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One of the main features that keeps many locked into the Apple TV and Airplay ecosystem is the ability to stream content to your Apple TV or AirPort Express, wirelessly. It's one thing to stream video from online, but it's another to stream from local assets - from Google Drive, Dropbox or local repositories.
But since CyanogenMod developer Koushik Dutta reverse engineered and is beta testing a release called AllCast for Android, DLNA for all might be coming quicker rather than later. The test version which lets you stream videos from the Android gallery app, Dropbox, or Google Drive to your TV is located here. Leon Nicholls created a tool called Fling that lets you send local videos from your PC to a Chromecast.
But - it looks like Google has just released a software update that kills support for local video streaming of this sort and both apps are dead. So much for Google's 'open' standards.
Out of the box Google’s Chromecast device lets you stream content from a handful of Android apps including YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play Movies. When you find a video to watch on your phone and tap the Chromecast button, you’re actually sending a command to the $35 media device to start streaming that video directly from the internet, not from your phone or tablet.
What Koush’s app does is let you send video stored on on your phone to your TV over a local network. Or you can stream music, videos, or other content that you've’ve uploaded to a cloud storage service including Google Drive and Dropbox.
For those of you not familiar. DLNA or UPNP allows for taking the search, discover, watch and share experience from the second screen and pushing your online video straight to your TV in what could be the 600 pound gorilla in the future of TV. It puts a huge dent in the control of broadcasters and Big Cable when you the ridiculously enormous big screen Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) becomes moot. In other words, when you find something you like on a tablet or smartphone then push it to your TV, who needs to spend wasted time on the EPG?
Once AllCast is installed, it’s just a case of finding a video you want to play and tap the cast button in the upper right cornet and a menu will pop up asking where to beam the content to.
Sweet. But it's not the only technology in this space. www.zapstreak.com even offers up SDKs and APIs for developers to tap into DLNA across many devices quite simply and affordably.