Google’s Chromecast has managed to make a name for itself as an extremely capable piece of kit that’s available for an almost negligent financial outlay. Purchasing and utilizing the functionality within the Chromecast allows individuals to enjoy media and more directly on their HD television set simply by plugging the little device into the HDMI port. With that said, if you want to utilize the little device without an active Internet connection, then you would be entirely fresh out luck. That is unless you install this custom ROM of course.
This custom ROM, which has been created by an XDA member going by the name of rundgong, isn’t going to win any awards for its complexity or advanced feature set. The whole experience is entirely rudimentary and undeniably falls under the category of “keep it simple”, but it does exactly what it’s intended to do by turning the Google Chromecast into a local media player that doesn’t require an active Internet connection. It’s certainly not going to replace the main functionality of the Chromecast, but it definitely can be useful in certain situations.
Google has basically built the Chromecast to perform a number of checks prior to letting anyone actually use the device. Part of these checks validate whether or not an active Internet connection is detected on the Chromecast itself. The rCast custom ROM essentially ensures that those checks are bypassed and allows the Chromecast to work and function with that active Internet connection. As previously stipulated, the whole experience offered is extremely simple, but it could be useful in certain situations like hotel usage where an Internet connection isn’t readily available or where the hotel charges astronomical prices to access the network.
The developer behind the ROM has also created a simple media player that with an embedded Cast protocol, can talk directly to the Chromecast locally:
To actually play any media files I have created a media player with a cast protocol implementation that talks to the device locally, and a cast sender implementation. In addition there is a cast receiver app on the local web server. An FTP server is also started at boot to make it easier to load media onto the internal flash.
Playback can be controlled using the only button on the device itself. “The device only has one button so it is used for all control. Every command is a sequence of long and short presses.”
If you own a Chromecast and this is something that you’d be interested in, then head over to the link below for more information and installation instructions.