CheapCast Chromecast Emulator for Android (Beta) is Available for Download

Yesterday, I wrote developers were working on making any media App and any Android device compatible with Chromecast. Sebastian Mauer has taken care of the latter, by publishing CheapCast (Beta) in Google Play. Several people have been trying it successfully, including in iMito MX1 mini PC. I’ve been less lucky. I’ve tried it by running YouTube App in Zopo ZP900S smartphone (Android 4.0.4) with 4 devices:

  • Tronsmart T428 – “Works” but the video won’t start playing. (Bug reported in Github’s issue tracker) [Update: It now works with the latest version in Google Play].
  • MK908 – Refused to install anything in Google Play today… (Older Android 4.1 firmware)
  • Wandboard Quad – “Works” but the video won’t start playing.
  • CX-01 – CheapCast will crash when playing video

I can’t really play YouTube videos over 360p without buffering here, so the reason the video won’t start in T428 or Wandboard Quad might be due to my poor Internet connection.

Nevertheless here are some of the screenshots I’ve got from T428.

CheapCast_T428

When you start CheapCast, you’ll get the menu above. It allows you to change the Friendly name (default: CheapCast), set the service to start at boot time, donate the project, etc…

Once the service is running, let’s start YouTube app in the smartphone. It will detect a ChromeCast device and show the Cast icon. Pressing the cast icon, and selecting your “TV”, will show the screen below.

CheapCast_YouTube_T428

It looks good! Not select a video in the YouTube App, and it’s supposed to start playing the video in the TV. In my case I could only see the video information.CheapCast_YouTube_Video_T428

And after a short while, I’d get “Playing your video on CheapCast is taking an unusually long time” in the YouTube app as shown below.

YouTube_CheapCast_TimeOut

There are a lot of different firmware around, so you may have better luck on your Tronsmart T428, or other Android mini PC. Let me know if it can work for you.

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Brad Linder
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Plays well with the T518 mini PC on my network — although I could only get YouTube to work. Netflix doesn’t show a Chromecast icon and Google Play Movies looks like it’s going to work, but then fails every time.

http://liliputing.com/2013/08/cheapcast-turns-any-android-device-into-a-chromecast.html

Roger Jennings
Guest

Hi,

CheapCasting YouTube works for me on my MK908, which is running Android 4.2.2. However, the Netflix app doesn’t show CheapCast in the device list.

Cheers,

–rj

Roger Jennings
Guest

@Brad Linder
Hi,

The Chromecast icon appears for Netflix running on my MK908, but Netflix doesn’t detect my CheapCast instance. You Tube works fine. I assume it’s the PlayReady issue but I see the Chromecast icon on my Galaxy G4, whereas Brad doesn’t.

Cheers,

–rj

Ricky
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Ricky

I tried to stream my Chrome browser to MK802 III. But it didn’t work.

Err
Guest
Err

Could install the app without problems on my mk908 (4.2.2) but can’t play the video exactly as described above.

Nu7s
Guest
Nu7s

YouTube is working great on my MK808.

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[…] ChromeCast hardware on any Android 4.x devices such as smartphone, tablet, and mini PCs. I’ve tried CheapCast last week unsuccessfully on several hardware, but a recent update fixed that and I could use […]

onebir
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onebir

Maybe worth mentioning Picast:
http://www.thelinuxcauldron.com/2013/12/17/chromecast-alternative-picast-free-open-using-a-35-raspberry-pi/
But I don’t think it provides the exact same functionality.