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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
@Foxbat121: "What you are asking is what DLNA set out to achieve" No I do not expect that, but dnla is still useful and used by my favourite 'players' (VLC, MonkeyMedia, BubbleUpNp).
"Can the target device accept any of those formats?" Well - that was my whole point, you see: the device advertises these formats, but I can't imagine why and so I asked here if that was all 'window dressing'.
Mabel
 

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Media playback is not simple. You are dealing so many different formats and combinations. It takes a lot of resources to make it work universally and constent update to keep it up to date. None of that fits major manufacturers' goal to sell you more devices every year instead of sell you one device and maintain it for a long time. Even in the hay days of DLNA, many TVs can only support very limited number of video formats, e.g. my old Panasonic can only play some limited MPEG2 video with 2-ch stereo. Newer one can play AVC video but droped MPEG2 support etc. Then you will find most only support many formats when it is the one serving the media file. When you try to send video to a DLNA rendering device, the formats it can accept is much much narrower and slim. That's why Plex was invented for solving this DLNA mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Thanks a lot for the elaborate and informative answers! I Learned a lot, even though noone tried to answer my question :). Maybe some background to the question may help?
I've been using a Chromecast (Model I) and a ChromeCast Audio for years in the way I described: to play music and video from my NAS mediaserver. Just to avoid confusion: I choose music or video using my phone or tablet or PC; then 'cast' it to the Chromecast, which then fetches the signal directly from source. I call this technique 'casting proper' only to avoid confusion.
All works just fine, except for certain file formats: .TS files containing HD-video and (for the CC Audio) AC3 files with 5 channels. From the symptoms - frequent pauses - I suspect the ChromeCast's processor may not be fast enough. As I planned to buy a 3rd dongle anyway, I started looking around for something with a more powerful processor.
Only then I learned that things have changed a lot in the past few years and I wasn't able to even correctly understand the specs and descriptions. As I related, I ordered 3 different 'dongles' doing 'casting' and advertising with support of many formats and a powerful processor able to handle '4K movies' - only to find that none of them does any 'casting proper' as I described.

I think my problem is that the term 'casting' is in fact used for very different techniques. And I'm not the only one, apparently: I suspect at least some manufacturers make use of this confusion by deliberately publishing misleading specs, which then are further propagated by reviewers who apparently didn't even try the device. (OR - a possibility I didn't exclude - these guys know how to install the device in a way I can't.)
So, I'm feeling my way round in the dark. This discussion helped to clarify some things, but as it is never made clear what exactly is meant by 'casting' I'm still left guessing.
For example @LG8600User mentions Apple's Airplay2 as being able to 'cast'. So I visited my friend who always has the latest and most expensive Apple devices and we tried to perform the kind of 'casting proper' I use (and described in my question and hereabove). We didn't succeed. Didn't we have the right equipment? Or are we dummies? Or did you use the word 'casting' for a different technique?
You also mentioned 'DNLA (casting)' and I just can't imagine what that means. (On the web I only find it as way to further the sales of a totally superfluous app, mirroring my phones screen.) And so on.

Like I said, reviews are not helping me either; mostly quite the contrary. For example: they talk about the original ChromeCast as somewhat outdated and mention new 'features' like a better GUI, access to more sources and a nice 'remote control'. But a GUI and a 'remote control', it seems to me, are incompatible with 'casting proper'; the whole idea is that I use the GUI of the apps OF MY CHOICE (hundreds of specialised apps available) on my phone or tablet or computer.
A GUI built into the device and a 'remote control' seem a return to a more primitive technique when compared to 2013 ChromeCast. But it is surely a more 'closed' technique, giving much more control to the manufacturer. I suspect this is the reason why Google is, bit by bit, dropping support for 'casting proper' in favor of 'Google TV'; maybe they realised the original idea was just too good and brought them too little. (On my Android phone, the updates of the Chrome browser quietly dropped the option of 'casting' the source. It's still supported by Chrome on my PC, though, and by the new version of the Edge browser with just a small extra download. Nevertheless, the trend seems to be 'back to the old days'.)

