Chromecast: Send your channels to the Big Screen
It is really hard to find someone who has not used or at least heard about Chromecast since the tech giant released their dongle just over five years ago. Chromecast has found its niche on the global market – mostly, as a home media streaming device, thanks to its low cost and easy setup – so these ultra-portable gadgets can be found in almost any home or office. Hence, hundreds of apps have support for the Google cast technology, and Ganz CORTROL is not an exception.
In case you are wondering: support for Chromecast is not something we just implemented; rather, this feature has been present in the Ganz CORTROL Mobile app from the very beginning. The very reason for this article here is that people tend to forget about simple but efficient little things, which have been right in front of them the whole time 🙂
So, let us have a Chromecast experience!
A Simple Way to Stream
Most CCTV systems are aimed at utmost security – not a single bit of information gets outside by chance. On the other hand, there exist systems, whose purpose is publicity: panoramic city views, public events of all sorts. These systems have a different design but what they share is the need for an easy and convenient way of streaming video anywhere and anytime. So, this technology is much more than just watching Netflixor YouTube on your TV!
For instance, one of the video wall displays in your control room can be reserved for Chromecast. And the chief of security, having installed the app, will appreciate the opportunity to start the casting without leaving his office. Or, you can put a TV in your kitchen and enjoy views from city cams from anywhere the world. Here, in CBC office, we have several Chromecasts constantly feeding important statuses, statistics, and other exciting things onto the wall-mounted monitors. But, occasionally, someone pulls out their phone and… Wait, maybe a bit of setup first?
Throw Content to the Big Screen
In any local network, where a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra is plugged in, it will take you virtually a single tap in the app to start casting any video stream from the CORTROL server directly onto the display.
What you need is:
- a Ganz CORTROL server, remote or local, any license edition
- a Chromecast dongle connected to a display
- Ganz CORTROL Mobile app on your Android or Apple smartphone
Obviously, you also need at least one video channel pre-configured on that CORTROL server so that you have something to stream. And a user profile with enough permissions for live view. Then, once you connect your phone to the same wireless network where your Chromecast resides, the CORTROL Mobile app will offer you the magical option.
How to find it:
- Connect to your target server using CORTROL app.
- Tap the server menu in the upper right corner and you will see the Cast option (when using vertical screen orientation), or use the Chromecast icon from the upper panel (horizontal).
(If you do not see it there, make sure you are in the same network with the target Chromecast device.)
- Then, if you are viewing a multi-channel layout, tap the video channel you wish to be sent on the display. (If you are using a single camera view, the app will use it automatically).
- Finally, choose the desired Chromecast from the available device list.
The app will give you a briefly appearing text notification with the video channel name, and so will the Chromecast-enabled display. Voilà! The video will then appear on the big screen.
Behind the Scenes
What does actually happen when you tap that Cast button?
Chromecast uses an HTTP connection to the target CORTROL server and fetches the video stream. The stream does not go through your smartphone, which means you can safely close the app, turn off your phone, disconnect from WiFi and go away – the video will be streamed solidly.
And a couple of tips:
- If you are using 4K cameras, you will need the Ultra edition of Google’s digital media player. For up to 1080p resolution, both regular first and second generation devices will do fine.
- To replace the video stream currently being cast, simply select a new channel in the CORTROL Mobile app; repeat this for any number of times.