Does Google Chromecast support DLNA?

What is Google Chromecast?

Google Chromecast is a digital media player developed by Google. It is a small dongle that plugs into the HDMI port on a TV and allows users to stream video, music, photos and more from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a TV.

Some key features of Chromecast include:

  • Streams content from hundreds of supported apps including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora and more.
  • Users can cast content from their mobile device or laptop using the Chrome browser.
  • The Chromecast dongle plugs into the HDMI port on your TV.
  • Setup only takes a few minutes and includes connecting to your home WiFi network.
  • Once set up, users can control casting from their phone, tablet or laptop.
  • Chromecast works on both Android and iOS devices.

In summary, Chromecast is a plug-in digital media streaming device developed by Google that lets you cast media content from your personal device directly to your TV. It provides an easy and affordable way to stream entertainment to your TV.

What is DLNA?

DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance. It is a standard that allows devices on a home network to share digital media content with each other. The DLNA standard was created in 2003 by a group of major technology companies including Sony, Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, and others.

DLNA allows computers, smart TVs, game consoles, mobile devices, and other equipment to connect over a home WiFi network and stream media between devices. For example, you could have a DLNA server such as a PC or NAS drive that stores your media files. Then a DLNA client device like a smart TV or smartphone could access and play that media over the network without needing wires or cables.

The way DLNA works is that certified devices can discover, connect to, and exchange data with other DLNA devices on the local network. Media files like music, photos, and videos can be pushed from one DLNA device to another supported device. This allows seamless access to media throughout the home without needing physical access to storage drives.[1]

Overall, DLNA simplifies sharing media between devices and creates an integrated digital media network in the home. The interoperability provided by the DLNA standard means consumers can easily stream content between a wide range of certified products and brands.

Chromecast’s Native Streaming Capabilities

Chromecast has native support for several popular streaming protocols that allow it to play content directly from apps on your phone, tablet, or computer. Some of the main streaming protocols built into Chromecast include:

  • Google Cast – This proprietary protocol from Google allows apps to stream audio, video, and images directly to Chromecast. Major apps like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and Chrome browser support Google Cast.
  • Miracast – This standard lets you mirror your Android device’s screen and audio to Chromecast. It provides seamless streaming without needing a separate app.
  • AirPlay – Chromecast can work with AirPlay to stream content from Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This allows you to share videos, photos, music, and more.

In addition to these native protocols, Chromecast also supports standards like HTML5, allowing you to cast web content from sites like Hulu using the Chrome browser. With its built-in support for these major streaming protocols, Chromecast provides flexible options for wirelessly viewing content from your devices.

Can Chromecast Play DLNA Content?

Chromecast does not natively support DLNA streaming out of the box. This means you cannot directly cast local media files from a DLNA server to your Chromecast like you can with supported streaming services such as Netflix or YouTube.

The Chromecast was designed as a conduit for approved sender apps to stream content from the internet to your TV. It does not provide native functionality to search for and play media files from DLNA home media servers on your local network. The Chromecast must be connected to WiFi with an internet connection to function as intended.

This lack of DLNA support is a common complaint from users looking to play their downloaded video files or home media library on Chromecast. Unlike devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku players, Chromecast is not meant to directly interact with media files stored locally on your home network.1

In summary, Chromecast cannot discover and cast content from DLNA media servers out of the box. Native support would require an update from Google to allow the Chromecast to function as a DLNA client.

Workarounds for Streaming DLNA to Chromecast

Even though Chromecast does not natively support DLNA, there are some workarounds using third-party apps that allow you to stream DLNA content to your Chromecast device. Some popular options include:

  • BubbleUPnP – This Android and iOS app supports DLNA and can cast content to Chromecast. It lets you stream videos, music and photos from a DLNA media server to your TV via Chromecast (
  • Skifta – Another mobile app that enables DLNA playback on Chromecast. Skifta can stream various file formats from a NAS drive or media server (

These apps essentially bridge the gap between the DLNA server and Chromecast, allowing content to be streamed even though Chromecast itself does not support the DLNA protocol natively. They work by converting and optimizing the DLNA media on-the-fly into a format playable by Chromecast.

