Popcorn Time and its clones are amazing programs (or apps if you happen use it on your iOS and/or android devices) but unless you’ve got a computer hooked up to your TV you have to make do with the small screen of a PC, tablet or smartphone. While that can be OK in certain situations such as during travel or in a hotel room it’s really far from an ideal solution if you’re looking to use Popcorn Time as a staple in your home entertainment center.
The solution can be to connect your computer to a TV using an HDMI cable. This is probably the easiest and most fool proof way to get Popcorn Time from the computer to the big flat screen where movies and great TV shows belong. However, if you’re using a smartphone or tablet to run Popcorn Time, or if the sight of messy cables lying around makes you sick, a Chromecast can be the solution you’re looking for.
What’s a Chromecast?
A Chromecast is a cool little device cooked up by Google to bring Smart TV capabilities to TVs that don’t have them. It connects to the TV through an HDMI input and to the outside world via your home WiFi. Once it’s been set up programs and apps on the same network as the Chromecast pick up its presence and make playback (or “casting” as it’s called) on it available.
Choosing to cast a video means that instead of starting playback on the screen of your computer, tablet or smartphone the job is passed on to the Chromecast that shows the content on the flat screen TV.
Thanks to an open API developers are free to build Chromecast support in to their programs and apps which means that the number of supported applications is measured in thousands and is constantly increasing. Not surprisingly, this list has also come to include most of the current Popcorn Time developers and it even supports subtitles.
Depending on the version of Popcorn Time you’re using Chromecast is selected either before (this is the case for the fork from popcorntime.io) or after playback is started. A an initial “buffering screen” will appear on the TV (remember to switch to the appropriate input) that will shortly be replaced by the movie or TV-show playing.
It is of course a matter of personal taste but apart from a Smart TV Popcorn Time app directly on the TV it’s hard to imagine a sleeker home entertainment solution than navigating the Popcorn Time menus on a tablet or smartphone and sending playback to the flat screen wirelessly with a Chromecast.
Visit the official Google Chromecast page.
How to use Chromecast in Popcorn Time
Here’s how you select Chromecast as the playback device in Popcorn Time. After playback has started everything is controlled from the device where Popcorn Time is installed.