fx_cast Adds Chromecast Support To Firefox

Firefox Chromecast

While Firefox doesn't natively support Chromecast on desktop, there's a new third party tool called fx_cast, that adds Chromecast support to Firefox, on Windows, macOS and Linux.

fx_cast is currently "very work in progress". Its developers say it's currently incomplete and likely buggy.

fx_cast is made of two parts: a Firefox extension and a companion application that needs to run in the background. To work around Google's proprietary protocol, fx_cast needs a companion bridge application that has to be installed on the computer, which then connects with the receiver devices. Right now there are bridge companion app binaries for Linux (RPM and DEB), Windows and macOS.

Using Firefox to cast a DailyMotion video to a Chromecast device

fx_cast allows casting web apps like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, and non-DRM HTML5 media in general, with no guarantees it will work with anything else right now. I tried it with Twitch and DailyMotion - my Chromecast showed up immediately for DailyMotion, and I was able to cast from Firefox without any issues, while for Twitch I had to reload the page a few times to get the cast button to appear.

Controlling the video worked too, allowing play/pause or changing the volume with the two websites I tried it (Twitch and DailyMotion).

There's one major website that doesn't work with fx_cast right now though: YouTube. There's some explanation as to why that's the case, on Reddit. Edit: with fx_cast version 0.0.5 YouTube now works.

Casting a tab or screen works as well (requires enabling the screen mirroring option in the extension settings), but without sound, or that was the case for me, using fx_cast on Linux. This can be done by right clicking anywhere on a webpage, or on the extension button in the Firefox toolbar, and selecting Cast....

The fx_cast project page doesn't mention what exactly doesn't work right now. I can tell you what I noticed while using it, albeit for a short time. There doesn't seem to be a way to stop a website from casting by clicking the cast button - once you've started casting, clicking the cast button does nothing, so to stop casting you'll have to... cast something else. You can also pause the video.


How to install and use fx_cast

To use fx_cast to cast to Chromecast devices from Firefox, you'll need the fx_cast Firefox extension and the companion bridge application. Head to the fx_cast website and click the Firefox Extension button to install it. Also download the bridge (available for Windows, macOS or Linux - DEB or RPM) and install it. The bridge will be automatically started when needed, you don't have to run it manually.

To modify the extension preferences, right click the fx_cast extension in the Firefox toolbar and select Manage Extension.

Firefox Chromecast extension settings

Most websites won't load the cast API unless the browser presents itself as Chrome, so you won't see a cast button. For such websites, you'll need to whitelist the domain in the extension options page. In the fx_cast extension options, scroll down to the User agent whitelist and make sure the Enable site whitelist option is enabled, then add the websites you want to be able to cast to your Chromecast from Firefox, under Match patterns. Add them in the same way Netflix is added (Netflix is there by default), for example https://www.dailymotion.com/* for Dailymotion. Remember to click the Save button after making changes to the fx_cast extension preferences.

You can also add <all_urls> to whitelist all websites, but this may cause breakage on some websites!

Now you can visit a cast-enabled website (that was previously whitelisted), like Netflix, DailyMotion, and so on, and you should see a cast button that allows you to stream the video to a Chromecast, just like in Chrome. Unless there's a bug in fx_cast.

In case of remote HTML5 media that's not DRM protected, right click the video and it should have a Cast... context menu item that you can use to cast the video to a Chromecast device.

You may also begin casting using the fx_cast button from the Firefox toolbar. From there you can also select to cast a Firefox browser tab, your screen, or a local video (you'll need to enter the full path to the video manually).

via r/Firefox