You may know that I have bought a Chromecast recently, mostly to play around with the device to check it out and find out what it is capable of.
After finding out how to play most local media on it, I have started to go through extensions and apps available for the device on the Chrome Web Store to come up with a list of essentials.
While Chrome plays local media files fine for example and also YouTube videos and videos from several other high profile services such as Netflix, you need to install add-ons or apps for other services that are not supported yet out of the box.
While you can use the default Chrome Google Cast extension to cast anything on the television, contents are not limited to media in this case which means that the whole page is displayed on the screen.
Essential Chromecast extensions and apps
This is my selection of apps and extensions for the Chromecast. If you believe one is missing that is really good, feel free to leave a comment below to share it with me and everyone else.
TCast Beta [no longer available]
TCast Beta adds support for the popular streaming service Twitch. It does require the Google Cast extension to work and will add a cast symbol below each video on the Twitch website.
When you click on it you get the option to select the Chromecast device you want to stream the contents to and the quality of the cast as well.
The application adds capabilities to Chrome to play media formats that are not supported by default by the web browser. You are limited to mp4 and webm format by default in Chrome but can add support for formats such as mkv using the application to cast videos to the television.
While it does add support for additional media types, it won't work with all of them. I was not able to play quite a few popular formats including avi, flv or wmv. Some would display a connecting message all the time while others would play the video but only a black screen was shown on the television.
Detects compatible video streams on the page you are own and highlights them for you. You can then click on the icon to play one of the discovered streams right away or add it to a queue instead to play it at a later point in time.
The Chrome app enables you to play Internet Radio on the device the Chromecast is connected to. It ships with a selection of radio stations that you can tune in right away and options to load pls or m3u files as well.