The Chromecast 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.

The video shows a phone sending video to a tablet, but it could be any device, even an Android HDMI stick. 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.

The Chromecast is interesting mainly because it makes it super-simple to get streaming video on your TV. I'm not sure if this emulator will be a better option than a $35 Chromecast, but it's nice to have the option to send video to any device. This functionality may be coming to Android natively at some point, but the developer community doesn't need to wait on Google. Mauer promises more updates soon.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://addisontodd.com/ Addison Todd

    Wow. Aannnndddd app please.

  • herman miranda

    i can do this already with no app needed on my s3 and note10.1

    • Adam Lawler

      A solution all android device combinations can use has wider appeal.

  • fsdgasdg

    but the chromecast is so cheap

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/rsrmean rMean

      but available only in the US. people hate to wait for sth of which noone knows if it will ever be released somewhere else :-)

    • Floss

      But you may want to be able to do more than just Cast. I can see being able to install this on Google TV or a cheap Android dongle that is capable of much more would be interesting.

    • raindog469

      For those of us who've already shelled out for an Android stick (that costs 5-10 bucks more than a Chromecast but has more than double the specs, direct XBMC compatibility and full Google Play store access) it's not really that cheap. Actually, that goes for those who don't already own an Android stick, too, at least once the stick makers start including this functionality by default. Prices are only coming down.

  • Chris Jutting

    I wonder if this would work on my Ouya. That would be awesome!

  • IamTheFij

    Also checkout Leapcast (https://github.com/dz0ny/leapcast). Turn any computer into a Chromecast.

    • Flo Edelmann

      remove the ")" at the end of your link, please.

      • IamTheFij

        Thanks. That's an annoying bug in Disqus. Most systems won't include something like () in the URL.

        • shonangreg

          I usually put a space around my links ( http://www.example.com ) It is not just disqus that screw it up at times.

  • Nicolas Leotier

    I have an old device (HTC Wildfire S) so this could be really awesome because I can't buy a Chromecast (I'm French). But I wonder if this could work on an old device like that.

    • JGrubb

      I don't think the Chromecast discriminates against you because you're French. But, yes, sucks that it's not available in France. In other news, we here in the States are having a hard time getting our hands on it.

      • Kaero

        Nope, it just discriminates because you're not American.

        • Fred

          It discriminates against Americans by releasing internal traffic logs by court mandates

    • Mike Reid

      Chromecast is a cheap little low CPU power device, so my guess is yes, assuming you can get Cheapcast running on it.

    • Android Developer

      can your device really play youtube well ?
      could it work with HD videos ?
      i saw the older HTW wildFire, and it was a very very slow device, which i really don't understand how it got to be so popular.

  • atlouiedog

    This is cool to me because it's running in the background. I could connect an Android powered XBMC box to my TV and use Yatse (really great XBMC remote) on my phone for controlling it while also being able to push incompatible stuff, like Netflix, to the device.

  • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

    AP should contact the dev, and request he change the name immediately. This is great, but the name is terrible.

    • Justin W

      Agreed - it implies that it's cheaply made. InexpensiveCast would be much better :D

      • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards



        • Justin W

          Yeah, I was just pointing out that "cheap" shouldn't be used in most cases where inexpensive can work. It was a joke :)

        • RitishOemraw

          DreamCast (might evoke a CnD)
          TheCastAndTheCurious (my personal favorite tied with Batman)
          BeamNCast (works if you can nfc beam it to the other device)
          TwoCastTwoCurious (my personal favorite tied with Batman)



          • jesuguru

            I think someone needs to be Castrated.

          • RitishOemraw

            The entire Cast of Cast away, because they need to Cast their luck elsewhere, before we get another Rains of CASTamere styled wedding?

          • WHO?

            I actually like CastAway as a good name.

      • Mike Reid

        InexpensiveCast doesn't roll off the tongue as easy.

        Cheap is "just a word" and I presume it's not going to be sold as a product to the great unwashed masses who won't buy a product with Cheap in the name.

  • Hernando Desoto

    I have an old Nexus S that has a broken power button that I could use to stream music from Google Play onto my stereo in the other room. I'd been considering getting a new receiver (I only have an integrated amp right now) and a chromecast, but this is a much better option!

    • Hernando Desoto

      Argh, Google Music, not Google play.

      • RajivSK

        It's actually Google Play Music... But whatever.

  • ocdtrekkie

    The real question... Nexus Q? There's like a $400 bounty on porting Chromecast to the Nexus Q on XDA.

  • Jordan

    The real question is can they have that app usable on the old google tvs so that they can stream in the same way

  • imneveral0ne
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii