Ross Coded Classes

Programming tips with no rose colored glasses.

Chromecast for multiple wall displays/dashboards

I did some research on using Chromecasts for dashboard TVs.

A custom Chromecast app can be made in HTML5 but that seems like too much hassle. A simpler solution is to just cast from a computer. Casting a Chrome browser tab works, but doesn’t seem to be the best image quality. A higher quality image is obtained by casting a whole 1920×1080 monitor.

Initial Setup

  1. For the best image quality with Chromecasts, add a 1920×1080 display to the computer.
  2. For each Chromecast, make a new user in the Chrome browser named the same as the Chromecast if the user doesn’t already exist.

Start Casting

For each Chromecast:

  1. Open a new Chrome window as a different “chrome user”
  2. Begin casting the whole 1920×1080 monitor (… menu, Cast…, click “Cast to”, choose “Cast Desktop”, Choose right Chromecast, Choose monitor, click Share)
  3. Optional: Go to http://bigtextbox.com/ and type in the Chromecast name so you can find the window again
  4. Optional: Minimize the Chrome window.

Fix Casting

Find the right chrome window, and follow the same steps above.

Observations

  • It seems to send somewhere around or under 200 KB/s per Chromecast to stream a 1920×1080 static display (no animations or motion).
  • 2nd generation Chromecast seems to have a better picture quality than 1st generation.
  • The sending computer will use some CPU power for each Chromecast that will depend on the computer used and what is being cast.
  • A dedicated monitor is not really needed on the sending computer and instead a fake HDMI monitor could be used, but the lag will drive you crazy setting it up by using mouse and keyboard while watching a Chromecast.
  • Instead of dedicated physical monitor and computer, a virtual machine can be used on a computer connected to the same WiFi as the Chromecasts. Then the whole virtual machine can be minimized etc.

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