or display anything on your TV actually, from your Mac or PC.

When I first got Google’s gadget (it only just came out in The Netherlands), I was a bit underwhelmed. Google’s vision for it seems to be that all content should be available online and that your mobile phone or tablet is the primary input device. This means that streaming photos, videos or audio from your Mac or PC is not as easy as it sounds.


That is, until I found this relatively hard to spot menu item in the Chrome browser extension. It allows you to choose what to stream; just the browser tab, the browser tab with audio or the entire screen! Obviously the last option makes it trivial to use your favorite photo app to display you holiday pictures on the TV in the living room. I can see this working for Keynote slides as well.

Stream your entire screen with Chromecast

For videos, I’ve been trying this extension called Videostream for Google Chromecast. It’s not as user friendly as Beamer, but works fine technically. It even supports subtitles. You might want to enable Caffeine though, to keep your Mac from falling asleep while playing.

Looking at streaming music, you can output audio while casting your screen (at least on Windows and Linux you can). The ‘Cast this tab (audio mode)’-setting works well for the web versions of Spotify, Soundcloud, Rdio, Pandora etc. It’s quite promising, but doesn’t come close to what Porthole can do for AirPlay yet.

SDK’s are available for iOS, Android and Chrome. When asked, Google said that an SDK for Macs isn’t planned. Which is understandable, but still disappointing. The user experience of working with local files through Chrome extensions isn’t perfect.