May 21, 2024

Google is fixing up Chromecast’s ‘Cast a tab’ feature and you can try the new version now


I’ve been saying it for a few years now, but I really, really like the Chromecast — Google’s simple little dongle for streaming Netflix/Hulu/YouTube etc. from your devices to your TV with just a tap or two. It does what it’s supposed to do, does it well and doesn’t try to do anything more than that.

Well… that’s not entirely true. There’s one feature that’s always been relatively underwhelming: “Cast this tab.” Built to let you stream videos and content from your browser on sites that don’t actually have Chromecast support built in, it’s always been sort of… clunky. Even when it does mostly work, the video frame rate is never on par with what you’d see from the sites that handle Chromecast integration themselves.

It seems Google is getting around to tackling this problem.

In a post on Google Plus, Googler François Beaufort says that the Chrome team has been cracking away at improving things, upping both the battery efficiency and the video quality. It looks like it’ll only really improve videos that are running in a tab full-screen — but hey, progress!

Even better: If you’re willing to poke around under Chrome’s hood, you can check out the work-in-progress improvements right this second. Just open Chrome, navigate to chrome://flags/#media-remoting and switch the box from “Default” to “Enabled” (If it’s not showing up, make sure Chrome is updated. It’s also worth noting that this is an experimental feature and might totally break things — but if it does, just go back to that same address and switch it back to “Default”).

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