Yesterday, tech news site GigaOM posted a story about the music streaming service Pandora coming to the Google Chromecast. They found that the meta description of the Chromecast website had been updated to read:
Chromecast is the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV. Plug it into any HDTV and control it with your existing smartphone, tablet, or laptop. No remotes required. Cast your favorites from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Chrome to your TV with the press of a button.
The meta description has since been reverted back to exclude the mention of Pandora, however, references to the music streaming service still exist in the website’s CSS code:
In addition to that reference, the CSS also links to this image, containing the Pandora logo:
Here’s a direct link to the image so you can see it is, indeed, hosted on Google’s server:
So it looks all but certain that Pandora support will be rolling out to the Chromecast in the very near future. Perhaps as early as tonight at the Google Play event in NYC.
Awesome news for Chromecast fans out there. Today Hulu and Google announced that the Hulu phone/tablet apps will now support Chromecast. It’s been some time since Chromecast has made the news (release day and the end of the netflix promotion) and it looks like we are still moving in the right direction. Next we just need the Chromecast sdk to be finalized so that third party apps can fill in the gaps. I know I’m not the only one waiting for local network playback.
The Great Firewall (no, not China)
Chromecast is great, but it’s a bit limiting on settings during setup. You better have DHCP enabled because there aren’t any static IP settings. In my experience doing the setup at work, we had a heck of a time even getting it to recognize that it had an internet connection. We weren’t about to just start opening ports either, we are in a work environment after all. So we set out to find the IP lease the chromecast was given by our router. Not an easy task. Chromecast will connect, try to detect internet, and bail. So what I ended up doing was downloading a mac address identifier on my phone, connecting to the chromecast’s personal wifi network and grabbed it’s mac address. I guess I could have looked on the device, but it was behind the wall mounted tv. Now that I had the device’s mac address, I was able to set a static IP for that mac address on the router side. At this point I was able to get some firewall logs and see what exactly it was up to. Oh man this thing uses a lot of ports. I attempted to contact Google support to figure out the exact port (ranges) to fix the issue, this was their response:
Thank you for contacting Google Play. I’d be happy to help you out today.I can see that you’re having issues with connecting to your work network. I know how important this is for you to work as I would want to know as well on how to fix this issue. However connecting to your work network will not be possible. These networks usually have AP/Client isolation. You will need to disable AP/Client isolation, also known as client isolation, on your router. Please refer to your router documentation to learn how to disable AP isolation. If you do not have access to your router settings, or if you are attempting to connect through a guest, hotel or public network with AP/client isolation, you will be unable to set up your Chromecast.If you are attempting to connect through a Wi-Fi extender, please check your extender settings. You will need to disable AP isolation on your Wi-Fi extender before setting up Chromecast to work with your Wi-Fi network. If there is anything further I can assist you with, please feel free to reply directly to this email or give us a call at (855) 83-NEXUS or contact our Chromecast help center at: https://support.google.com/chromecast/?hl=en#topic=2998366
The Google Play Support Team
As you can see, this didn’t do any good and wasn’t the answer I was looking for. Here is what I did to get YouTube working.
1:65535 -> 19000:19400 (yeah, thats why I wanted the exacts from Google)
1:65535 -> 58800:58900
1:65535 -> 62200:62300
Unfortunately, it was my bosses Chromecast so I wasn’t able to keep playing with it. I was attempting Chrometab but it appeared to need more firewall magic. Also, I didn’t have a Netflix account at the time so I didn’t get to test that out either. However, my Chromecast should be arriving today via UPS! More to come.
Chromecast First Impressions
So today was the first day I got to play with chromecast. Unfortunately it wasn’t my own personal chromecast, it was for work. By now I’m sure you’ve seen the unboxing videos, so I’ll spare you, but it has everything you need to get going. Since I didn’t have a laptop on me or a desktop with wifi, I used my phone to set it up. We plugged it into the conference room tv and were greeted with a fancy chrome boot image. The chromecast broadcasts it’s own wifi network with it’s device name. The android app quickly recognized the chromecast wifi signal and connected directly to it. Chromecast then gives you an option to rename your device so you can identify it later within apps, this is extremely helpful if you have multiple on the same network. Next, it asked for the wifi network and security key. In my case, we were connecting to our work wifi with a crazy strict firewall. So, no matter what we did, it failed. It would connect but couldn’t detect internet and would then disconnect. So we impatiently created a hotspot on our phone and continued on just to see the magic. Within seconds it had connected, directed me to compatible apps and was playing video just as fast as 4g would allow. Exactly as promised. Once I get my chromecast in the mail (its shipped!) I’ll have more info to bring to the table. Next I’ll be tackling getting this working on a strict firewall and a more formal review. First impressions are very important and so far so good!
Today Google introduced Chromecast, and it’s going to change the way we use our TVs. Currently, Chromecast can only do a tad more than your average smart TV (for now). It does YouTube, Netflix, Google Play, Chrome browser tabs (in beta) and other apps such as Pandora are on the way. However, if you don’t already have a smart TV, this thing is where it’s at. Oh, and did I mention it’s only $35? It gets better. If you buy it during their initial promotion period, you also get 3 months of free Netflix! That’s $24 of its cost already! It even works for existing accounts! So go get your free 1 month trial, then add your 3 months free, $32 value!
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To help make it easy to bring your favorite online entertainment to the biggest screen in your house—the TV—we’re introducing Chromecast. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to “cast” online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. With Chromecast, we wanted to create an easy solution that works for everyone, for every TV in the house.
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