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[ROM] rCast - Chromecast as a standalone media player without wifi

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By rundgong, Senior Member on 5th October 2015, 02:40 PM
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*** Now based on Eureka ROM 44433.01 ***

I have created a custom ROM (based on latest Eureka mod version 44433.01) that will let you play local media files without any wifi or other devices to control it.
It essentially becomes a self contained media player.
Media files can be stored either locally on the internal flash, or from an attached USB memory.
Playback is controlled by the button on the device.

What it does:
#1 - Getting the device to start up without network
Google has made a lot of checks to ensure the device is connected to the internet before it lets you start up.
- cast_shell and net_mgr makes http requests to google servers. I have patched those binaries so they make requests to the local web server instead.
- The device make a dns lookup sent to server 8.8.8.8. I have worked around that by creating an alias for 8.8.8.8 on the local host and run a dns server.
- The device will not finish booting until it has received an updated time from pool.ntp.org. This is fixed by adding pool.ntp.org as 127.0.0.1 in the hosts file, and locally running a sntp server.
Those workarounds will let the device start up normally even when network is missing.
The scripts are made so they only do something when we do not have internet. For normal connected usage none of the above is performed.

When we have detected that there is no internet (if we fail to get a new time from NTP server), the above fixes are performed.
After this the system may have a "brain freeze", but wait until the idle screen is back up again and it will be finished.

#2 - A cast sender that talks to the device and tells it what media to play.
To actually play any media files I have created a media player with a cast protocol implementation that talks to the device locally, and a cast sender implementation.
In addition there is a cast receiver app on the local web server.

An FTP server is also started at boot to make it easier to load media onto the internal flash.

HOWTO Install
1: Before you start you should set the Whitelist Provider to "Locally Stored" in the Eureka ROM Device settings.
A custom whitelist is required so we can have a local idle screen and also for the media player to work
2: Flash the zip-file like any other flashcast zip, and wait until it reboots.
Now the device is prepared with all the rCast files, but it's not yet activated. So far it is almost identical to the Eureka ROM, except for patches to cast_shell, net_mgr and a fix to launch user scripts during boot.
3: Login to the CC using telnet and run the following commands
Code:
busybox cp /system/rcast/apps.conf.template /data/eureka/apps.conf
busybox cp /system/rcast/user_boot_script.sh.template /data/user_boot_script.sh
chmod 755 /data/user_boot_script.sh
Reboot the device.
You should now be good to go.
To remove rCast features, remove or edit /data/user_boot_script.sh. This is the file that actually launches all the rCast features

HOWTO Control Media playback
The device only has one button so it is used for all control. Every command is a sequence of long and short presses.
a short press is < 1 second, a long press is > 1 second.
When there has not been any button pressings for 1 second the command times out and is executed.
Play/Pause: 1 short press.
Next video: 2 short presses
Previous video: 3 short presses.
Stop playback: 1 long press

HOWTO upload media files
Find out the ip-address of the device and connect with a FTP client.
All videos are placed in /data/rcast/videos are included in the playlist.
Reboot the device. The playlist is created during the start phase.
Currently only mp4 files are supported.

Download ROM
rCast 1.1.1 based on Eureka ROM 44433.01 available HERE
This version does not work properly when there is no wifi. It works when there is wifi, but no internet.
-------
Older versions
v1.0 based on Eureka ROM 27946.002 available HERE
This version has no restrictions for wifi.
Sources are available at https://github.com/rundgong

Thanks to @tchebb and @ddggttff3 for answering some questions I had about the Eureka ROM, and of course the entire Eureka team for making their ROM.
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7th October 2015, 02:27 AM |#2  
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Awesome to see new development still on these devices. In your post you say attached USB storage and I guess rooting means a usb otg isn't hard to come by, but do those files have to be in a specific folder as well?
7th October 2015, 04:41 AM |#3  
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This is incredible work and super useful!

I take it, if you use a Y power cable and USB Flash Drive (FAT32?) it will add those mp4's to the playlist too?

Cheers Rob.
7th October 2015, 04:46 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImCoKeMaN

Awesome to see new development still on these devices. In your post you say attached USB storage and I guess rooting means a usb otg isn't hard to come by, but do those files have to be in a specific folder as well?

No, they do not have to be in a specific folder on the USB storage.
All mp4 files on the USB stick will be included in the playlist.
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7th October 2015, 04:56 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfluck

This is incredible work and super useful!

I take it, if you use a Y power cable and USB Flash Drive (FAT32?) it will add those mp4's to the playlist too?

Cheers Rob.

Yeah, I use the same USB-storage + Y-cable for power that I use while flashing ROMs.
The USB drive I use is prepared by flashcast during the rooting process, but I suppose it will work also for any regular USB drive.
7th October 2015, 07:57 PM |#6  
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THIS is the reason I want to keep root. Cool new functions.

Don't think I will use this method but it's awesome to see the potential what can be done.

Skickat från min GT-I9505 via Tapatalk
13th October 2015, 03:09 AM |#7  
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Thank you!
I like this a LOT. Thank you!
I'm also curious to see if eventually this code can get modified and tweaked a bit so that that the whole "must be connected to the internet" crap gets by-passed and i can start using this as a simple wireless HDMI cable between my iPad and the hotel TV. Thanks again!
13th October 2015, 08:22 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveychan

I like this a LOT. Thank you!
I'm also curious to see if eventually this code can get modified and tweaked a bit so that that the whole "must be connected to the internet" crap gets by-passed and i can start using this as a simple wireless HDMI cable between my iPad and the hotel TV. Thanks again!

It already bypasses the "must be connected to the internet" crap
It does not differentiate between "no internet" and "no wifi" though
14th October 2015, 12:38 AM |#9  
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LOL
[QUOTE=It does not differentiate between "no internet" and "no wifi" though[/QUOTE]
You're absolutely right, of course!

Yes indeed... WiFi ability so I can stream from my iStuff but no Internet Check, so i can just plug and play with any TV.
14th October 2015, 04:49 AM |#10  
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Genius! Thank you so much for your work!
14th October 2015, 09:52 PM |#11  
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Wow, an unexpected thread!
Few questions, loading the eureka rom we page is still available?
And how about the eureka ota update process?
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