An official Kodi app is available for many of the leading streaming devices (with Roku being the only notable exception).
But what about the humble Chromecast? You can’t install apps on the Google devices in the traditional sense, so how can you get your content from your storage media to your TV screen?
Thankfully, there are few different ways to stream Kodi on a Chromecast.
Where Is Your Media Content Stored?
Kodi isn’t like Plex. For an average user, making the app act as a central server is a non-trivial exercise. The official method requires an existing knowledge of MySQL. Alternatively, you can try a slightly hacky workaround to share your Kodi media library on multiple devices.
Either way, the bottom line is that it’s hard to stream content to various screens around your house.
As such, the best method for you out of the three approaches we’re going to discuss will vary depending on where your content is currently located. For instance, there’s no point in using the Android methods if all your videos are saved on your desktop computer and you have not set up server capabilities.
1. Stream Kodi on a Chromecast Using Android
The Android version of the Kodi app doesn’t offer native Chromecast support.
Therefore, the fastest way of streaming Kodi content on your TV is to use Android’s built-in Cast Screen feature. It allows you to cast anything on your screen, including unsupported apps.
Depending on how you’ve set up your phone, you might be able to activate the feature from the Notification bar by tapping on the Cast icon (it looks like a television). If you don’t see the feature, download the Google Home app, tap on the More menu in the upper left-hand corner (three vertical lines), and select Cast screen/audio.
After a short connection period, your phone’s screen should display on your TV. To watch a video, open the Kodi app and choose your content in the usual manner.
Unfortunately, although this is unquestionably the easiest way to cast Kodi from your Android device to your TV screen, it does have one significant drawback: battery life.
Because of the way the screencasting feature works, you will need to leave your phone’s display turned on the entire time you are streaming. Naturally, that will lead to your battery draining rather rapidly. On most devices, you can’t realistically expect more than a couple of hours of continuous playback.
If you’re planning an all-night binge, at the very least make sure you have a charger handy.
2. Use LocalCast to Stream Kodi on a Chromecast
If you don’t want to spend your life tethered to your charger, there’s a more battery-friendly way to stream Kodi from your Android device to a Chromecast. It’s just a bit more complicated to get up and running.
Before we go any further, you’re going to need three apps and a file:
- The Kodi app for Android (Free)
- The LocalCast app (Free)
- A file explorer app for Android
- The playercorefactory.xml file
Install the three apps and download the XML file before proceeding to the next step.
Ready? Great, keep reading.
Firstly, you need to open your file explorer app and enable the Show Hidden Files setting. The location of the setting will vary from app-to-app, but you should find it somewhere in the Preferences or Settings menu. There may even be a toggle on the explorer’s home screen.
Next, keep the explorer app open and navigate to your phone’s Downloads folder. Depending on your device manufacturer, you might find this at /sdcard/download, storage/emulated, /storage/0, or something similar. You need to copy the playercorefactory.xml file that you downloaded earlier.
When you’ve copied the file, it’s time to head to Kodi’s system files. You should find them in Android > Data > org.xbmc.kodi.
Tap on org.xmbc.kodi and navigate to Files > .Kodi > Userdata. Paste the XML file you copied into this folder (make sure you don’t paste it into one of the sub-folders).
You can now close your file explorer app and launch Kodi.
In Kodi, navigate to a video you want to watch and hit Play in the normal way. Kodi will automatically launch the LocalCast app that you downloaded previously. The LocalCast app will ask you which device you want to stream Kodi on. Select your Chromecast dongle.
Finally, hit Play one last time and your Kodi video will cast to your Chromecast-enabled television.
The big advantage of using LocalCast to stream Kodi is that you can turn off your phone or tablet’s screen without affecting video playback. As such, you will be able to conserve battery life.
The LocalCast method is also faster. Videos start playing on your Chromecast instantly, and there’s no need to mess around with screencasting and other settings. Due to the underlying technical processes, LocalCast method is also less likely to encounter pixelation or stuttering from CPU overload.
3. Stream Kodi From Your Computer to a Chromecast
Okay, we’ve covered how to stream content from Kodi to a Chromecast on Android, but what about if you use your computer as your Kodi hub?
Thankfully, it’s straightforward to accomplish. Just follow the simple step-by-step instructions below.
- If you don’t already have it, download and install Google Chrome onto your machine.
- Open Chrome.
- Click on the More menu (three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner).
- From the menu, select Cast.
- A new box will appear on the screen. Expand the dropdown menu next to Cast to.
- In the Share your screen section, click on Cast desktop.
Your entire computer screen will now be cast to your Chromecast. To stream Kodi, simply open the app and start playing a video.
The only real downside of this approach is that you’ll need to go to your computer every time you want to play or pause your video. If that becomes annoying, it might be worth spending some time setting up a Kodi remote control.
Other Ways to Watch Kodi
As we’ve demonstrated, it is possible to watch Kodi via a Chromecast device. However, if you’re a hardcore Kodi user, it’s probably wise to consider some of your other options.
For example, you could pick up an Nvidia Shield. Because it runs Android TV, there’s a native Kodi app that you can use.