Google Chromecast Slideshow

Chromecast adapter photo from Google web site
Updated 2013-8-9 adding 1080p information about Chromecast.

Got a Google Chromecast adapter last week with the idea of using it to show my 2D and 3D photos in a slideshow using a large monitor mounted on the wall. Since the Chromecast adapter is very small I can place it behind the mounted wall monitor without any wires showing (the power outlet is behind the monitor too). This setup allows me to display my photo slideshow from any networked source.

Chromecast was easy to setup and control with my Android phone. I used it to view Youtube videos from my iPad and also with a Chrome browser on a Windows 7 laptop. I found that if I moved to another local WIFI network at a friend's house, for example, I had to redo the setup since the adapter only remembers one network.

To present a slide show I downloaded the Chrome browser Google Cast extension to show the browser screen on the Chromecast receiver monitor/TV. For the slideshow I added the Chrome browser iSlide extension. I found that I could not use it directly to present a folder of photos on the laptop. The iSlide extension did not find the photo URLs from the directory list, since Chrome was using javascript to construct the image URLs.

What I ended up doing was to start a small web server that could construct the photo URLs in a web page. The web server is SimpleWebServer, a Java application that I downloaded from . It starts from the command line in my Windows 7 laptop in the top folder of the slides being presented:

To access the photo web page type in in a tab in your Chrome browser, and click on the folder drilling down to the listing of photos.

My photos are sized at 1920x1080 to exactly match the large 3D monitor or TV 1080p resolution. However my laptop screen resolution display is smaller than the photos, so I set the laptop screen  resolution to 1280x720 to keep the same aspect ratio of the photos. This allows me to use full screen (F11 hot key in Chrome) when presenting the photos. However the photos from ChromeCast on the large monitor are smaller resolution than their actual size because 1080p is not implemented from the Chrome browser.

Here are the iSlide options used:

I'm pleased that I could do a slideshow with Chromecast, but was not satisfied with the lower resolution  720p of the photos on the monitor. This appears to be an issue with the Google Cast extension options.

Here are the Google Cast options and note that the highest configurable resolution is 720p from the browser:

I was able to show a 1080p test pattern from Youtube using this video:
and it displayed at 1080p on my monitor using the Youtube Google cast button on the player. Because the video is coming directly from Youtube it can be 1080p. When a photo comes from the Chrome tab with the browser Google Cast extension on the laptop, its maximum resolution is 720p.

All told I am quite pleased with the ChromeCast adapter when used with a large screen TV or computer monitor. After playing with the ChromeCast for more that a week, my conclusion is that this little inexpensive adapter could be a replacement for a cable set-top box. Just need some additional software...