One of a few fallbacks of using a Chromecast as your primary method of consuming television is that not all video services are supported. Most of the mainstream options, like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and others work fine, but there are definitely exceptions to the rule. If you’re trying to stream Amazon Prime Video for example, you have to cast the entire tab from the desktop Chrome browser on a Mac or PC, which until now has resulted in poor performance in most cases.

Well, that’s changing. A new feature recently added to the Dev Channel of the Google Chrome browser basically sends the video stream for these unsupported streams directly to your Chromecast…

As mentioned, you’ve long been able to cast these unsupported video sites, but quality has suffered a bit — especially if you’re using a less-than-powerful device. That’s because the previous method would have your computer download the video stream to itself, and then cast the tab to your TV essentially sending a second stream of the video you’re streaming. This update cuts out the middle man.

As Francois Beaufort describes on Google+:

The chrome team is experimenting in Dev Channel with improving the “Cast a tab” experience by forwarding directly the video content bitstream to the Chromecast device when a video is fullscreened. This “simple” feature allows to save battery and keep video quality intact.

As Beaufort mentions, this seems like a “simple” feature on its face, but will actually mean some serious benefits for end users: better battery life and much less video lag. And the best news is that if you have the Dev Channel of Chrome, you can enable the feature right now. All you have to do is navigate to chrome://flags/#media-remoting in your browser, and enable the flag. Cast the tab as you normally would, and witness the amazing buttery-smooth video playing on your TV.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.