Google Cast (beta) Chrome extension

Chromecast beta adds 1080p support

Google has added another feature to Chromecast, which it hopes will entice more people to try out the media streaming stick. Following an update to the beta edition of the Google Cast extension, it is now possible to test full high definition streaming direct from the Chrome desktop browser.

The significant update in tab casting quality will be of particular benefit to those with large screen televisions.

Large screen TVs received an additional marketing push during 2014, with manufacturers and retailers looking to cash in on the FIFA World Cup. Chromecast users who decided to take the plunge and purchase one of these sets will be ideally placed to benefit from the higher resolution output.

Full HD tab casting is obviously in its infancy at the moment, and there will inevitably be bugs to be ironed out and improvements to be made. But anyone with reasonable-spec desktop hardware should be able to try out viewing photos or web pages in 1080p.

It is the prospect of watching 1080p video – streamed from PC-to-TV – that will be exciting many Chromecast owners. This will, however, require high-spec desktop hardware.

The standard version of Chrome’s Google Cast extension supports three modes: Standard (480p), High (720p) and Extreme (720p with an improved bitrate). Even these three modes require considerable processing power, and can push modest desktop hardware beyond its limits.

Chromecast users have reported varying levels of quality when tab casting using the standard resolutions offered. But one factor that cannot be ignored is that the feature has improved notably since it was first introduced by Google.

With more recent versions of the Google Cast extension, casting video to a larger screen has been performing more reliably across a wider range of hardware.

In addition to 1080p tab casting, it is also possible to manually set the bit rate using the Google Cast beta extension. This is a feature that is well worth experimenting with, as it offers huge flexibility to improve the quality of tab casting, independent of the resolution that is being used.

Both the minimum and maximum bitrates can be set. In the case of the former, the lowest figure supported is 100kbps, whilst the latter can be set up to 10,000kbps.

[via The Next Web]