Plex on the Chromecast! It’s Official.

12.06.13 296 Comments

Do you remember where you were when Google announced the Chromecast?

I do. I was in our online chatroom hanging with the Plex crew when the news broke. We realized immediately that the diminutive little dongle and Plex would be a match made in heaven. We simply couldn’t imagine an easier (or cheaper) way to fling your media onto every big screen in the house. The entire team ran off to buy Chromecasts immediately, and soon we were shipping extras to our colleagues who didn’t manage to buy them before online stores ran out.

I’m happy to tell you that over the last few months, we’ve been working closely with Google to bring Plex to the Chromecast. It’s an honor for us to be among the first handful of apps on the device, and it’s been great working with Google – we’ve never met a smarter or more energetic group of people to work with.

One of the most interesting aspects of adding Chromecast support to Plex was integrating it with our existing support for remote players and remote control. We wanted to make sure that the user experience across Plex players, AirPlay devices (from iOS), and Chromecast devices was both seamless and rich, and we took the opportunity to greatly enhance our own remote control support in the process. You’ll notice a much better experience when flinging media or remote controlling all our players, including Plex Home Theater, the Roku, Windows 8, iOS, Android, and of course our web player.

The Chromecast platform itself is super cool; the device runs the Chrome browser, and each “application” is essentially a web page that the controller apps talk to. This is a really flexible model, as it allows for arbitrary sorts of applications on the big screen (one of Google’s examples is a Tic-tac-toe game).

We’re excited to be launching today with support for Chromecast on iOS, Android, and on the web! We have support for video, and we’ll be releasing support for casting photos and music very shortly. Note that for an initial period, the Chromecast feature is only available to our beloved PlexPass users, who get exclusive access to many new features.

Make sure you have the latest media server installed, and go have fun with your Chromecast! And if you use Android, make sure you have the latest Plex for PlexPass release or download it from our forums.

 
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 2013 12 06 at 9 59 PM

Did you know Barkley is a huge fan of the Chromecast? Well, now you do. And he’s picky about his consumer electronics, too.

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296 Comments

  • Started using the Chromecast with a Plex server running on Windows 2012 Essentials — so far, it looks pretty darn good and was easy to set up. I use an iPad to control it. I have it set to cast “1920×1080 unlimited” and that looks fine. But does this mean if I stream a 720p source, it will be recoded to 1920×1080 by the server? I see a lot of “judder” on 720p sources (stuttering on pans, for example). While the iPad app will show me how a source is encoded, is there some way to tell what the server decided to do for a given source — stream as-is, remux, or transcode either video or audio or both?

    • @UweB ~ we never “up-transcode”, those resolutions are just bounding box maximums :) You can tell right now by looking at the media server log.

  • Yes, but when will it be “public”? I paid for the app already, when can I use it fully with my “official” chromecast function? Another month? 6 months? I love the program, but can’t use the only function I bought it for..

  • @ally hayes,
    Download the Google Cast Extension for your Chrome Browser
    Go here and give it a try:
    https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3212008?hl=en&ref_topic=3210038

  • It looks like from the PR text in this article ( http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/31/marvell-flaunts-its-aramada-1500-mini-cpu-powering-chromecast/ )that the chromecast can support DTS and Dolby’s HD codecs. Is it possible to work on supporting these? This would be the last thing to make this app amazing!
    I just picked up a chromecast and purchased PlexPass (Lifetime) to use it. I love your product!

  • Nice app, but curious to why I can’t do offline playback (plexsync) with chromecast? Be ideal for travelers.

    • @david n ~ I believe that is supported with Android, and will likely be supported on iOS in the future.

  • Plex is great. When might pictures be supported for casting to the chromecast?

  • I’ve noticed lots of people keep asking when this is going to be made available to the non-plex pass subscribers and they keep getting ignored. Is there a timeframe for when this will be made available to everyone?

    • @Cory ~ as I’ve stated a few times, there’s no fixed timeframe. Historically the timeframes have varied :)

  • Works fine with local files, but the Channels? Like, none of them work… not sure why?
    “Chromecast can’t play this.”

  • I recently purchased a subscription for Plex. Within 7 minutes of making my account. First off, brilliant piece of software. Little problem I ran into, when I try and cast images from my android [iPhoto channel] on to my chromecast, I just get a “Chromecast can’t play this”. Is this a soon to come feature? or am I doing something horribly wrong.

    • @Ameen ~ We don’t yet support photos and music casting, but we will!

  • Everything works greatexcept for casting Channels to Chromecast. it just sits and spins with the show information on the screen. Is this a Plex program issue or an issue on the chromecast side?

    Thanks for the support!

    • @Michael ~ it should work, but we’d need more details about which channel :)

  • so here it is Feb 7th. I have 3 Chromecast dongles and just realized that I would need to have a Plex Pass to stream from my Home Media Server. Many have asked the question about when the trial period would be over. My thoughts are NEVER. Why can’t we “preview” it for free. Since Chromecast has been opened up for app development I would think that there WILL be free apps besides PLEX soon that will do this same function. I like PLEX but if I can get something else for free why wouldn’t I (even if I have to watch ads). ROKU users don’t have to pay to use PLEX I don’t believe.