Afaik, the only way to improve the original ChromeCast is by giving it a more powerfull processor and extending the formats it can handle. Is there such a device?
Mabel
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
@Foxbat121: Yes, what you say is true enough, to my regret. I've been wrestling with mediaservers and formats for years and I'd much like to know about your experiences. But as it's not directly related to the question I asked here, I propose to start a new thread about it.
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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
@edyohome: I apologise for misreading your text. But I DO often read about the original ChromeCast as being 'somewhat outdated' and all the time I'm thinking 'WHY??' since the alternatives offered seem to me a step backward rather then forward.
You advice getting an 'Android TV device' but I don't seem to be able to find one. Lots of blabla about the fantastic options of 'Android TV' - none of them more advanced then I've been using for the past 6 years - but no 'Android TV device' for sale anywhere. Instead I read texts like:
"We were getting all used to Android TV boxes when suddenly Google TV came into the picture. What is the difference? Are they even different? Technically speaking, Google TV is still Android TV, but it features a whole new concept. The company has introduced Google TV, a new experience for Android TV that aims to harmonize your viewing — no matter what apps you use."
WOW, my viewing will get harmonised! I've been suffering from disharmonised viewing for years! And to get rid of it, I only have to... well, there the text get fuzzy; it's never explained what I have to buy or install to get my viewing harmonised.

Also, you mention the option '(3) Streaming apps' and I just can't picture what this option would add to the options I already have with my original ChromeCast.

But seriously, i do not really get what devices you are talking about.
But I heeded your sneer at the end of your posting and tried to explain in more detail in my previous posting.
Mabel
 

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I think your questions have been answered already. You just choose not to accept it :)

If anyone is selling you a universal casting device, run away. That's always a pipe dream. The big guys know it to avoid it and little guys just try to scam you.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

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You misread what I wrote. I said the "Miracast" never caught on. Chromecast is widely popular. But as others have already affirmed Miracast is only a "mirroring" protocol. Google has/had much deeper pockets to develop its product and is the reason that it is more than just a mirroring device. As I indicated further in my reply, with Android TV essentially being a Google product, as far as I can tell all Android TV products come with Chromecast (a Google proprietary capability) built in. Which is why I recommended getting an Android TV device as then you would have 3 different capabilities already built in to one device (1) Mirroring, (2) Casting and (3) Streaming apps. If you purchased a Miracast device expecting it to be more capable than a Chromecast device, I'm sure you found out that that was not the case. Of the two Chromecast is the more capable device. I was trying to appeal to you that there are still even more capable devices than the standard Chromecast. In fact, the new Chromecast with Google TV is still even more capable than the standard original Chromecast because it too has Android TV (now known as Google TV) built right in.

Again, good luck in whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish.
Except that Miracast is 60-70% of the US streaming market (Roku & FireTV - doesnt include Roku TVs and Fire TVs), every major TV manufacturer has Miracast support in all or part of of its lineup, and Microsoft Windows has Miracast add-in support for Windows 7/8, and built-in support in 8.1/10 - pretty hard to claim it "never caught on".

Thanks a lot for the elaborate and informative answers! I Learned a lot, even though noone tried to answer my question :). Maybe some background to the question may help?
I've been using a Chromecast (Model I) and a ChromeCast Audio for years in the way I described: to play music and video from my NAS mediaserver. Just to avoid confusion: I choose music or video using my phone or tablet or PC; then 'cast' it to the Chromecast, which then fetches the signal directly from source. I call this technique 'casting proper' only to avoid confusion.
All works just fine, except for certain file formats: .TS files containing HD-video and (for the CC Audio) AC3 files with 5 channels. From the symptoms - frequent pauses - I suspect the ChromeCast's processor may not be fast enough. As I planned to buy a 3rd dongle anyway, I started looking around for something with a more powerful processor.
Only then I learned that things have changed a lot in the past few years and I wasn't able to even correctly understand the specs and descriptions. As I related, I ordered 3 different 'dongles' doing 'casting' and advertising with support of many formats and a powerful processor able to handle '4K movies' - only to find that none of them does any 'casting proper' as I described.

