I admit, after a bit of research, I’m a bit behind the times on this one. However, I wanted to share it so that some others may be able to take advantage of this great app in the event that you missed out on the info.
The app, Avia, is available for free from the Google Play Store. Upon trying to cast to your Chromecast, though, you will be prompted to make a $2.99 purchase to enable local content casting and the removal of ads.
Do this. Do it right now.
I just installed, upgraded and cast a locally stored video from my Nexus 7 and it was sublime. Perfect. Frame-for-frame, it was flawless.
I know many of you reading this know exactly how the Chromecast works and how it differs from a simple media-casting device. For those who don’t, however, let me sum it up for you: the Chromecast has a tiny OS on it that allows it to stream and encode media from multiple sources. YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, etc. When you have a piece of media cued up on a device (any device, even iPhones) and you see the cast symbol, you can cast that media to the Chromecast. When you do this, you are not performing a device-to-device stream. Instead, your device tells the Chromecast where to go fetch the same media and then begins streaming it on its own. So once you get it rolling, you are free to do whatever you like on your device while still having control over the video’s timeline, play, pause and volume. This is perfect because it doesn’t kill your battery and it benefits the video quality.
That last part is because in order for video to make it to your TV from your device on a normal casting setup (like the AppleTV), the device serving up the media has to stream, encode, and send that media over the local network. Then the streaming device has to decode the info and present it on the big screen.
This can be a load on any device. And anyone who has streamed video from a device to an AppleTV, Samsung AllShare, or HTC Media link can attest to the “pretty good” quality of this method. It works, but lots of frames drop and video quality suffers. I’ve owned or used each of these devices and have never been fully pleased with the video casting.
To be honest, I was expecting the same issues with Avia. I spent the $3 thinking I was going to have the same, average quality video casting, figuring that the ability to throw up some pics would still be nice even if video playback was sub-par.
I was really wrong.
Playback of an hour and a half movie was not only good, it was superb! No frame drops. No artifacting. No lag. No skips.
If you have lots of local media you’d like to seamlessly cast to the big screen, I could not be more pleased to recommend this app and its relatively low price to anyone! Grab it now!
[photo credit: Google Play]