How to Chromecast Popcorn Time

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

August 20, 2014

As regular readers of this blog will know by now, we absolutely love the free and open source ‘Netflix for pirates’ app Popcorn Time. We are also fans of Google’s super-cheap Chromecast streaming device, so the two should be a marriage made in heaven!

The popular (and slightly controversial) Popcorn Time fork Time4Popcorn already has Chromecast support built in (although in our experience this can be somewhat unstable), but the ‘mainstream’ Popcorn version has yet to add this feature.

There is however a handy workaround which allows users to Chromecast their Popcorn Time movies from their desktop computers (we tested this on Windows, but it should work with OSX and Linux) using a service which Chromecast owners may also find more generally useful. VidCast offers a free ‘VidCast: Video to Chromecast’ service. Simply cut and paste almost any video link (Vimeo, TED and many other websites are supported, as well as a wide range of video formats) into the website’s URL bar, and a Chromecast button will appear at the bottom right of the video.

Vidcast from does not specify a required browser, but perhaps because many of ours are tricked-out with various privacy extensions etc., the service only worked using a fairly ‘vanilla’ version of Google Chrome. It work very well, however, when using this browser.

Chromecasting Popcorn Time using VidCast

1. Make sure your VPN is running (if you don’t want the copyright bullies after you)!

2. Start your show in Popcorn Time and wait for the video to load

3. Hit ‘u’ on your keyboard (this copies the URL of the torrent to your clipboard)

4. Go to and Paste the URL into the URL bar

5. Replace ‘’ with your computer’s IP address (search online how to do this for your OS). It should now look something like ‘’. Be sure to use your ‘real’ IP, not that of your VPN server. We have checked, and this works just fine

5. Hit ‘Go’

6. The video should start playing in your browser. Hit the Chromecast icon at the bottom right of the video to enjoy the show on your big TV screen!

Note that Popcorn Time must remain running while Chromecasting in this way.

Our thanks to redditer HarryButts for this excellent hack.

Update 21 August 2014: No sooner had we published this article than ollym posted that, bored of waiting for Chromecast support, he has built it himself. Links to the new build are available here (Windows & OSX).

Popcorn Time Chromecast

We tested the new Chromecast functionality and it works well, but with one big caveat – it does not seem to work when using VPN! We have contacted the developer about this, and hopefully the issue will soon be fixed.. Until it is, however, we recommend using the workaround outlined above.


Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

19 responses to “How to Chromecast Popcorn Time

  1. Hi,

    Just downloaded a new mac version of popcorn time. I don’t see any options to select chromecast. There’s only Watch Now, button.

    appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Y,

      I assume that you are using Popcorn, as this is the major PT fork still up and running. Popcorn Time .se was also the first fork to support the Chromecast, and it used to play without problem on my Chromecast when connected to my VPN service. You can still sect to play on Chromecast – wait until the video is running then click the “Play on” at the bottom right of the screen. However, sometimes it will detect my Chromecast, and sometimes not (and this is so unstable that I am unable to determine if being connected to a VPN matters.) Sometimes even when connected to my Chromecast it will then not succeed at broadcasting the video to the device…

  2. I have an old linux version of popcorn time, the way I get movies to play on chromecast is I start the download in PT , pause it.
    I locate the .mp4 link file in the /tmp/Popcorn-Time folder then I create a shortcut for it on my desktop.
    I use the Videostream app for chrome to locate the folder with this file and stream it to chromecast (tab).

    1. Hi Mulneri,

      Thanks for the tip. The latest version of (0.3.7) has Chromecast support built-in, although we did find that many movies refused to Cast. There is a Linux version available, so you might like give it a try!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      I’m afraid not. have however recently added Chromecast support to its desktop client, and this works with regular VPN enabled, so hopefully the same functionality will soon appear in its Android app.

  3. the casting button does nothing for me. its like it doesn’t receive a click. also, when i paste the the url it automatically already has my ip address in place. why? i am a computer noob btw so please dumb it down. lol

    1. Hi Alex,

      We could only get VidCast to work in Chrome, so maybe that is the problem?
      As for the URL, the IP you paste will not be your computer’s IP (if it is then I have no idea why!)

    1. Hi Aceroom,

      That’s a great idea, although it should be noted that Chromecast tab casting is limited to 720p. Thanks!

  4. Dear, when you say that Popcorn Time must remain running while Chromecasting in this way, you mean running the video? or, Can I pause on Popcorn ? Because I undertint in this way that Popcorn now is my Streaming server.

    1. Hi Alejandro,

      That is correct. What I meant is that Chromecast usually streams directly from the web, so it is usually possible to close down the intermediary software without affecting the streaming. Because Popcorn Tine is acting as the streaming server, however, it must remain running (you can pause it though).

      1. ..So Chromecast does not stream from the web but the complete video has to be transmitted from the unit running Popcorn Time – a little bit like Apple Airplay?

      2. Hi Douglas,

        I am using Popcorn version 5.1
        Per your advice (on this article), I have started the video and pressed ‘u’ to copy the URL.
        However, nothings happen.
        I also signed up to, but i can’t see there anything related to video casting (it seems just a tool to write diaries 🙂 ) – no place where to paste the URL.

        another point : you wrote ” It should now look something like ‘’. Be sure to use your ‘real’ IP, not that of your VPN server. ” but the type of the IP you put as an example is ‘private’ while your advice is using a real IP.

        Please advise.
        Thanks !!!

        1. Hi Mike,

          I think you are using a different fork of Popcorn Time (Time4Pocorn) than I discuss in this article. The current version of is, and it can be downloaded from Selecting the program once the movie is running and then pressing ‘u’ copies the movie’s URL to your clipboard – I just checked.

          Did you follow the link from the article? Go to – no need to sign up – just past the link into the URL box and go.

          As for the example IP address – I have no wish to publish my real IP address on the internet. Simply use your own real IP – it works, I promise – I just tested it all again.

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