Options to extract Audio from Chromecast, now that Chromecast Audio has been Discontinued

It is sad to learn that Google has discontinued their Chromecast Audio. One of their best inexpensive devices that could be plugged to any receiver or speaker via RCA/line-out or mini-toslink (digital) connectors. I have been using them for almost 4 years, 3 of them enabled as Multi-Room, allowing me to stream music around the house.

I believed so much on this concept, that I gave one to my parents, one to my brother-in-law, and another one to a very good friend. Showed them how to use it with Spotify, YouTube Music and Google Play Music.

Google shall continue carrying their standard Chromecast, which starting on Gen. 2, allow for Multi-Room Audio.

There might be folks still interested on extracting just the audio portion of the stream, to feed to a receiver or any other device, using the standard Chromecast.

There are options out there. Below a few:

HDMI to HDMI + Optical Toslink SPDIF + 3.5mm AUX Stereo Audio Out:

Offering more than just audio, this could be an option for anyone trying to extract the audio portion before connecting to another HDMI cable.
Outputs: Toslink, mini-RCA (3.5 mm), HDMI (pass-through).

Amazon Link.

HDMI to RCA Audio Video AV CVBS Adapter Converter:

Pretty basic connector that converts the signal to composite audio and video. With any RCA cable anyone should be able to feed the audio portion to a receiver.
Outputs: RCA video and Stereo Audio

Amazon Link.

HDMI to VGA Converter Female to Female & 3.5mm Audio:

Fairly simple Connector that has an analog audio out (mini-RCA), and also a VGA input on the other side.
Outputs: Stereo mini-RCA (3.5 mm), VGA

Amazon Link.

Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.

Multi-Room Audio on Chromecast devices offer no Video

I got excited when I learned that Chromecast devices (Generation 2 and above of video) will offer multi-room audio support. I already owned Chromecast Audio devices for a few years now, and enabled multi-room audio on those already. However, I have a Gen.  2 Chromecast on my patio which I wanted to pair with the Chromecast Audio device that connects to a receiver that feeds audio output to speakers already in that area. I thought it was going to be a fantastic option to stream from YouTube Music into My TV that is then simulcasted to my Chromecast Audio.

I tried yesterday, and found out that there is no video streaming available on my Gen. 2 Chromecast. Just Audio. Bummer!

So, at least for now, Multi-Room Audio will be for just that, just audio. Would have been great to see Video also streamed in simultaneous with Chromecast Audio.

AT&T Fiber Gigapower 1 Gbps Internet Service

It was unfortunate to learn that BeIN Sports was dropped by Xfinity, and I had to figure out a workaround. No other cable or dish operator provided the channel, and I did not want to install a dish on my roof either. I had to reuse the existing cabling at home. The only option was streaming (any service that provided BeIN Sports Connect).

I needed a service with no data transfer cap, and I had two options. AT&T Fiber 1000, and Xfinity Gigabit service.

The table below shows the pricing, contract and speed information.

ProviderPriceRebateSpeed (Mbps)
Down/Up
ContractETF***
AT&T$90$150**1000/10001-year$180
Xfinity$82*
None1000/352-years$240

* Included the price of leased equipment
** Engaged on a chat session and got offered an additional $100 
*** Reduced for every month of service

The information depicted is for South Florida, Broward county. It could vary be region.

It was an easy pick for me. AT&T offers a symmetrical service, with uploads maxing out at 1000 Mbps. And I am on the hook for just 1 year.

The AT&T technician ran fiber cable from the street all the way to my outside wall, installed a fiber to Ethernet box (which is located inside the house), and reused the phone cable that already ran to a junction box I had inside the house already (the phone cable was Cat 5e Ethernet).

Fortunately, my house is already pre-wired with Cat 5e network cables, and had already in place 2 wired access points with 802.11ac Wi-Fi. I swapped out my old Xfinity router with the new one AT&T provided, and plugged in 4 Ethernet cables to the network ports provided. The router serves also as DHCP server and as a 802.11ac access point. The network ports feed to the 2 additional access points (which also have 4 gigabit network ports, each), as well as the security camera system and my son’s gaming computer.

I changed the router internal IP address, and reconfigured the Wi-Fi SSIDs, to make the migration transparent. All 38 or so devices continued to work without any issues.

I was skeptical in the beginning, as I was not sure if the Cat 5e cables would sustain gigabit connectivity. To my surprise, they do, and it is consistent.

The 802.11 ac access points provide speeds that vary between 180 to 480 Mbps. They are just fine for streaming and laptop/smartphone connectivity. All heavy duty processing are performed at hard wired equipment, including my main desktop computer.

I am very happy with the service thus far, and having a symmetrical service is fantastic. The very first day I was able to upload 1 TB of video files to my Google Drive. Previously it would have taken me several days (capped at 10 Mbps upload speeds before).

If you are tempted to get AT&T fiber 1000, they are providing 2 additional access points that create a mesh network, for free. 802.11ac + 802.11n bands.

I do believe that streaming is the future of TV service, and cable has its days counted.

Happy streaming.

A Scammer wasting their time [Craigslist]

I decided to post a piece of technology for sale on Craigslist, which by the way has not had much success if compared to any other items I have posted and subsequently sold. At first, one individualĀ texted me as soon as the listing was indexed, and offered to send me money via PayPal, including shipping charges. I expressed that I did not accept PayPal, but a wire transfer instead, and then they disappeared:

First Scammer, Text Meesage

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Analog Intercom/Buzzer stops working with VoIP – Future Nine [fixed]

Quick post here regarding my Voice over IP provider, Future Nine, and theĀ Analog Intercom/Buzzer at the front gate of my community. When someone dials-in from the main gate, I need to pick up the phone and press 9 to open it. It has not been working as of late, and the only way to circumvent the challenge was to reset the Linksys VoIP box. It would last a few minutes.

My current internet provider is AT&T U-Verse. The VoIP box is plugged directly to the U-Verse gateway.

Future Nine replied to my concerned and suggested to make these changes under the advanced tab (LAN port, default gateway IP – http://192.168.0.1/admin/advanced)

SIP Port: 15060
Proxy: incoming.future-nine.com:15060

I am currently testing the changes, and will update with results in the next few days.

Update 02/22:

The service is now working properly. It seems that AT&T blocks port 5060 for their own VoIP service.