On a post we shared a bunch of tips and tricks about streaming with Chromecast, the best gadget in $35, we shared that you can basically drag and drop the video files into Chrome browser and Chromecast from there. While you can do so on video types such as MP4, you probably will find difficulty doing the same on other video formats like MKV.
You may get lucky on some of the MKV files because they are encoded in a way that Chrome supports out of the box but to most of the MKV files, when you drop them into Chrome you will most likely end up downloading them into your download folder, rather than playing them inside the browser.
So, here are 2 quick tips that may help you if you already have tons of MKV files in your library. Assume you already have Chromecast extension installed and enabled in your Chrome browser, all we need to get done is to make the MKV videos play inside the Chrome browser. And once we do, we can then simply click the Chromecast extension icon and cast it onto your TV.
First, just simply rename it to .MP4
Well, yes, it’s just that simple, at least on my computer. Renaming a .MKV file to a .MP4 seems to trick Chrome to treat a MKV file as a MP4 file so it plays smoothly without any trouble.
Second, install VLC media player
If renaming doesn’t work, you will need a proper media player plug-in installed and enabled. I tried DivX Plugin, but that doesn’t seem to be a good approach. The famous VLC media player happens to be a much better one. If you already have Chrome browser installed, installing VLC media player will install a VLC media player plugin for Chrome automatically. You can go to chrome://plugins/ to double-check and change the settings such as Always allowed.
If option Always allowed is not checked, you will need to give the permission to VLC media player plugin the rights to run.
Click either of the buttons underneath the address bar, and here we go. Enjoy.
/update on Dec. 3, 2014/
If neither of the options described above works for you, especially hearing no sound on some of the MKV files, here is another one you can try.
There is a Chrome App called Videostream for Google Chromecast that lets you play your own local videos on your Chromecast from your PC with subtitles supported. Not like those Chrome Extensions, it’s a Chrome App that you can launch directly from your desktop through Chrome Launch.
Just launch the app, choose a video, select a Chromecast, and enjoy. Easy as 123.
If you get a prompt saying there is some firewall related issue that’s preventing the video from streaming to Chromecast, you can either click the Download button right beneath the message to download a fix to repair your firewall setting. Or you can go to Control Panel → System and Security → Windows Firewall, and click Restore defaults to reset all your Windows Firewall settings, which will most likely fix the firewall issue you are having.
/update on Jan. 12, 2016/
If you don’t use Chrome browser, AirFlow is going to be your best friend for the time being. It’s a free desktop app available for both Windows and Mac that supports many different video format, MKV included. Simply install the app and drag & drop the file you want to play on to the app. Click the Cast button at the top to connect to your Chromecast device.
/Update on Feb. 24, 2018/
VLC released a new version 3.0 that has natively supported Chromecast. Play the video, right-click the scene and choose Playback > Renderer, and select the Chromecast you want to stream to.