The Best Way to Cast Movies from Android or iPhone to Your TV
Smartphones have become something of a catchall for our digital media collections, and it’s not uncommon to have a couple of movies saved for those times when you have nothing better to do. however, if you have a chromecast, you’ll probably need an additional app to bring those movies to the big screen.
the app you’ll need: localcast
As you probably know, you can use Google Photos to get photos and videos from your phone to your TV with its built-in casting option. On android, you can also use this to stream locally stored movies from your phone to your TV by jumping to the device folder menu and then searching for your movie.
the point is that it is far from being the ideal application for this type of situation. Sure, it will work in a pinch, but in my experience the video was very choppy and google photos didn’t support many of the common codecs you’ll see in ripped and downloaded movies. luckily there is a much better option available for both ios and android: localcast.
The app is freely available for both iOS and Android, though it does offer in-app purchases to remove ads and unlock more features. however, the free app itself is quite powerful.
So if you want to stream more than just locally stored images and videos, you can up your streaming game with local streaming. This is a super useful app that will allow you to stream any media content on your device, including images, videos, or music, as well as cloud content from Google Drive, Dropbox, and even Instagram (iOS only). It also has network support for streaming from network attached storage and a built-in web browser for streaming video from the web. this makes it a great choice for movies, because it doesn’t matter where you have them stored.
To make it even more versatile, it also supports streaming to various devices: chromecast, apple tv, fire tv, sony and samsung smart tv, xbox 360/one or any other dlna device.
supports a variety of video and audio formats, but if you’re having trouble, check out the localcast FAQ: Your video or audio format may not be supported by localcast or chromecast.
how to send a video to your tv with localcast
The interface is quite simple on both iOS and Android, staying true to the respective design guidelines for each platform. the functionality is pretty much the same between the two, and it’s fairly intuitive to use: if you’re familiar with your current operating system, then you shouldn’t have a problem using localcast.
Once you launch the app, use the cast button in the bottom right corner and choose your cast device. From there, navigate through the app normally and choose the movie you’d like to watch.
on ios, all navigation options are at the bottom of the interface (see bottom left); on android, everything is tucked into the menu on the left side (see bottom right). just find the category that suits what you’re looking for and start streaming. when you’re done, just tap the send icon again and sign out from there.
In addition to offering options to stream almost any type of media from a variety of sources, LocalCast also has a unique feature on Android that allows you to stream a video to the TV and play the audio on your phone. with a pair of headphones, you can use this as a sort of private listening option. it’s very good.
To use this feature, tap the “route audio to device” option at the bottom. once enabled, the audio will play on the device, although it is noted that it may be slightly out of sync. To fix this, the app offers a fast audio sync of +/- 0.1 seconds. it’s pretty legit.
If you like local streaming after trying it for a while, you might want to consider upgrading to the pro version of the app. on ios this will cost you $4.99 and will remove all ads.
on android, however, it works a bit differently. uses a “pay what you want” model with several different options, including $0.99 a month, one-time payments of $4.92 or $6.57, or annual offers of $5.50, $6.88, $10.67 or $21.30. make your choice.
Regardless of the level you choose, it will remove ads, make the navigation bar translucent (on supported devices), add on-device search, let you preview local videos, and more. it’s pretty solid.