Cast to TV Gnome Shell Extension

Conclusions

Thanks to Cast to TV, Chromecast integrates almost seamlessly into the Gnome desktop. At the push of a button, you can stream local content to your TV set or a stereo system equipped with Chromecast Audio. Some audio/video receivers even support Chromecast out of the box, and TV sets with Android TV definitely do. Thanks to the Cast to TV Links add-on (see the boxout) you don't even have to reach for your mobile phone if you want to watch YouTube and other online streaming video on your TV.

Even without a Chromecast device in the house, Cast to TV has huge potential. In cooperation with Cast to TV, Playercast adds the functions of a Chromecast dongle to a Raspberry Pi or any other Linux-compatible computer. The software is easy to install and fulfills its purpose without too much work.

Cast to TV Links Add-on

Sending web content directly to the Chromecast receiver with Cast to TV is still somewhat experimental. To do this, you have to install an additional Gnome extension, the Cast to TV Links add-on [9]:

$ cd /tmp
$ git clone https://github.com/Rafostar/cast-to-tv-links-addon.git
$ cd cast-to-tv-links-addon
$ make install

Log out of the desktop and back in again and use Extensions | Optimizations to activate the new Links add-on.

To load a web stream from the Internet, the add-on uses the youtube-dl [10] command-line tool. Make sure you install it up front with

sudo apt install youtube-dl

(on Ubuntu). As a final step, open Cast Settings from the Gnome panel and install the missing npm modules in the Modules tab by selecting Install npm modules.

Now all web videos from all sources supported by youtube-dl [11] can be sent to the Cast to TV receiver, including YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, and others. A new Link entry shows up under Cast Media. On opening, a dialog appears where you can copy and paste a link (Figure 6). A click on the Cast link button transfers the video.

Figure 6: The optional Cast to TV Links add-on lets you stream web videos to your TV from YouTube or other video portals.

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