Home Forum

DNLA and Casting

Although dnla, UPnP and casting have been around for years, i still struggle to get them working together on our Android devices (phones and tablets); admittedly 'old' ones (4.2.2 Jellybean). The setup: a Windows10 computer running Windows Media Server and a sound-system with Chromecast Audio.
The odd thing is that 'kind-of-works' with some apps. For example: LocalCast does find the mediaserver, but whenever I click, say 'albums' or 'artists' I get 'no media found'. Just one option works: browsing the folder system. When I then click a music file, casting works fine. With the apps MediaHouse and Ginkgo DNLA it's the other way around: no trouble getting 'albums', 'artists'etc, but casting doesn't work - even though the app SAYS it is casting.
With Internet music it is also hit-and-miss (with mostly misses). Chrome, YouTube and many others refuse to display the casting icon; but then some 'radio' apps cast just fine.
Experimenting is not just time consuming, but also frustrating: WHY these differences, which are, to me, inexplicable. Do others have the same experience? Can anyone offer something like a technical explanation?


#1 Mabel64, Sep 10, 2017
I also had the same issues with Windows 10.
I reverted back to Windows 8.1 and never have any problems casting, sharing, viewing, etc...
#2 Dannydet, Sep 10, 2017
Just to clarify: I'm talking about Android devices as players; the windows10 computer as 'media server' - is that what you meant too? Maybe a different media-server could solve some problems, but reverting back to Win8 seems a bit drastic :) In any case, it sure wouldn't solve all problems I signalled, e.g. with the Internet apps. Or why some apps say they are 'casting' while they are clearly not.
#3 Mabel64, Sep 14, 2017
I've never had experience of media servers myself, no need. But I think with casting manufacturers can be proprietary and are doing their own things. I've seen a friend screen-casting video very easily from a Samsung Galaxy phone to a Samsung smart-TV, but try doing the same thing with an Oppo or Huawei phone to the same Samsung TV, we failed. I have a JmGO DLP home theatre Android mini-projector, which supports Apple Airplay, and that works straight away with my Apple Macbook Air, couldn't make it work with Windows 10 though.
#4 mikedt, Sep 14, 2017
You may be quite right about casting being not standardised, but the Chromecast and YouTube are both Google, so one would expect this to work, no?
I was fishing if others have comparable problems with especially the ChromeCast Audio and/or older versions of Android.
By the way, is not Apple's Airplay totally different beast? A.f.a.i.k. it doesn't support casting or does it?
#5 Mabel64, Sep 17, 2017
Well I've never seen a Chromecast or had experience of them myself, not available here. And neither is Google or YouTube for that matter, unless using a VPN. I'm in China. :thumbsupdroid:

I know Apple's Airplay is definitely casting, as I do use it screen-cast from my MacBook to my projector via WiFi, for watching movies, Youku, Tudou, CCTV(China Central TV), etc. I know the JmGO Android projector is compatible with iPhones as well via Airplay, and Android phones as well, provided they install the JmGO casting app, which is done by scanning a QR code that the projector can display.
#6 mikedt, Sep 17, 2017 Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
Hmm sorry I'm a newbie. Always had an iPhone until now. I want my phone to connect with other devices/network? My devices include an iMac, iPad, Yamaha receiver, Xbox and Amazon firestick.

Anyway to connect these or share? Which option would be best.

#7 jumpinjackflash, Sep 18, 2017 at 11:04 AM
With such a dated, unsupported Android version it's not surprising you're having issues with connectivity. You're expecting old technology to be seamlessly compatible with new technology, so it's not a matter of whether Google owns and develops both Youtube and Chromecast, you need to give some serious thought into upgrading your hardware.
#8 svim, Sep 18, 2017 at 12:22 PM
Not to be snarky or disrespectful but your issues are different than the original poster. You might get more relevant responses by starting your own thread instead of hi-jacking a current one.
#9 svim, Sep 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM
Oh ok, I thought it was related. My apologies.
#10 jumpinjackflash, Sep 18, 2017 at 5:52 PM
Oh no need to apologize, I was really trying not to be snotty about this. It's just that solutions to your problems can be better addressed in your own thread.
#11 svim, Sep 18, 2017 at 6:55 PM
yeah, yeah - buy something new seems to always be the easy answer, but did you try it before advising me to spend a few hundred dollars? I did. I tried with a friends' phone running Marshmellow - made no difference. I wasn't surprised, since the oddities I described suggest they've less to do with the android version then with some apps (including Google's!) not working well with the ChromeCast Audio.
#12 Mabel64, Sep 19, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Well it's not like there's a situation where Chromecast Audio devices aren't functioning properly on a massive scale in the general public so if yours isn't working consistently even with newer devices that would indicate either a problem with either your Chromecast Audio device itself or issues with your home network configuration. Chromecasts in general aren't made to be user-serviceable so there isn't much that can be fixable on our end, I'd try taking it to a friend's home and see if it works the same problems happen there. That would at least be an indicator that it is the device and if it's still covered by a warranty just request to get a replacement. But if it does work better elsewhere, than it's probably an issue where you need to attend to your home networking. With sporadic issues like you initially described it could be relative to the WiFi range of your router. That could be a matter of buying a new, better one but if your averse to investing in your home networking maybe try re-locating it. If it's sitting on a floor behind a desk try moving it on top of a cabinet or something tall. WiFi routers are basically just low-power transmitters, radiating a WiFi signal outwards. You might also want to install this WiFi Analyzer app:
Do a walk-through of your home, especially in the general location where your Chromecast Audio is and see how strong the WiFi signal strength is or isn't. A weak signal would explain a lot as to those inconsistencies in reception.
#13 svim, Sep 19, 2017 at 4:25 PM
@svim: the fact that some apps work ok, and that I have no problems with my windows notebook, seem to indicate this is not a hardware nor a network problem. By now I suspect apps, in combination with a specific implementation of Android. (And maybe even the mediaserver sofware is relevant; I use Windows Media Server at the moment).
Obviously, both functions (querying a dlna server and 'casting') CAN work under Jellybean - so much was clear already. However, it may well be that later Android versions offer easier ways to realise these functions. It may be that some apps, although running under Jellybean, rely on these more modern methods and thus fail in one or both functions under Jellybean.
Furthermore, there is with Android always the manufacturer-specific implementation. It may be that I was just unlucky with my choice for trying things out under Marshmellow.
Point in case: I now use the app BubbleUPnP on my tablet with Jellybean 4.2.2. It fullfills both functions I had trouble with (querying the mediaserver and casting to Chromecast Audio) very well! However, the same app on my telephone, running the very same Android version, does not want to do any 'casting'. While at least one radio app casts just fine (while most do not).
It's not that this is a problem for me any longer; I just tried the phone for fun but will in practice always use the tablet (unless in use by my beloved, of course :). I just mentioned it for others who may be wrestling with the same kind of inexplicable problems.
#14 Mabel64, Sep 22, 2017 at 11:03 AM