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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    bearda's Avatar

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    Default Chromecast for analog audio only

    I have two Apple Airport Express devices connected to my network to stream audio to speakers in my house. One's in the bathroom that my wife most uses when showering, and the other's in the kitchen I mostly use when cooking. I've recently switched from an iPhone to a Nexus 4 and have been trying to find a suitable replacement for the one in the kitchen since I can't find any way to use it from my Nexus 4. I'm thinking of replacing it with a headless (no display connected) Chromecast for audio streaming, but I'm not sure if it would work.

    I hooked a Chromecast up to my TV last night and it seems like there really isn't any need to see the screen when playing music. It shows album art, but the volume control is still from the Android device and if your TV doesn't support CEC it has it's own independent volume control. It seems like there are more than a few devices out there that will split an analog audio signal off of an HDMI connection, like this guy:
    Amazon.com: ViewHD HDMI to HDMI + Analog Audio Converter / Digital to Analog 3.5mm Stereo Audio Extractor: Electronics
    HDMI Audio Decoder Converter Digital Audio Embedded HDMI to Analog Stereo Audio | eBay

    In the initial ordering frenzy I put in two orders, one from Google and one from Amazon but ended up canceling the Amazon order (long story, Amazon had free shipping but Google's cancellation system sucks). I'm kind of regretting that if I can use this to replace one of the Apple devices. Does anybody know of a reason this wouldn't work (or has tried it and knows that it does work), or have any experience with these types of converters and can recommend a good one?
    Last edited by bearda; 08-01-2013 at 08:23 AM.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Does your TV have analog out? That would be the easiest.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    bearda's Avatar

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    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I'm looking to install a second Chromecast in another room with no TV connected, just audio hooked up to the speakers. I could run audio out from my TV, but then there would be a REALLY long cable, the TV would have to be on the whole time, and the speakers in my TV are better than the ones around the house anyway. I just want to use the Chromecast as an audio-only streamer.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    My Stereo has HDMI in so that's not a problem for me, One of those devices you have listed should work for you.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Ummm why not just use a bluetooth reciever to connect it to the stereo? If you focus is only audio then Chromcast seems like overkill.

    Amazon.com: Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices (980-000540): Electronics

    Amazon.com: Belkin Bluetooth HD Music Receiver: Cell Phones & Accessories
    I think your skills are improving.
    Moto X
    Nexus10 2012
    2 Nexus 7 2013s [My Children's]
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Does your stereo support Digital Audio (via TOSLINK or Digital Coax)?

    You could use this then:
    Amazon.com: J-Tech Digital (Registered US Trademark) Premium Quality HDMI to HDMI + Audio (SPDIF + 3.5mm Stereo) Audio Extractor Converter: Electronics

    I have two concerns, but they might not be the same as yours. The Chromecast is providing a digital audio signal, and you're downgrading it to analog with the converter you've chosen.

    The problem, of course, is that the equivalent digital converter costs more than the Chromecast.

    So if you're fine with the analog sound, then yes, your solution should work.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I just plugged my Chromecast into my Yamaha amp and it will stream audio to it and out my speakers independently of if the TV is on or off. Way better speakers than what the TV has.

    My concern with using any splitters would be the HDCP handshake. My bet is the Chromecast is doing HDCP so that it can display netflix, google movies etc for copy protection.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  
    bearda's Avatar

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    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    The speakers I'm using are pretty cheap, so toslink is out of the picture. Analog is the way to go for this setup

    I thought of using Bluetooth (and still might), but I'm a bit concerned about the logistics. If I could find the right device it'd be fine, but I need something that could pair with multiple devices in the house and activate only on demand (not like my headphones or car, which seem to connect automatically as soon as they come on). The Chromecast also seems to do a bit better job of arbitration of multiple devices.

    The Chromecast would definitely be overkill, but at the current price point it and a cheap analog adapter is not a lot much more than the Bluetooth receiver. I'm just trying to work out if there are any glaring reasons it wouldn't work.

