These days, when I download any sort of streaming app to my phone, I just expect that it will support casting to Chromecasts and cast-enabled devices. For the most part, that is regularly true. One glaring exception has been my cable service. Xfinity, a.k.a. Comcast is the largest cable television provider in the United States but until very recently, the company’s Xfinity Stream services lacked the ability to cast media from desktop or mobile devices. The former was remedied a couple of weeks ago as Xfinity Stream finally brought the Cast protocol to its desktop site. That’s great and all but when I’m casting media, it’s usually from my phone. Thankfully, Xfinity Stream was already rolling out Cast to users on the Beta program and late last week, the official app was updated with the feature.
The Cast feature may seem like a small tweak but for those of us that live the cord-cutting, on-the-go lifestyle, casting from mobile is a way of life. Here at the office, at church or when we’re on the road, it is second nature to grab my phone and throw my video to the nearest cast-enabled display whether it’s a TV with a Chromecast or an Assistant smart display. It just works and it’s super simple.
Thanks to the latest update to the Xfinity Stream app for Android and iOS you can now cast all of your favorite movies and shows to the Chromecast device of your choice. This includes live TV, on-demand content, and programs you have saved on your DVR. Nothing earth-shattering here but it is a much-needed addition to Xfinity’s attempt at competing with standalone streaming services. Speaking of those, Xfinity Stream’s ability to cast to smart displays seems like a no-brainer but as Android Police’s Ryne Hager points out, this is a trick that Netflix has yet to learn. For reasons unknown, the streaming giant continues to refuse users the ability to cast Netflix media to any type of smart display despite Chromecast’s compatibility with Google’s Widevine DRM protocols. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see consumers abandoning Netflix in favor of Xfinity Stream or other platforms because of this gross omission but it begs the question, “why Netflix, why?”
Anyway, if you are an Xfinity Stream user, you can now cast your shows anywhere you, please. Just head over to your respective app store and make sure your Stream app is up to date and you’re on your way. Check back later as I continue my rant about Netflix and smart displays. It’s sure to be a page-turner and who knows, maybe Netflix will finally take the hint and give consumers something they want instead of The Last Airbender Movie because yeah, it’s the worst.