    • @lovechromecastloatheplex ~ Really, loathe Plex? Because we give our premium members special treatment? We could leave Chromecast in Plex Pass forever, but we’re not going to. Relax, have a homebrew. You’ll be casting before long :)

  • Hi

    I’m running plex media server on my Synology NAS 411+II . Will i be able to cast to my chromecast via my Ipad or Iphone from that version of Plex Media Server if i upgrade to PlexPass?

  • Hi,

    I purchased the Plex app from the Play store only to realise that the Chromecast support is for plex-pass premium subscribers. When will regular users get the feature?

    Regards
    Sunil

    • @Sunil ~ after the preview period, which doesn’t have a fixed duration.

  • Hey guys, just got a subscription..installed the server on my Mac Book pro, and installed the app on my iPhone. Works great overall, I can play all my movies and tv shows through chrome cast and its really cool. One issue I have is when my phone turns the display off and I go back into the app I don’t see how to get back ingot he video thats being chromecasted to pause or rewind. the only course of action I see is to restart the broadcast, am I missing something?

    Also, is there a way to chrome cast straight from the media server cause that would be a big wow factor to me and cutting out a step would be sweet!

    thanks guys!

  • The rear channels in a multichannel source file don’t work when streaming to chromecast. Is this a known issue and will it be resolved in the next server update?

    • @Craig ~ it’s been fixed already in v0.9.9.2 of the media server.

  • Everyone is just so excited for non plex pass chromecast support, because it seems so awesome and all love plex! I’m sorry for anyone who is being rude about it! I really appreciate your work!!! I know there are many just that share my appreciation!:) I think you do a great job answering questions and hope you never take them nasty comments personally because for every sour apple in the bunch there are hundreds of good ones!:) love you plex team and look forward to the future development

  • love plex! the free version meets my needs, but i’d gladly pay for the advanced features if i wanted to use them. i just think that you have a curious release model; letting your premium (paying) customers essentially beta-test your product before releasing a more stable, feature rich version to the rest of us poor slobs. i’m just sayin’…

    and yeah, patience is not one of my few virtues, so i’ll join the beta testers for a while. on second thought, that release model is starting to make sense ;)

  • I see my “yet to be moderated” response was not approved. What a surprise, you guys are so tired of people being unhappy about spending so much time setting up the media server and then discovering this is an app which does NOTHING unless you subscribe. At this point, any app claiming to make the chromecast useful must be disregarded. I should have known better.

    • @Doug ~ with all due respect, sir: (1) the media server is most definitely not useful unless you subscribe and (2) both apps make it clear in their descriptions that Chromecast support is in preview at the moment.

  • Does Casting a video/movie go through the remote plex.tv website or is it a local stream from my media server? Obviously, a local stream would afford me the ability to stream in much higher quality.

    • @Joe ~ through your local server!

  • I made some videos to help explain how to use Plex, Chromecast and you will be able to watch Xbmc channels.

    http://youtu.be/_96Gry0xXhU Iphone

    http://youtu.be/P4k-ZtfFBYQ Ipad

    http://youtu.be/VgSGhOYc4ZA Android

  • How do you specify what content or turn off the slideshow on the ready to cast screen when using chromecast? If you have content that you don’t want to show, ie risque pictures, they are still bunched into and shown on the ready to cast screen.

  • How does external SRT files work? Does Plex have to transcode these subtiles in, or is there a way to send these external subtiles to a compliant format for the Chromecast. What about external webvtt file? Could Plex convert SRT to webvtt on the fly? Would this just need to be muxed in?

    • @Bunklung ~ we burn the subtitles in for Chromecast at the moment.

  • Does the client (Chromecast) transcode videos or does it make the server do all the work? (e.g. like Plex running on Roku/NowTV)

    • @JoeW ~ the server does any work that’s needed.

  • Unable to purchase plexpass :/ Guess I’ll pass on this.

    • @Warlock ~ anything we can help with? Email plexpass at plexapp and we can lend a hand.

  • Figures. Not even a week after I bough the lifetime plexpass so I could use chromecast. I’m such a sucker! Way to go, Plex. I’m excited about a couple of the new features anyway :)

  • This is great. Just curious – as chromecast uses the DiAl protocol, is there a chance that plex could support flinging video to other DiAl devices? The 2013 Sony Bravia TVs appear to support this for instance – supporting flinging video from netflix and youtube apps on itunes.

    If I could use my ipad to browse my plex library and then play it on my TV that would be perfect. At the moment I’m using a DLNA app as a workaround, but that means not using the lovely plex ios app

  • First — Thank you so much for your work with Chromecast. I think this marriage of plex to chromecast makes it the most logical and cheapest device and software combination to accomplsh all that I want to do with my entertainment files.
    Now the question: I had an issue with the plex app and Chromecast, so I searched here in the forums. Seems others were having the same issue, and one of the users referred to the thread (or a thread in the section) about Chromecast. I clicked the link, and it said I wasn’t allowed there. Upon a little better reading, it would seem that this is in a section of the site that is only accessible to PlexPass members. However, now that Chromecast functionality has been extended to everyone, there is no specific chromecast section for folks to go and discuss, find answers, etc. It’s spread between iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac forums (at the least). Can the chromecast section that was in the PlexPass area of the forums be moved now that the functionality has been extended to everyone? Again, thanks! I have purchased the iOS app, but as I get things set up and working the way I want, I will likely make a contribution to your work as well.

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