    The HDCP concern is a good point. If I can find another Chromecast I may give it a try anyway, it seems like they're pretty easy to unload right now.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    This is exactly the same solution I'm looking for. I would like to have speakers in (almost) all rooms and until now AirPlay was the only alternative. But to buy an AirportExpress for every room (or a speaker with built in AirPlay) would be quite expensive. So Chromecast with its price point would be a perfect solution, if it had analog out.

    So the question is if a standard Chromeast dongle with an adapter (HDMI->analog out) is the solution, or if someone, somewhere (google?) will produce a dongle with analog audio out?
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Hmmm I just found this adapter. Pretty cheap.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  
    bearda's Avatar

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    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Quote Originally Posted by Camme View Post
    Hmmm I just found this adapter. Pretty cheap.
    I would be cautious about any adapter which isn't powered. I almost picked up a much cheaper adapter on eBay before I realized it was bus (HDMI) powered. I don't think the Chromecast is capable of putting out a significant amount of current out for external devices, if any. In the end I decided to play it safe (and go with an adapter that supported optical out for later use) and got the much more expensive J-Tech adapter, but it works flawlessly. I'd look for an adapter that at least has USB power in, though.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Quote Originally Posted by bearda View Post
    I would be cautious about any adapter which isn't powered. I almost picked up a much cheaper adapter on eBay before I realized it was bus (HDMI) powered. I don't think the Chromecast is capable of putting out a significant amount of current out for external devices, if any. In the end I decided to play it safe (and go with an adapter that supported optical out for later use) and got the much more expensive J-Tech adapter, but it works flawlessly. I'd look for an adapter that at least has USB power in, though.
    Ah thanks, didnt think of that.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I actually spoke with a friend who had an issue with Chromecast and his older (2006) Fatscreen TV and he stated Google Support confirmed it is using HDCP. Just thought I'd mention that.

    EDIT: I also found this on Googles support for Chromecast that specifically addresses possible HDCP issues with a TV. This pretty much confirms it is using HDCP.

    https://support.google.com/chromecas.../3228183?hl=en
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  
    bearda's Avatar

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    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I'll try running video through it tonight and seeing if I get the audio or now, but playing content from Google Play Music I had no HDCP handshake issues. It could be that the adapter I'm using is doing the handshake itself, though. That would kind of defeat the point, though.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I have to second the suggestion of the Bluetooth music gateway.

    They are easy setup, and to use. You either connect automaticaly when you turn on bluetooth with your portable device, or you just select the gateway from the bluetooth menu on the device. Very simple and reliable. Work from anything that outputs from bluetooth.

    You could go as high end as a jawbone portable speaker setup, or as simple as a blackberry music gateway/ HTC Media Link.

    I think you can find them for about the same price as the Chromecast or cheaper.

    Nothing wrong with using the chromecast i just don't think it is really what you are looking for. I have used the HTC Media link and ti was flawless for sending audio out to a analog audio device.
    Craig
    Phone :: BB880>>BB9000>>Captivate>>Galaxy Note1
    Tablet :: B&N Nook >> Xoom >> Nexus 10
    Game/Mini-PC :: Zealz G802 >> Ouya
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I have this installed my car for my in dash and rear screens, to get hdmi in from my phone or tablet....Ben using it without issue for over 2 years

    Check this out on Amazon:

    C&E HDMI to Composite/S-video Converter
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EA7XIY/...idcentral00-20
    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    The advantage of Chromecast is you can;

    A. Control the music from any device, from anywhere in the house (Bluetooth is about 20ft max)
    B. Chromecast is controlled from the device but actually streams music and video directly from the cloud, thus freeing your device for ANYthing else. Bluetooth is typically using the device to do the streaming and then sending the audio to the amp

