streaming can be achieved by going to Video > Render > Chromecast — now the certificate is accepted, the process is more streamlined.
Not Working? Try Google Chrome!
While the above method should work (and will probably be added to the main stable release of VLC in future), it may not work for you personally. If this is the case, and you still want to stream video from your PC via VLC, and watch it on your TV with Chromecast, you’ll be pleased to learn that you do have another option.
It’s also possible to stream video from VLC to your TV via the Google Chrome browser. Just ensure VLC is loaded, then find the Cast button in your browser window (next to the address bar). Click this, then Cast to > Cast Desktop. With this done, click play in VLC, maximize the Window, and enjoy the video stream on your TV.
You’ll find superior video quality when streaming directly from VLC, but Google Chrome is a good substitute.
It’s Simple, But Consider Alternatives
Really, that’s all there is to it. To recap:
- Ensure your Windows PC and Chromecast are on the same network.
- Install the nightly build of VLC Media Player.
- Open Video > Render > Scan.
- Wait, then open Video > Render > Chromecast.
- Accept the certificate, click Play, and enjoy!
Of course, there are other ways to stream content from your Windows computer to your TV. Miracast, which uses a similar HDMI wireless dongle, is perhaps the strongest alternative. Our comparison of Miracast and Chromecast should help here. However, a Steam Link game streaming device can also stream video and sound from your PC to your TV.
Perhaps you have a better alternative, or maybe you’re happy with how VLC is now capable of streaming video to your Chromecast. Either way, please let us know in the comments below. And if you run into any problems don’t be afraid to ask for further guidance.