The Chromecast at US$35 is a pretty cheap device for streaming content to your HD TV. It functions similar to the AirPlay feature on the AppleTV. Well, if $35 is too much, or you already have your hands on one of the Android Mini PCs which we frequently review here on GadgetReactor, there is now an option to emulate the Chromecast functionality – via the app CheapCast by Sebastian Mauer.
is already a pretty cheap device, but what if you don’t have one handy? Developer Sebastian Mauer is working on an emulator for Android called CheapCast. It would allow you to treat any Android device like a Chromecast, and it looks to be working just fine in his proof of concept video. A video speaks a thousand words, so here you go.
The video shows a phone sending video to a tablet, but it could be any device, even an Android HDMI stick. I have tested it on my MK908 and it works very well. The app will work for any web-based streaming option that runs on the Chromecast. However, tab casting is currently unfeasible as it uses WebRTC. CheapCast also doesn’t need root to work. Wonderful.
The Chromecast is interesting mainly because it makes it super-simple to get streaming video on your TV. I finally found an alternative way that works as easily as AirPlay on the AppleTV / iOS devices. It would be perfect once someone is able to emulate this feature on XBMC as well. Too bad I don’t have the ability to do so myself. Well, would this steal the target market away from Google? Probably. But it would also mean greater ChromeCast adoption and more widespread use of their service. Hopefully, it would also push Google to implement this functionality directly into Android.
The standard ChromeCast limitations still apply. IP Multicasting needs to be enabled/possible on the local network, i.e. neither the Chromecast device nor the application will be detected on restricted corporate networks.
Download CheapCast here: