AllCast - streaming content from an Android device, Dropbox or Google Drive to TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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flickvideoOne 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.

From Liliputing.com:

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. 

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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