How To: Stream movies from Google Drive to Chromecast
Now that Google has dropped the price of storage even further, consumers are able to score tons of cloud-based storage at very reasonable prices.
For those unaware, Google now offers 15GB of Drive storage per account at no cost. Said storage can be used across Gmail and Google+ photos.
Moving up the chain, you can jump directly to 100GB of storage for a mere $1.99 per month. Cough up $10 a month and you’ll have a full terabyte of Drive space to host all of your files. And yes, there are more options beyond that.
Naturally, you’re wondering if you couldn’t maybe upload some legally obtained videos or files and stream them to your Chromecast. Of course you can! In fact, there are a number of ways you can do this.
One way to achieve this is via Plex’s service known as Plex Pass. Offered in monthly, yearly, and lifetime subscription options, you can purchase for as low as $3.99/month. Once you’ve got a Plex Pass you’ll be able to sync files across Box, Dropbox, Bitcasa, and Google Drive. Indeed, you can turn any of those cloud-based hosting options into a virtual media server. Plex is also offered as a standalone app which can stream your local media to Chromecast; no PlexPass required.
Another option that’s certainly worth digging into is BubbleUpnP Server, a streaming media solution that supports cloud-based services. A recent update to the Android app gives users the ability to cast audio, video, and photos from a variety of sources.
Using BubbleUPnp you can also stream files not currently natively supported by Chromecast, including MOV, AVI, Xvid, MKV (DTS), WMA, FLAC, TS and more. To do so you’ll need to download and install the BubbleUPnP Server 0.8 (or later) on your computer.
Note that you’ll want as powerful of a device as possible to do the transcoding. Also, the free version of BubbleUPnP (Android) allows for 20 minutes of video streaming whereas the paid licensed version removes the restriction.
One of the more popular Android apps with Chromecast support, AllCast, is also able to sync and stream files via Google Drive. To achieve this you’ll need to download and install the premium version of the app; the free one only allows for 1-minute playback of videos.
As one of the first Android applications to support the Material Design principles set for by Google, LocalCast looks as good as it works. In addition to casting from Google Drive, you’ll also be able to stream files from your local device, Google+, Dropbox, and other sources. Plugins available for PDF support and cloud streaming; not necessarily required.
Going the second and third routes might take a bit of know-how, patience, and messing around with your router configuration. It’s not something we recommend you go into blindly and without doing homework. With that said, these also offer some of the best flexibility. If you’ve got a bunch of connected devices (Smart TVs, gaming consoles, SONOS, etc) in your house, then these could yield a lot of fun in the long run.
We should also point out that there are some restrictions in place for Google Drive. Sync and upload, for instance, is limited to 10GB per file and resolution is set with a maximum of 1920×1080. While we don’t imagine this to be a problem for most needs, it could prove tricky. Also, there are file type restrictions in place. As of today, these are the formats allowed by Google Drive:
- WebM files (Vp8 video codec; Vorbis Audio codec)
- .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – (h264 and mpeg4 video codecs; AAC audio codec)
- .AVI (MJPEG video codec; PCM audio)
- .MPEGPS (MPEG2 video codec; MP2 audio)
- .FLV (Adobe – FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)
We will continue to keep our eyes open for other methods of casting from Google Drive. If you have a particular way that you like to do this, please do consider dropping us a line!