    All in all, Chromecast is a very intelligent solution, especially if you have a whole house / zone 2 music and want to listen even from outside / by the pool etc., Bluetooth is pretty 19th century
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    A. What good is controlling what music is streamed to a device across the house if you can't even hear it.
    B. That was exactly the reason I suggested bluetooth. The way the OP talked he wanted everything to be local and the ability to control something from a distance is actually a insignificant advantage

    I would agree if we were talking about a whole house audio solution, but that isn't how this was proposed. It was simply to provide a way to stream music to a set of basic spearkers in two completely separate locations in a home. On top of that it sounded as they they should function independently.
    Craig
    Phone :: BB880>>BB9000>>Captivate>>Galaxy Note1
    Tablet :: B&N Nook >> Xoom >> Nexus 10
    Game/Mini-PC :: Zealz G802 >> Ouya
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I have tried the Chromecast into a Monoprice HDMI Switcher, with the audio split into a digital coax feeding into a digital to analog converter. No sound. Since the switcher also has an analog audio out, I tried that as well. Still, no sound. This setup works flawlessly with an Xbox 360, so I know it's not my switcher. Video is fine. The same Chromecast works plugged directly into a TV in another room.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Herberg View Post
    I have tried the Chromecast into a Monoprice HDMI Switcher, with the audio split into a digital coax feeding into a digital to analog converter. No sound. Since the switcher also has an analog audio out, I tried that as well. Still, no sound. This setup works flawlessly with an Xbox 360, so I know it's not my switcher. Video is fine. The same Chromecast works plugged directly into a TV in another room.

    When comapring a device that works with one that does not, they need to be compliant with the same HDMI version. Chromecast is HDMI 1.4 compliant.An XBOX 360 is HDMI 1.2 complant. So you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Are you sure the HDMI switch is HDMI 1.4 compliant?
    I think your skills are improving.
    Moto X
    Nexus10 2012
    2 Nexus 7 2013s [My Children's]
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I have two switches, both of which are 1.4 compliant. Video works fine with both. With Netflix via Chromecast, neither passes a separate audio signal to my DAC. Since Youtube via Chromecast does pass audio to my DAC, I suspect the problem is HDCP.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I've been considering doing something similar. My chromecast is currently connected to a Yamaha RX-V673 which outputs to a projector which I don't want to turn on just to listen to music. With my setup, were is what I found:

    1) With the receiver set to HDMI pass-through, the projector must be turned on for the chromecast to work.
    2) With the receiver set to HDMI up-conversion, chromecast works fine either way.

    From this, I gather that when the receiver is on pass-through, chromecast is not getting something it needs, possibly a HDCP handshake, from a display device and won't work. When the receiver is on up-conversion, chromecast handshakes with the receiver and the receiver handshakes with the projector, and chromecast does not know or care if the projector is on or not.

    So, to do what you want to do, chromecast is going to need something to which it can talk. I considered setting up a boombox, of sorts, in my bathroom with a small LCD display to make it all work.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I'm trying to do the same thing and route my Google music through my whole house audio system. I thought I would be good by running everything through my Denin recover but it doesn't extract the audio for pre-outs for the other zones. I'm considering this product that I found on amazon. The price isn't too bad and it has a switch for shooting to extract or pass through the audio. I'd be interested in what you all think about this way of extracting the audio.

    Amazon.com: ViewHD Premium HDMI to HDMI + Audio (sPDIF + RAC L/R) Audio Extractor | Converter: Electronics
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    I recently bought this off of ebay: White HDMI Female to VGA Converter Adapter 1080p with Audio Cable for PC TV New | eBay

    It works great with my Chromecast! I can do audio only to my speakers and I haven't had any issues (outside of the limitations of Chromecast apps).

    I did replace a bluetooth audio gateway due to the distance limitations. No problems so far since the wife and I use Google Music and Pandora for music 99% of the time.

    I also use an App called Spoticast to send my Spotify music to the Chromecast. Not as wife friendly but works great for me!
  25. #25  

    Default Re: Chromecast for analog audio only

    video to vga also works? Since one month, I am waiting also for this adapter, I still didn't get it from the supplier...

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