I think my problem is that the term 'casting' is in fact used for very different techniques. And I'm not the only one, apparently: I suspect at least some manufacturers make use of this confusion by deliberately publishing misleading specs, which then are further propagated by reviewers who apparently didn't even try the device. (OR - a possibility I didn't exclude - these guys know how to install the device in a way I can't.)
So, I'm feeling my way round in the dark. This discussion helped to clarify some things, but as it is never made clear what exactly is meant by 'casting' I'm still left guessing.
For example @LG8600User mentions Apple's Airplay2 as being able to 'cast'. So I visited my friend who always has the latest and most expensive Apple devices and we tried to the kind of 'casting proper' I use (and described in my question and hereabove). We didn't succeed. Didn't we have the right equipment? Or are we dummies? Or did you use the word 'casting' for a different technique?
You also mentioned 'DNLA (casting)' and I just can't imagine what that means. (On the web I only find it as way to further the sales of a totally superfluous app, mirroring my phones screen.) And so on.

Like I said, reviews are not helping me either; mostly quite the contrary. For example: they talk about the original ChromeCast as somewhat outdated and mention new 'features' like a better GUI, access to more sources and a nice 'remote control'. But a GUI and a 'remote control', it seems to me, are incompatible with 'casting proper'; the whole idea is that I use the GUI of the apps OF MY CHOICE (hundreds of specialised apps available) on my phone or tablet or computer.
A GUI built into the device and a 'remote control' seem a return to a more primitive technique when compared to 2013 ChromeCast. But it is surely a more 'closed' technique, giving much more control to the manufacturer. I suspect this is the reason why Google is, bit by bit, dropping support for 'casting proper' in favor of 'Google TV'; maybe they realised the original idea was just too good and brought them too little. (On my Android phone, the updates of the Chrome browser quietly dropped the option of 'casting' the source. It's still supported by Chrome on my PC, though, and by the new version of the Edge browser with just a small extra download. Nevertheless, the trend seems to be 'back to the old days'.)

Afaik, the only way to improve the original ChromeCast is by giving it a more powerfull processor and extending the formats it can handle. Is there such a device?
Mabel
Can't tell you what may be/have been the limiting factor in your friends AirPlay setup - too many factors at play and not enough information.

That being said, "casting" (remote control) is generally per/within app (local: Casting function/icon within app), whereas "mirroring" (remote display) is generally per/within the device (global: Mirroring function/icon through device OS), though yes, the terms are often confusingly and interchangeably used, and protocol implementation of each may make them behave similarly.

UPnP/DLNA casting requires that the receiver device be a UPnP Media Renderer (e.g. TV/streamer), controlled by a UPnP Control Point (e.g. phone/tablet), streaming content from a UPnP Media Server (e.g. NAS/Windows PC).

You perhaps are thinking too literally of "remote control" - it could be a physical remote used to control a TV/streaming device, or it could be a PC/phone/tablet/etc running an app, both remote and/or app connected to the same TV/streaming device.

If you just want a newer faster ChromeCast receiver device, try the GCCWGTV - otherwise any recent Android TV device works well enough as a GoogleCast receiver (TS4K, Shield, etc), since they all receive the same "Chromecast built-in" receiver app updates.

Ultimately you are just going to have to jump in and get your feet wet and try some of the different setups to figure out what works for you - the good news is they are either free (function enabling/app install) or relatively cheap (Roku: $20-100, FireTV: $20-120, TS4K: $35-50, GCCWGTV: $50).
 
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