Pros of Using DLNA with Chromecast

There are several benefits to getting DLNA content streaming working with Chromecast:

Access to more content – With DLNA support, Chromecast owners can stream media files from DLNA servers, expanding the content library beyond just supported apps and casting. This provides access to personal media libraries.

No need to convert files – DLNA streaming means you can play files in their native format rather than needing to convert them to be compatible with Chromecast streaming.

Works with more devices – DLNA allows streaming from more types of devices, rather than just those with built-in Chromecast support. This includes streaming from NAS devices, older phones, and computers.

Better performance – Some users report that streaming large HD video files via DLNA has better performance compared to casting the same file (1). DLNA streaming can provide faster buffering and smoother playback.

More control – DLNA allows for more granular control over streaming and queuing compared to standard Chromecast casting (1). You can browse libraries and manage playback better.

Cons of Using DLNA with Chromecast

While using DLNA with Chromecast can provide more streaming options, there are some downsides to this workaround approach. Some key cons to consider include:

Limited file format support – Chromecast only natively supports certain media formats like MP4, WebM, and MP3 when casting from DLNA. This means you may encounter issues with unsupported formats like MKV or FLAC files. According to this Reddit discussion, DLNA support on Chromecast is still limited.

No subtitles – A major drawback is that Chromecast does not display subtitles when streaming from a DLNA server. The device only supports subtitles when casting directly from supported apps.

No transcoding – With DLNA, Chromecast will play the file exactly as is without any transcoding. This means high bandwidth content may buffer or stutter. Transcoding helps adapt the quality to your network speed.

Indirect setup – Using DLNA with Chromecast requires enabling DLNA capabilities on an intermediary device like a smartphone, which then streams to the Chromecast. The setup is not as seamless as native casting.

Limited controls – You lose out on some Chromecast playback controls like queuing when streaming over DLNA. The controls are also dependent on the intermediary streaming app.

Comparison to Other Streaming Devices

Chromecast takes a different approach to streaming media than other popular devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. These devices have native apps and built-in support for playing media from DLNA servers.

For example, Roku devices include the Roku Media Player app which can directly access and play content from a DLNA server on your local network. According to Roku’s support article, the Roku Media Player supports a wide variety of file formats including MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV video files as well as MP3, FLAC, WAV audio files [1]. This allows seamless streaming of your personal media library without the need for additional apps or transcoding.

Similarly, Amazon Fire TV products also come equipped with native support for DLNA through apps like AllCast and Plex. There are many reports of Fire TV owners easily connecting to DLNA servers to stream videos, music, and photos directly on their Fire TV [2].

So while Chromecast lacks built-in native support for DLNA, other mainstream streaming devices like Roku and Fire TV make it simple to tap into your home media servers right out of the box.

The Future of DLNA on Chromecast

There is some speculation that native DLNA support could come to Chromecast in the future. Google has not officially announced plans to add DLNA capabilities, but some believe it’s a logical next step as Chromecast expands its functionality.

On forums like Reddit, users have discussed the possibility of future DLNA support. With DLNA being widely used for media streaming, having native support in Chromecast would allow it to connect more seamlessly to existing home media libraries.

However, Google may prefer users rely on Cast-enabled apps over DLNA. And Chromecast’s cloud-centric approach is different from DLNA’s focus on local network streaming. So native support is not guaranteed.

Ultimately, while some enthusiasts are hopeful for direct DLNA capabilities, Google has not indicated if or when this could actually come to Chromecast.


In summary, Google Chromecast does not natively support DLNA media streaming out of the box. DLNA is a standard that allows devices to share media over a local network, while Chromecast is designed primarily to stream content from certain apps and services. There are some workarounds like using the Plex media server or third-party apps to bridge DLNA and Chromecast, but the experience is not as seamless as with certified DLNA devices.

To answer the main question directly – no, Google Chromecast does not support DLNA as a native feature. But with some additional configuration using apps, it is possible to find ways to stream DLNA content to Chromecast. The experience varies based on the specific workaround method used. Users who heavily rely on DLNA may want to consider other streaming devices that have direct native integration and support.

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