While the Chromecast is nothing new, and most of the apps that are available have had Chromecast support for quite some time, there's still plenty of new Chromecast owners out there that may not know what is available and are looking for an easy way to get media to their TV. We've put together a list of Ten different apps that you can use to stream video to you Chromecast connected TV or monitor, and enjoy anything from streaming movies and TV shows, to local content.
First up is Plex. Plex wasn't one of the original Chromecast apps to be released when the device launched, but since it's debut it's certainly been one of the more popular ways to stream your local media. The great thing about Plex is that it allows you to setup your own home media server on your main PC, and stream any of the Movies or TV shows that you sync to the server on your Chromecast. It's a nice way to make things easy for viewing, and a great way to keep all you of your Videos in one spot. With the Plex for Android app it's simple to hit play and just tap on the Chromecast button, and you'll be watching a video on your TV in no time. To use Plex with Chromecast, you currently have to subscribe to Plex pass, which has three different fee options. There's the monthly which will set you back $3.99 a month, the annual pass which is $29.99, and then the lifetime pass which is a one time fee of $74.99. The lifetime pass is the best option if you plan to use Plex for your main media server needs for quite a while. Usability is great, and the app even has some cool features like auto filling the artwork for all the videos.
Everyone should be familiar with Allcast at this point, and if you're not, that's ok because you can become acquainted with it now. Allcast is an app developed by Koushik Dutta, which allows you to stream local content to your Chromecast connected device. It works differently than Plex, and doesn't offer the same organized library of folders you'll have via the media server that Plex does, but it has no monthly fee and instead opts for a one time purchase of $4.99 to use the app with no stream limit. It allows streaming to various other devices as well, like Xbox consoles and Roku boxes, among others.
If you're an HBO subscriber with your cable service than the HBOGO app is a must have use with the Chromecast. It allows you to stay up to date on all your favorite HBO shows like Game of Thrones, and others, and you can stream it all to the big screen that your chromecast device is connected to. This way if you take the dongle with you to somewhere that doesn't have HBO service, you can just plug in the dongle and stream via the HBOGO app. The app is free with your current HBO subscription.
Avia is another one of those apps that lets you stream local media and content to Chromecast, but it also works as a media player on your Android device itself. So whether you're wanting to watch something on a bigger screen so friends or family can enjoy the content with you, or on your Android device if you're watching by yourself, Avia will allow you stream local movies, music, and photos all wrapped in one easy to use app. Avia is a free app to download and use, but for the Chromecast feature you'll have to make a one time IAP of $2.99.
Juice For Chromecast:
Juice works like Allcast and Avia, and is one more app that you can use to stream local media content to Chromecast. Juice For Chromecast is also free like Avia, but it lets you stream to the Chromecast for free. However, you can only stream the first item in your library list of content, so in order to stream whatever you have stored, you'll have to make a one time IAP of $2.99, once again just like with Avia. The UI seems pretty simplistic, but the app is easy enough to use and also has no monthly fee.
RealPlayer Cloud is one of the better Chromecast supported apps out there, as it lets you sign up for RealPlayer Cloud free of charge. The free version of the service limits you to 2GB of storage space in the Cloud account, which you can use to store any of your favorite Movies, TV Shows, or any other Videos you want and stream it to the Chromecast. You can stream whatever you have uploaded to your cloud account or whatever you have stored locally on your Android device. The app is free, so if you store everything on your device locally and have either a large amount of onboard storage or a large microSD card, you'll get much more than the limited amount of cloud space, plus you won't have to upload a thing, saving you a little bit of time, and allowing you more time to stream!
Localcast is yet another app to give you an option for local streaming content to the Chromecast. The differences here about this particular app compared to Allcast or Avia, is that it won't cost you a penny. It will however cost you more of your time. What I mean by that is, for the benefit of getting free streaming of local content, you might lose some time trying to make sure that whatever you want to stream to the Chromecast using this app is of the correct supported format. So you won't have to pay anything to use Localcast, but it doesn't currently support a wide array of formats.
HuluPlus is one of those apps that was among the first to receive Chromecast support. HuluPlus has a large library of movies and TV shows at your disposal, with plenty that are currently airing and are updated on a regular basis. HuluPlus will cost you about $7.99 a month, but the app and the availability to use it is free for subscribers.
Netflix was another one of the very first apps that had support for Chromecast. In fact, it had support right from the get go of the Chromecast launch. Stream thousands of Movies and TV shows to your Chromecast, including Netflix originals like Arrested Development and my personal favorite, House of Cards, which just released Season 2 of the show last week.
We all know YouTube. The popular Google owned service that allows users to upload their personal videos to the web for all to see. Youtube was another Chromecast launch available app, and it's a great tool for sharing all sorts of videos with friends and family. The interface is easy to use, allows you to stream video by video or put videos up in a playlist so they play continuously. This definitely is one of the must have apps for a Chromecast user.