It's important to note that the Chromecast streams content directly from the Plex Media Server (or Cloud Sync).
When you use the Plex Web App to initiate a cast, the content does not go "through" that browser and then to the Chromecast; you're free to quit your browser at any time if you wish to do so and that won't affect the stream.
For instance, it's possible to start the cast with one device and then connect to the Chromecast later from a completely different device to control the playback.
In order to initiate a cast to your Chromecast device using Plex while on a normal computer, you'll need to use a browser. It is not currently possible to cast from the Plex Home Theater or Windows 8 apps. The three main requirements to do so:
- Use the Chrome browser
- Install the Google Cast extension in Chrome (the "Google Cast(Beta)" extension is not recommended or formally supported)
- Open Plex Web App
It is not currently possible to cast from other browsers besides Chrome until or unless Google makes it possible to do so.
Select the Chromecast Device
First, click on the Plex Players icon at the top right.
You'll see the Google Cast extension window open with a list of the detected Plex Apps that are available. You should see the Chromecast available in the list.
Select the Chromecast. This will set the Chromecast as the device on which you want content played.
Nothing is Playing
If nothing is currently playing via Plex on the Chromecast, you'll simply see that you're connected:
Something is in Progress
However, if there is already something playing via Plex, you'll typically see an option to Cast <something> at the bottom left of the Google Cast extension window.
Depending on how you're accessing Plex Web App, this might be a number of different labels:
- Cast plex.tv
- Cast localhost
- Cast 192.168.1.15
The name simply corresponds to how you're accessing Plex Web App. Choose that button to connect to the existing session using your Plex Web App.
Once connected, you'll see pause and mute controls:
You'll also see a mini-player at the bottom of the browser window.
Playing Your Content
With the Chromecast selected, you can use the interface as normal. When you choose to play something, it will play on the Chromecast instead of in the browser window. As you browse content in the browser, details about that content will be mirrored and displayed on Chromecast for everyone to see.
Start playback just as you would normally by selecting to play from a poster or details page.
Once you start Playback on the Chromecast, you'll see a Now Playing screen on your browser:
You can use the Now Playing screen to control playback on the Chromecast. Pause, stop, or scrub within the playback timeline.
Toggle Between Mini-Player and Now Playing
If something is already playing via Plex when you connect to the Chromecast, you'll see the mini-player at the bottom of the browser. You can use the mini-player to control playback.
If you wish to access the full Now Playing window, you can toggle from the mini-player at the far right.
If you're in the full Now Playing window, you can toggle back to the mini-player using the control at the bottom right.
It isn't currently possible to simply disconnect from an existing Chromecast session with Plex Web App and let it continue on its own.
If you wish to end the Chromecast session, access the Google Cast extension and select Stop Casting.
Playback will end on the Chromecast and will continue locally in the Plex Web App.