Raspberry Pi Chromecast

In this Raspberry Pi Chromecast tutorial, we will be showing you how you can set up your Raspberry Pi to act as a Chromecast device. While we can’t implement the same protocol that Chromecast relies on we can replicate this on the Raspberry Pi.

We replicate its behavior by using two key pieces of software on the Raspberry Pi. The first of these pieces of software is omxplayer. This software handles the video and audio files that are cast to our Raspberry Pi.

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Our second piece of software is the OpenMax, Image viewer. We utilize this piece of software to handle images sent to the device.

Lastly, we rely on an Android application called Raspicast. This application is what we will utilize to cast videos, songs, and images to the Raspberry Pi.

While this setup does have a lot of similarities to Chromecast it’s important to remember that it isn’t Chromecast. There are some functionalities that the Raspicast software can’t do but Chromecast can.

Equipment List

Below are all the pieces of equipment that we made use of for this Raspberry Pi Chromecast tutorial.

Recommended:

Raspberry Pi 2 or 3

Micro SD Card

Ethernet Cord (Recommended) or Wifi dongle (Pi 3 has Wifi inbuilt)

Android powered mobile phone or tablet

Optional:

Raspberry Pi Case

Setting up Raspbian to operate as a Chromecast

1. Now before we get started with setting up our Raspberry Pi as a Chromecast-like device, we must first ensure that our Raspberry Pi is actually up to date and that we have the latest package list.

We can update our Raspberry Pi by running the following two commands on it.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

2. For this tutorial, we will require to use GIT and Make. While these packages should be pre-installed on Raspbian, we will run the command below just to make sure they are.

To ensure this is installed just run the following command on the Raspberry Pi.

sudo apt-get install git make -y

3. With our Raspberry Pi now up to date, we need first to make sure we have OMXPlayer installed, while Raspbian usually comes with this installed we will make sure it exists anyway.

The reason we need OMXPlayer is so that it can handle video and audio processing for any video or audio files that we cast to our Raspberry Pi Chromecast.

One advantage of OMXPlayer to other video and audio players is that it was designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi’s GPU meaning it offers some of the best performance, something that is critical for any files that are cast.

Run the following command to install OMXPlayer on to your Pi.

sudo apt-get install omxplayer -y

4. With OMXPlayer now installed to our Raspberry Pi, we need to move onto setting up the next piece of the pie. While we now have a piece of software ready that can handle our video and audio files we still need something that can handle images.

For the task of handling images on our Raspberry Pi Chromecast, we will be installing a piece of software that is called OpenMax Image Viewer.

OpenMax Image Viewer is a must for this project as it is a GPU accelerated image viewer explicitly designed for the Raspberry Pi’s GPU, meaning we can display any images as fast as possible and reduce the load on the Raspberry Pi’s CPU.

To begin the process of setting up OpenMax Image Viewer, we must first clone its code repository from Github.

Just run the following two commands on your Raspberry Pi to clone this repository to your Raspberry Pi.

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/HaarigerHarald/omxiv.git

5. With the OpenMax Image viewers code now cloned to our Raspberry Pi, we must now install a couple more packages.

These two packages that we need are libjpeg8-dev and libpng12-dev. These packages contain development libraries for the PNG format and the JPEG format, both which are required to compile the code.

Let’s download and install these packages to our Raspberry Pi by running the following command.

sudo apt-get install libjpeg8-dev libpng12-dev

Note: If for some reason Raspbian fails to find the packages, try reunning sudo apt-get update.

6. We can now finally proceed on to the steps to compiling and installing OpenMax Image viewer to our Raspberry Pi Chromecast device.

To start off, we must first change into the directory where we cloned our code, do this by running the following command on our Raspberry Pi.

cd ~/omxiv

7. Now that we are in the right directory we need to initialize the compiling process now. Compiling will give us the files we need to run the OpenMax Image Viewer software for our Raspberry Pi Chromecast device.

Thanks to the make software, compiling the code is a very simple and straightforward process.

To do this run the following two commands on the Raspberry Pi.

make iclient
make

8. With the OpenMax Image Viewer now compiled, there is one last command we must utilize.

This last command is what will setup OpenMax on our Raspberry Pi so that it is available to the general operating system.

Type the following command into the terminal on your Raspberry Pi, and you will be all set to proceed to the next section of our guide.

sudo make install

9. Now the last thing we need to do is grab our Raspberry Pi’s local IP address.

Run the following command to grab to do it, make sure the ‘I‘ is capitalized otherwise this command won’t work correctly.

hostname -I

Using Raspicast to cast to the Raspberry Pi

1. With our Raspberry Pi now setup to act like a Chromecast, we now need to download an app to our Android device.

This application is Raspicast. Raspicast is the piece of software that will allow us to cast images and videos from our Android devices to the Raspberry Pi.

Either search up “Raspicast” on the Google Play Store or go to the following URL to go directly to the Raspicast on your Google Play from this link.

Download, install and run the Raspicast application.

2.  You should now be greeted with the following screen. This screen will ask you to enter your SSH details as it will use these to talk to your Raspberry Pi.

If you haven’t already set up SSH on your Raspberry Pi, then you should do this now as it is required for the Raspicast software to talk with it.

Raspicast Screenshot

2. Once you have entered the correct information, you should now be able to cast videos, song, and images from your Android device to the Raspberry Pi.

We hope by the end of this Raspberry Pi Chromecast tutorial you should now be able to cast any video, images or audio files from your phone to your Raspberry Pi like a Chromecast using the Raspicast software. If you have any thoughts, feedback or anything else then be sure to head over to the forums.

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