How to stream from VLC to your Chromecast

VLC makers have been working on developing Chromecast support for a while now, and it is finally here, available in the 3.0 version. What does this exactly mean? Well, you can stream audio and video files from your VLC media player to your Chromecast.

Caution: Although this feature is in the stable VLC version, it can be a bit problematic. People have had various experiences; some say it works smoothly for them, and some report that it has issues with some types of media files. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to try and see if it works for you. Anyway, it should just keep getting better.

Basic requirements

As we already mentioned, the feature is available only in the 3.0 version of VLC for Mac and Windows, so you will need a Mac or Windows PC and the latest version of VLC in order to continue.

Naturally, you will need a Chromecast device or television which uses Android TV as its software (for example Sony’s modern TVs), or an Android TV device, such as the NVIDIA SHIELD, as they accept Chromecast standard streams. The PC or Mac that you will be using to stream and the Chromecast device have to be on the same local network. The network can be either wireless or wired; it doesn’t matter.

Casting video from VLC

If you have finished downloading and installing the suitable version of VLC, you have everything you need to get started. Before doing anything else, check if your television and Chromecast are on.

At first, you won’t be able to find a “Cast” icon in VLC. In order to find your Chromecast, you have to click on Playback > Renderer > Scan. Maybe your Chromecast has already appeared on the menu; if that’s the case, click on it.

Next, open any video file in VLC and click on the Play” button. Utilize the Media > Open File option or simply pull and drop the video file from the file manager into the VLC window.

When you attempt to play the video, an “Insecure site” sign will appear. Click on “View certificate” to see your Chromecast’s safety certificate.

vlc chromecast insecure popup

Now, click on “Accept Permanently” to agree with the certificate.

vlc chromecast insecure certificate popup

After agreeing, the video file is supposed to begin playing immediately on your Chromecast. Your Chromecast will stream the file from the VLC player on your PC. If you wish to pause, rewind, fast-forward, or anything else, use the controls in the VLC window.

If you try to stream again in the future, you will just need to scan and connect by using the Playback > Render menu. After that, you can play video files without accepting the certificate again.

Bear in mind that this feature is still being developed. The first time I tested it on my SHIELD and PC, the video played back with a bunch of missed frames and the audio wasn’t in complete sync. At the time I wrote this, any other way to playback a video would have been a better option. For example, using a flash drive to load local media and play it back via a set-top box or smart TV might have been better.

It didn’t work, what now?

If you are experiencing problems, give it some time. This feature needs to be further developed. Try other ways to watch video files on your Chromecast if this VLC feature doesn’t function properly for you for the time being.

You could use Google Chrome’s built-in casting gadget to stream your PC’s desktop video to your Chromecast. You can start it by opening Chrome and clicking on the Chromecast symbol, or just click on the menu and then on “Cast”.

Then, next to “Cast to” you will see a drop-down menu; select it. Change the source to “Cast Desktop” from the Chrome tab. Then select an Android TV device or your Chromecast.

When Chromecast starts broadcasting the entire screen, open VLC and play your video in fullscreen. You should know that the Chromecast video streaming protocol mainly focuses on speed, not on quality, so the quality of the video will be way lower than in the above steps.

For downgrading back to a more stable VLC version, go to their homepage, download the ongoing stable build, and install it.