Hello, tech support?!

Not sure if the title here is clear enough to convey the caller or the responder.

I am the responder this time.

It’s been a while since I was the responder though and I realised last night that I missed that.

I called on a friend of mine who was getting a bit stuck with the media playback functions of his swanky new TV. To be honest, these new TVs have so many features it’s hard not to get stuck.

He had a video he’d recorded on his tablet and wanted to watch it on his TV.

Why? Because it’s much more convenient if there’s a group of you who wants to watch and talk about it at the same time. We do that a lot with recorded TV and it’s especially true with family videos.

I took a Raspberry Pi with me to expand the list of options available. This one is running Openelec/Kodi and gives a crisp looking Ui/Ux even on screens as big as my mates.

I knew there was a Chromecast available but they’re so limited in what you can do with them. Kodi gets round all of that. In fact, it will solve any problem thrown at it and I’ve left him some extra things to think about.

While I was there though, I sorted out the immediate problem with an app called AllCast.

It’s fantastic. I’ve been using it for a while and I’ll blog soon about my own setup.

Available free with an IPA on iOS and Android it allows you to send photos and videos from your tablet/phone to your TV.

So, do you need a Chromecast or AppleTV for it to work? Maybe.

Maybe you need a Raspberry Pi running Kodi *8^).

In this instance the TV supported uPnP/DLNA and was announcing itself to all the tech on his he network. If your TV doesn’t support that function you will need to buy and extra something that does.

All we had to do (I’m not exaggerating here) was run AllCast and pick the video recording from the photo/video library on the tablet. AllCast then told us all the places we could send the video to.

  • Kodi
  • Chromecast
  • TV
  • NowTV/Roku would also have worked if there was one available.

We picked TV option and a little security blob popped up on the TV screen. “Do you want to allow the Tablet to connect?” Obviously was said yes after a brief scramble to find the right remote. …and Voila!

Really clear picture from the video on the tablet came up on the TV, audio came through in stereo and everyone was happy. Especially me. I get nervous when demoing things, even to my mates.

So before you fall fowl of Google and Apple, take a good look at the spec of your TV. Make use of the uPnP/DLNA function if you have it and you won’t need to shell out for a Chromecast or AppleTV.

As it happens, my mate only keeps a small number of videos on his tablet at any given time. I think we’ll be visiting this set-up again in the future and controlling the content on a harddrive thru Kodi on the Raspberry Pi.

I enjoyed my night out & it felt pretty good to be wearing my tech support hat again. Any questions or if you need me to drop by, my Twitter link is at the top of the page. Send me a message.