When it comes to watching videos or listening to music on your computer, there is no better solution than VLC, the open source video platform that simplifies the playback of any type of file you may have saved on your device.
VLC works on almost every platform imaginable, from Windows and Mac, from Android to iOS and even supports Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Even better than compatibility with the operating system is the extensive VLC library of support codecs and file types.
As a media player and platform, VLC can read almost any video or audio file and can even play content from DVDs, CDs and online streaming platforms via a compatible URL.
Originally called VideoLAN Client, VLC has been somewhat circulating since 1996, and in the 22 years following the launch of the application, it has performed some important updates to the program framework.
How to use VLC with Chromecast
Version 1.0 was not launched until 2009, when the program finally left the beta after more than a decade of work.
In 2012, version 2.0 of VLC was launched, which brought new features and a better appearance of the application.
Although VLC still looks quite minimalist in terms of design, the core technology has gone through numerous updates to become the platform it is today.
Which brings us to version 3.0, a completely new update for the platform that allows numerous new features that will thrill many users.
Although in development since 2016, only on February 9, 2018 was launched VLC 3.0, which offers support for HDR10, HD audio passthrough, 360 video support, local network support and much more.
Some might wonder why this is important for this guide, but this is perhaps the most exciting part of launching version 3.0.
With the latest version of VLC, Chromecast support is now natively included in the application, allowing full support for any Google Cast-enabled device.
All Chromecast Audio devices and your Google Home, Home Mini, or Home Max drives are now supported with VLC 3.0 on all major desktop clients.
So the days of alternative solutions and difficulties have come to make sure that your local video or audio collection could be viewed or streamed locally on your television or sound system.
The most recent version of VLC is the answer to all your prayers.
Let’s take a look at how VLC 3.0 makes it easy to use your computer with Chromecast to stream local files or stream content from any device.
How to use VLC with Chromecast
To be able to stream on your Chromecast device, you need to know where the cast option is located within VLC.
Unlike most cast-compatible players, VLC does not use the standard Cast icon in the app, so if you’re looking for an icon to start streaming, you’re looking in the wrong place.
Instead, we recommend going to the menu at the top of VLC and running the “Playback” drop-down menu.
If you do not find it in the playback menu, you’ll probably find most of these options disabled and unusable. However, “Renderer” will be usable; go over this option to open the Cast menu.
If this is your first time to stream content from VLC to Chromecast or Google Home, you will not see any options in the Renderer menu, except for the “<Local>” option.
However, as soon as you switch to this menu, Windows Firewall will be activated, asking you for permission to allow VLC to use the network.
Accept the request and you will be able to initiate the transmission on your devices.
When you reopen the Renderer menu you will see all the devices enabled for transmission on the network appear.
With the Windows Firewall options set up and ready for use, all we have to do is connect VLC 3.0 to one of the broadcast devices on your network.
In our examples below, we use Google Home and a Chromecast Audio device to transmit audio however, VLC works with audio and video in the same way, and the instructions are identical.
From the Renderer menu, select the Casting option you want to connect to (the names of your devices, as set in the Google Home app on your phone or in Chrome, will be shown here).
After connecting to the device, drag some media files to VLC to start playing video or audio.
If you’re using a video-based Chromecast device, you’ll see the TV connect to the network to start streaming.
If you’re using a Google Home device or a Chromecast Audio device, here’s a short “jingle” play that tells you that your device is connected.
The multimedia content added to the VLC queue will start to play and you will hear the sound through the speakers or you will see the video on the TV.
Playback controls can only be manipulated/configured by the application, so we recommend keeping your laptop nearby to pause, play or skip the queue.
For those wishing to control cast playback from their phones instead of always using VLC, we can confirm that the buttons for playback are displayed within the Google Home app even on our smartphones.
Streaming problems with VLC
As mentioned earlier, Chromecast support on VLC, even in the official 3.0 version, is still, basically, in beta, and should not really be used to entertain friends at the moment.
The VLC subreddit is full of people who say that the current version is full of bugs and serious issues, especially and specifically when it comes to streaming video. To date, most have been solved.
If you are looking for a way to improve your experience, here are some methods that some users have suggested to make VLC a better platform for transmitting content.
- If you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows, make sure you have installed the x64 version of VLC instead of the x86 version, designed for 32-bit computers. Most modern Windows 10 devices use a 64-bit version of Windows, but you can check your version by opening the Control Panel, “System and Security”, then select “System”. You will find your version of Windows on this device, displaying the version of the operating system and if the processor is x86 or x64. You can find the 64-bit version of VLC here.
- As mentioned above, some types of video have difficulty streaming from VLC to your Chromecast devices. If you can, try playing native files from Chromecast.
- Some profitable VLC users have claimed that deleting system preferences within VLC after upgrading to VLC 3.0 has prevented video playback problems. To clear the VLC settings and restore the platform to a default state, select Tools> Settings and select “Restore settings” at the bottom of the settings page.
On the whole, however, you may face some problems when trying to use VLC with your Chromecast devices, just because the ability to stream to your TV or stereo is simply not yet defined.
That said, let us know in the comments below if you have any problems, we will do our best to see if there is a way to solve problems within VLC.