Streaming local media to Chromecast isn't that difficult of an endeavor these days. Sure, there isn't an official Google app that will slap those media files onto a TV for you, but between AllCast and Solid Explorer, there are options. There's also LocalCast, an app like AllCast whose singular purpose is to get media from your Android device to something with a bigger screen.

LocalCast1 LocalCast2 LocalCast3

The app's latest update has added the ability to connect to network storage via Samba and cast files from them straight to Chromecast. The feature works, though there are some issues. Chromecast doesn't support all video or audio codecs, and while LocalCast technically isn't to blame for the formats it can't play, it doesn't help you figure this out. You will have to experiment manually, staring at an endless spinner until you realize it isn't going to work. Here's Google's list of what your Chromecast should be able to handle.

Samba streaming also takes a little longer than casting files locally. The app creates a pass-through server, transferring files to your device first before sending them to the Chromecast. This adds to the amount of latency you can expect, especially with high bitrate videos.

Neither of these issues are deal-breakers, and they don't counteract how cool the new functionality is. LocalCast definitely gives competitors a run for their money, especially when you consider its clean and polished UI. Just note, it comes with ads by default, but paid options starting at $1.38 are available to get rid of them.

What's new:

  • Connect to your NAS via smb and cast the files
  • UI changes
  • Navigation drawer and settings tidied up
  • More settings: Sorting option / Hide path
  • Chrome logo removed
  • Queue added
  • The app now accepts all links from your browser, most embedded videos will play
  • Diashow added
  • Image and Music casting added
  • UI Redesign
  • Multiple fonts added

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • CaptainOblivious94

    Looks nice, I'll be sure to give it a try, but I've already bought BubbleUPnP, and that's worked beautifully with everything I've thrown at it so far. Local media, Plex Servers, Dropbox, etc. Not sure if it handles Samba, though.

  • Aaron Berlin

    Seems odd that this can't direct the Chromecast to pull media directly from networked storage.

    • Caster’s paradise

      I agree. I absolutely love the Chromecast, but this is very puzzling. I know this is all still very much beta, but the last of good, reliable network streaming options is glaring disappointment from an otherwise brilliant device.

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

      I imagine that needs a server to be installed on the storage side to make this happen. Otherwise, the app essentially starts its own pass-through server on the device, which is indeed not ideal. If someone figures out a way for the Chromecast to use the smb stream directly, it'd be pretty awesome but I think there's a reason it hasn't been done yet.

  • josuearisty

    Best of all is freeeeee!

  • Shitiz Garg

    Solid Explorer can do the same thing as well with it's latest cast plugin. Also, if you want support for any format I highly recommend Plex Media Server, if you have a good local Wi-Fi network it can easily sustain high bitrate video casting to Chromecast.

  • MJ

    Maybe a dumb question... Can either Allcast or Localcast mirror your tablet's display via Chromecast?

    • bungadudu

      Google doesn't want to give us this much requested feature :-(

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

      Not yet. And Allcast dev is working on an app called Mirror that would let you do it, but I doubt support for devices will be very wide. Plus, you'll probably need root.

  • Daniel Smith

    I've noticed the Chromecast lacks the audio codec used on a lot of MKVs.

    • archercc

      Yeah I was hoping this would work for streaming from my drive but it looks like its still not using chromecast to pull from the drive yet. But still kind of moot since, as noted, they dont support the audio codec for MKVs.

    • jonzey231

      See I am the exact opposite. Most of my MKVs will load up with AllCast but ONLY the audio will play and the video will never come through. I've been resorting to just loading them onto my Surface Pro and using the "Play To" feature and sending them to my 360.

      • Daniel Smith

        I hope Chromecast is updated.

  • Billy Billson

    Local cast free editions works flawless on nexus 5 no problems..amazing app,quality in play is amazing, why pay £3.00 for all cast or avia...local cast rocks!!...and its completely free!

  • Fin

    I downloaded localcast to my tablet but it doesnt let me watch anything from showbox. Does anyone know why?