A Google Chromecast is a low-cost piece of streaming equipment. The Chromecast Ultra is more pricey, although it is still around $100. However, Chromecasts are not available in other regions of the globe.
What is the solution? A Raspberry Pi-based DIY alternative. You can setup this credit card-sized computer to accept video streamed via an Android app for less than $50.
Let me show you how to utilize Raspicast to turn your Raspberry Pi into a DIY Chromecast.
Install the Raspicast App
Begin by downloading and installing Raspicast on your Android smartphone. This is a free program that connects to and sends data to your Raspberry Pi. Raspicast is available in the Google Play app store. Unfortunately, no viable iPhone alternative exists.
Download: Raspicast for Android
It’s vital to remember that the Android phone and Raspberry Pi must be connected to the same network for this to operate. If you’re on the bus, you can’t, for example, stream video from your phone to your TV. If you want to share a film with someone at home, just send them the link!
Configure Raspbian for Casting
Turn your focus to the Raspberry Pi now that you’ve installed the software. This should be connected to your TV via HDMI and turned on. It should be noted that the Pi will need its own power supply; it cannot be powered by the USB connection on your TV. Even if the power rating was sufficient, the Pi should not be turned off without the proper instruction. Ignoring this will result in the SD card on the Pi being corrupted, therefore use the proper power supply.
We put it through its paces on a Raspberry Pi 4 running Raspbian Buster Lite. It should, however, work with other Raspberry Pi models and releases (although some of the commands may differ).
Before proceeding, ensure omxplayer is installed on your Pi:
sudo apt install omxplayer
Here’s a little primer since you’ll need SSH enabled. To activate it, you have three options:
- Using raspi-config. You may do this from the command line with sudo raspi-config, then pick Interfacing Options > SSH and confirm with OK.
- Use the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool to get started. Open Menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration from the Raspbian desktop. SSH should be enabled on the Interfaces tab.
- Finally, if you want to keep things simple, enable SSH before booting up your Pi. Insert the microSD card into your computer and go to the boot partition to create a new file. This should be named ssh and should not have a file extension. SSH should be enabled after replacing the SD card and rebooting.
The next steps may be completed using a keyboard attached to your Pi or SSH. To connect, open a terminal window and input the IP address of the Pi.
Take note of the IP address associated with your Pi’s connection. For example, use the IP address associated with the
entry if you use an Ethernet connection;
Run some updates after the SSH connection has been established. Open a terminal window on your Raspberry Pi and type:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
These instructions will update the operating system of your Raspberry Pi as well as locate and install any software updates.
Install and Build OpenMax
With the updates installed, we need the following packages:
sudo apt install libjpeg9-dev libpng12-dev
are required for applications that can work with JPG and PNG pictures. This will allow you to cast pictures and media to your Raspberry Pi using the Android Raspicast app!
Install OpenMax now. This is the greatest tool for casting video, music, and photos from Android to a Raspberry Pi connected to a TV. It’s accessible on GitHub, and you may install it on your Pi by “cloning” the data repository. I don’t have any
? Install it with
sudo apt install git
Then clone the repository with:
git clone https://github.com/HaarigerHarald/omxiv
This shouldn’t take long.
You’re almost finished; now it’s time to construct the OpenMax software. To begin, go to the omxiv directory and run the make command.
This will take a while. Once it’s done, install with:
sudo make install
A few moments later, OpenMax will be ready to use.
Get Ready to Cast to Your Raspberry Pi
You now have everything you need to cast from your Android handset to your Raspberry Pi. However, some Raspicast setting is still necessary.
- Run the Raspicast app.
- Enter your Pi’s hostname or IP address in the SSH settings.
- Enter your Pi’s login and password.
- Click OK to finish.
To cast to your Raspberry Pi, you have two options:
- Navigate to the material in the Raspicast app and press the play button.
- To cast from YouTube, locate the video in the app and choose Share > Cast (Raspicast).
Meanwhile, utilize the main Raspicast panel and pick Cast to broadcast films, music, and photographs to your Raspberry Pi display. This will bring up a screen that lists all of the videos on your Android smartphone.
Selecting a media file on any of the associated tabs will cause it to be played back immediately on your Raspberry Pi.
Do you want to alter the IP address inside the app (for example, to cast to a different Pi)? Select SSH Settings from the “three dots” menu. Simply enter the new IP address and password.
More Raspicast Options
In the Raspicast menu, there is now an option to repeat the currently playing file. Audio output may be modified further down the list, utilizing HDMI (default), local, both, or alsa. This will come in handy for anybody who uses an external audio solution with their Pi.
You should also have a look at the Advanced settings screen. Manage a file queue, volume (audio volume offset), and custom commands here. You may also use HTTP instead of HTTPS if required, among other things.
Meanwhile, click the Files button on the main Raspicast panel to explore and play material saved on your Raspberry Pi. This includes audio streaming, transforming your Raspberry Pi into a Chromecast audio device!
You Can Also Cast With Kodi!
While Raspicast cannot be used with a Raspberry Pi running Kodi, there is an option. You can also transmit media to a Raspberry Pi running Kodi using the Kore remote control software for Android.
Download: Kore, Official Remote for Kodi
Install the program, configure it using your Raspberry Pi’s IP address, and then go to YouTube. Tap the Share button on the video you wish to cast, then Play on Kodi, much like Raspicast.
This will immediately stream the video to your TV via Kodi!
Other Chromecast Alternatives
The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only Chromecast option. You could have a solution that you were not aware of. A YouTube app for your smart TV, gaming console, or set-top box may be available, allowing for convenient streaming.
Casting videos from the YouTube app to the TV is normally doable in this circumstance, as long as the receiver is on the same network.
While there are alternative HDMI streaming methods, if you have a device with an official YouTube app (such as the Apple TV), you should be able to cast to it. If you don’t have any of these devices or a Raspberry Pi, Miracast is a good substitute.
Want to take your media streaming with Raspberry Pi to the next level? Here are the finest Raspberry Pi media server configurations.
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