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How one man built the awesome Chromecast accessory Google should have made

Published Nov 27th, 2014 8:30PM EST
Best Chromecast Accessories Remote Control
Image: Google Inc.

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Chromecast is a very cool way to stream content from your smartphone or PC onto your television. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a remote control that you can use to manage the device from your couch. GigaOM brings us the story of Chromecast fan Jeff Bower, who decided to take matters into his own hands and build his own remote control to use with Google’s popular streaming USB stick.

Bower’s remote was built around a Raspberry Pi model B that he hooked up to a case and buttons using connector wires. The total bill of goods for the remote was a little more than $55, the majority of which went toward buying the Raspberry Pi, which Bower also programmed to interact with Chromecast with the help of the Pychromecast, a development kit specifically built for Chromecast and the Pi.

The good news is that the remote seemed to work well with Chromecast apps such as the Google Play movie store that Bower says account for a lot of his streaming. The bad news is that the remote doesn’t play as nicely with other third-party apps.

“When I tested against Google Play and Plex content (the majority of my viewing) it worked great, but as I dug deeper into the implementation I realized that Plex only works because of a custom file describing the commands (Plex is nice like that),” he writes on his Google+ page. “Netflix is another story entirely, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the clear that can be captured and they’ve got a habit of locking out third party controls.”

Read about all the details about this awesome remote by checking out Bower’s page at the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.