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How to Chromecast Popcorn Time

As regular readers of this blog will know by now, we absolutely love the free and open source ‘Netflix for pirates’ app Popcorn Time. We are also fans of Google’s super-cheap Chromecast streaming device, so the two should be a marriage made in heaven!

The popular (and slightly controversial) Popcorn Time fork Time4Popcorn already has Chromecast support built in (although in our experience this can be somewhat unstable), but the ‘mainstream’ Popcorn Time.io version has yet to add this feature.

There is however a handy workaround which allows users to Chromecast their Popcorn Time movies from their desktop computers (we tested this on Windows, but it should work with OSX and Linux) using a service which Chromecast owners may also find more generally useful.

Dabble.me VidCast

Dabble.me offers a free ‘VidCast: Video to Chromecast’ service. Simply cut and paste almost any video link (Vimeo, TED and many other websites are supported, as well as a wide range of video formats) into the website’s URL bar, and a Chromecast button will appear at the bottom right of the video.

Vidcast from Dabble.me

Dabble.me does not specify a required browser, but perhaps because many of ours are tricked-out with various privacy extensions etc., the service only worked using a fairly ‘vanilla’ version of Google Chrome. It work very well, however, when using this browser.

Chromecasting Popcorn Time using VidCast

1. Make sure your VPN is running (if you don’t want the copyright bullies after you)!

2. Start your show in Popcorn Time and wait for the video to load

3. Hit ‘u’ on your keyboard (this copies the URL of the torrent to your clipboard)

4. Go to Dabble.me and Paste the URL into the URL bar

5. Replace ‘127.0.0.1’ with your computer’s IP address (search online how to do this for your OS). It should now look something like ‘http://192.168.1.119.1:1744/’. Be sure to use your ‘real’ IP, not that of your VPN server. We have checked, and this works just fine

5. Hit ‘Go’

6. The video should start playing in your browser. Hit the Dabble.me Chromecast icon at the bottom right of the video to enjoy the show on your big TV screen!

Note that Popcorn Time must remain running while Chromecasting in this way.

Our thanks to redditer HarryButts for this excellent hack.

Update 21 August 2014: No sooner had we published this article than ollym posted that, bored of waiting for Chromecast support, he has built it himself. Links to the new build are available here (Windows & OSX).

Popcorn Time Chromecast

We tested the new Chromecast functionality, and it works well, but with one big caveat - it does not seem to work when using VPN! We have contacted the developer about this, and hopefully the issue will soon be fixed.. Until it is, however, we recommend using the workaround outlined above – and visiting our guide to the top torrenting VPNs of 2022 in the meantime.

 

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

19 Comments

Y
on November 10, 2015
Reply
Hi, Just downloaded a new mac version of popcorn time. I don't see any options to select chromecast. There's only Watch Now, button. appreciate your help.
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Y
on November 10, 2015
Reply
Hi Y, I assume that you are using Popcorn Time.se, as this is the major PT fork still up and running. Popcorn Time .se was also the first fork to support the Chromecast, and it used to play without problem on my Chromecast when connected to my VPN service. You can still sect to play on Chromecast - wait until the video is running then click the "Play on" at the bottom right of the screen. However, sometimes it will detect my Chromecast, and sometimes not (and this is so unstable that I am unable to determine if being connected to a VPN matters.) Sometimes even when connected to my Chromecast it will then not succeed at broadcasting the video to the device...
Phille
on September 13, 2015
Reply
One big problem ... NO subtitles available! :(
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Phille
on September 14, 2015
Reply
Hi Phille, As far as I know all versions of Popcorn Time support subtitles (just checked PT.io and PT.se...)
kenneth lynch
on July 3, 2015
Reply
Hi iv a problem when i try to Chrome cast popcorn time it says its streaming it to my tv tru Chromecast but nothing comes up on my tv Plzzzzz HELP
Mulneri
on January 15, 2015
Reply
I have an old linux version of popcorn time, the way I get movies to play on chromecast is I start the download in PT , pause it. I locate the .mp4 link file in the /tmp/Popcorn-Time folder then I create a shortcut for it on my desktop. I use the Videostream app for chrome to locate the folder with this file and stream it to chromecast (tab).
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Mulneri
on January 16, 2015
Reply
Hi Mulneri, Thanks for the tip. The latest version of popcorntime.io (0.3.7) has Chromecast support built-in, although we did find that many movies refused to Cast. There is a Linux version available, so you might like give it a try!
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