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Streaming videos from your browser to Chromecast is about to look way better

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Watch videos from the web at full quality

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Google’s Chromecast Ultra.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google is testing a major leap in quality when casting a tab with video content from a Chrome desktop browser to your Chromecast. Ever since the streaming gadget was introduced, this has been a rather lackluster way of sending video to the TV from sources that don’t natively support Chromecast. (Hi, Amazon Video.) Tab casting can be laggy, drops frames, and never preserves the video’s original quality. That’s changing soon and you can try the new solution right now.

François Beaufort outlines the Chrome team’s new approach in this Google+ post that was reported on by Android Police. Instead of just mirroring the entire tab (and low-quality video) on your TV screen, the Chrome browser will now send the exact video stream to the Chromecast. All you need to do is toggle on full-screen mode in the content you’re watching, and Chrome will handle the rest. “This ‘simple’ feature allows to save battery and keep video quality intact.”

This is what you’ll see when casting full-screen video to Chromecast from a browser tab.

That feature isn’t yet ready for all Chromecast users, so to try it out you’ve got to do a little bit of work:

You can give it a try today if you happen to have a Chromecast device nearby: Go to chrome://flags/#media-remoting, enable the highlighted flag, restart Chrome, go to, play a random video, click "Cast..." in the Chrome menu and fullscreen the video to enjoy that experience.

So get streaming, everyone. Amazon Video is one obvious example of where this will be very useful. I’m really hoping that works, but haven’t tested it myself just yet. Vimeo is another that Beaufort confirms as working. If you can think of other video services that don’t offer proper Chromecast support where this will help out, add a comment below.