ChromeCast: A Review And How To Modify / Root It

What is Chromecast?

chromecast google

It is a media streaming adapter which plays audio and video content on TV using WiFi or local network. Its only $35 to buy but is only available in US. The device works in two different ways. User can use mobile and web apps. Secondly, Chrome browser can be used from PC / Mac for connectivity.Device is powered via a micro-USB port and has HDMI connectivity. So depending on the content quality and the nature of TV, the overall quality can be perceived. On the hardware end, it contains a Marvell chip, which is capable of decoding different formats. It has 512MB of RAM and 2G flash storage. And for the all the connectivity, AzureWave is used.

By default, users can access Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Google Play and Chrome Store. As we all know Google is more towards the open development of platforms, more applications can be expected within the future. AOL On, HBO Go, Pandora Radio, Plex, Pocket Casts, Post TV, Redbox Instant, Revision3, Twitch.tv, VEVO and Vimeo are some in development already.The only limitation as seen is that no support is available yet for content locally stored within the device. Hopefully, a full release can be looked upon in coming days.  All consumer reviews say ‘its a device worth its price tag’.

It is not a replacement for any of  media players, for instance Apple TV. You have access to more apps and networks as well. But with so many apps in development, it would compete well. Not to forget that connectivity of PC / Mac with TV makes it simple for user to play any required content from Chrome Browser to TV via Chromecast.

What is FlashCast?

flashcast chromecast rootDevelopers are exploring the capabilities of this device. FlashCast was recently developed by tchebb from XDA. The key purpose is to enable device to be modded or customized. It acts like recovery and the possibilities can be amazing. Great news for developers looking forward to Chromecast as the next platform. Before we get into the process of how to modify your Chromecast, lets outline some requirements as mentioned by the developer.

[alert type=’alert’] Do it at your own risk (disclaimer) Device can be damaged [/alert]

1. A Chromecast with a vulnerable boot-loader, meaning no updates from Google have yet been applied.

2. Download latest file of Flashcast (resource).

3. Micro-USB On The Go Cable

4. USB Flash Drive

5.  Write Tool

  • For PC Win 32 DiskImager (allows user to write image to a removeable device)
  • For Linux / OSX : default dd tool

Process:

1. Open and extract the downlaoded file from Flashcast resource

2. Write .bin file to USB flash drive using write tools for defined OS

3. Connect USB On The Go to Chromecast

4. Connect Flash Drive to On The Go

5. Hold and press Chromecast button, and plug Micro USB connect to On The Go port.

6. Keep on holding the button and a red light with appear for 9-10 seconds.

7. Release the button on Chromecast once FlastCast logo appears

8. Device will reboot

Flashcast has successfully installed on your USB drive. Once the drive is plugged in computer, it should be an empty drive where files can be copied. To use, download mods which are mainly available as .zip files. Do not use image writer for flashing a modification, simply copy file to drive.

This is still in developer mode so try it at your own risk. A positive feedback is visible on developer forums and great updates can be expected. Keep a check to follow up on more updates and tweaks of Chromecast.

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