VideoLan has released version 3.0 of its VLC media player software for various platforms including Windows, iOS and Android. It is a major update, including Chromecast support and hardware acceleration for 4k and 8k decoding.
The organization reports that streaming to a Chromecast is not done using the official SDK, so this should be possible on all platforms. Other innovations include hardware acceleration for decoding 4k and 8k video, support for HDR, playback of 360-degree videos and 3D audio, access to network locations via smb, ftp and nfs, among others, hd audio passthrough and support for BD-J menus. VideoLan has put a changelog online with a complete overview of all innovations.
Chromecast support was a long time coming. The first nightly builds with Chromecast support appeared as early as mid-2016, but at that time still had playback problems and did not work flawlessly. With the latest release candidate of VLC 3.0, the feature finally worked.
VideoLan developer Geoffrey Métais writes that there were several reasons why support took so long. For example, the developers had to build their own Chomecast stack, because Google’s SDK is not open source. VLC is. In addition, VLC must pretend to be an HTTP server and convert video to a Chromecast compatible format in real time.
At least Windows XP is required to run the new release, although there are some limitations according to the organization. Other minimum software versions include macOS 10.7, iOS 7, and Android 2.3. The current release is now available for download, although there is no 64-bit version available yet. According to VideoLan should also be available on Friday.