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Anonnona
Level 7

Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

I've tried to find instructions on YouTube's site on how to cast videos when I'm using a PC (NOT a mobile device), with Firefox as my browser (NOT Chrome or the mobile YouTube app) and a Roku (NOT a Chromecast).

All I can find are instructions on how to set up casting which assume I'm using some or all of the (NOT xxxx) things.

Can I do what I want, or have Google really removed the ability to use a non-Google browser and a non-Google streaming device?

It used to work, and YouTube have videos showing people entering their device code in YouTube, but is the situation basically that Google has broken something which was working when they bought it, and that's it?
It's Google-products-only-way or no way?

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17 Replies
StreamerUser
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

TL;DR: FireFox doesnt support casting - need a third party beta extension for that; otherwise consider using MS Edge.

There may be some misconceptions here:

Roku supports:

1) DIAL (casting: Industry standard; currently managed by NetFlix)

2) Miracast (mirroring: Industry standard; managed by WiFi Alliance)

3) AirPlay2 (casting and mirroring: proprietary; Apple owned & licensed)

NOT supported: GoogleCast (casting and mirroring:  proprietary; Google owned & licensed)

Chrome supports DIAL (casting) and GoogleCast (casting and mirroring).

Some services/sites support DIAL (casting) in addition to Googlecast (casting) - such as NetFlix and YouTube.

FireFox supports GoogleCast - but only on Android.  Otherwise, it doesn't natively have any casting or mirroring support.

If you're using FireFox on Windows, you wont have access to casting (GoogleCast or DIAL based).

There is an extension (in development, beta) that allows FF to cast https://hensm.github.io/fx_cast/  you'll have to see for yourself whether it meets your needs.

If you dont want to use a Google product (like Chrome), consider Microsoft's (new) Edge (it supports casting).

Google doesn't control DIAL or Miracast or AirPlay2 or Roku or the Mozilla org - they do however control GoogleCast and Chrome, and if Mozilla or Roku want to access it, they are going to have to "pay the toll to the troll" (since its a proprietary protocol).

 

 

StreamerUser
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Anonnona
Level 7

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

Well - it used to work.

This video proves it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XDDK8Hll_w

It shows the TV code being entered at youtube.com/pair in a Firefox session, it shows the casting icon then appearing in the Youtube controls, and it talks about how to resolve the problem (by changing Firefox settings) of the pairing being lost when Firefox is closed. (And BTW, when the guy closes Firefox to show the problem you can see that he's using a Windoze PC, not an Android device).

Nowhere does it talk about casting not being possible from Firefox, and nor do any of the other videos on Youtube telling you how to set it up.

So at some point they dropped support for it. I wonder when, and why?

Thanks for the link to fx_cast - I'll look at that. I'll also be interested to find out why my router gave up a list of all the devices it knows about to a website. Hmm.....

I'm also aware of Kastfy, but I want to know more about why I have to "sign up" on their website to be able to use it.

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SaphiraBlue
Level 7

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC


@Anonnona wrote:

Well - it used to work.


Can confirm. Got here trying to find instructions to set this up on my new laptop. Worked just fine on the old one, which also still appears in my linked device list in YouTube on my Roku. Something has obviously changed, and not for the better. My bet is that Google decided it wanted to force people onto Chrome just because it could. I haven't used Chrome in years because it's such a memory hog/privacy threat, and don't have any plans to start again.

 

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StreamerUser
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC


@Anonnona wrote:

Well - it used to work.

This video proves it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XDDK8Hll_w

It shows the TV code being entered at youtube.com/pair in a Firefox session, it shows the casting icon then appearing in the Youtube controls, and it talks about how to resolve the problem (by changing Firefox settings) of the pairing being lost when Firefox is closed. (And BTW, when the guy closes Firefox to show the problem you can see that he's using a Windoze PC, not an Android device).

Nowhere does it talk about casting not being possible from Firefox, and nor do any of the other videos on Youtube telling you how to set it up.

So at some point they dropped support for it. I wonder when, and why?

Thanks for the link to fx_cast - I'll look at that. I'll also be interested to find out why my router gave up a list of all the devices it knows about to a website. Hmm.....

I'm also aware of Kastfy, but I want to know more about why I have to "sign up" on their website to be able to use it.


TL;DR:  YT worked the same way in all browsers "back then" (which had no specific casting controls) because it only used the DIAL protocol.  FireFox didnt drop their casting support - they never had it - YT changed its casting protocol/support.

It used to work at the YouTube website (in a different way, explained below), but not in the specific browser itself. 

If you look closely/pay attention, you'll notice notice that none of the casting operations is done in the browser UI itself, but rather within the video frame player controls of the site itself.

There are no specific browser UI casting controls in the video, nor were there at the time this video was made 6 years ago.  The way the YT casting/pairing worked would have worked with any browser with YT access.

And now, for A BadTech Story...

Once upon a time (in 2014), YouTube was just/only using the DIAL protocol (they were actually a founding member of DIAL along with NetFlix).

In fact, though GoogleCast protocol (formerly ChromeCast protocol) is proprietary and not compatible with DIAL or Miracast (or AirPlay, another proprietary protocol) today, when it was first released in early 2014 by Google, it was based on DIAL (the industry standard that its subsidiary vassal serf YT helped form).

So, YT was designed with DIAL in mind, and early ChromeCast protocol was based on DIAL, and everything was harmonious and cooperative and open.

Then, one day, the evil Emperor Google , who supposedly advocated open harmonious peaceful industry protocols (and with this plan in mind all along), presented its its vassal serf YT (and the rest of the world) with a NEW version of the (then) ChromeCast protocol. 

Oh, it had all sorts of new features and functions, it was amazing and wonderful and great, except that it was no longer based on DIAL, and was not compatible therewith anymore, and required licensing and permission to be be used.  Goodbye open cooperative industry-standard based ChromeCast (and DIAL)

Evil Emperor Google directed its vassal serf YT to use its new ChromeCast protocol, though, feeling beneficent and appreciative for all the vassal serf YT had done, allowed it to continue to use DIAL - well, somewhat, in limited more restricted fashion.

All the OTHER products and services that had popped up, their existences based on DIAL and the original ChromeCast protocol (based on DIAL), would no longer work with the newer ChromeCast protocol - without paying the tax and getting the Evil Emperor Google's permission! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So now, they had a choice:  Continue to use new ChromeCast protocol (but without the DIAL compatibility and with the taxes and permissions and requirements), or code for DIAL, or try to include both.

Almost all of the products and services chose to continue to use the new ChromeCast protocol with all of its shiny new features and functions (and licensing restrictions and permissions), and thus DIAL's days in the sun of harmonious open cooperative development were numbered.

The Evil Emperor Google had successfully co-opted much of the casting world to its closed proprietary licensed restricted GoogleCast protocol from the open cooperatively developed industry standard DIAL.

To this day, a remnant of DIAL (still developed and maintained, mostly by NetFlix) supported services/apps remains:  its two founding members, NetFlix and YouTube mainly (there are still others, smaller entities)

And YouTube's DIAL support?  It's been restricted/limited/deprecated for many years now at YouTube.com in favor of GoogleCast and its Chrome-browser-based GoogleCast support lock-in, with  GoogleCast protocol as the primary means of casting.

(DIAL support lingers - in its platform specific apps -  as a backup)

And thus concludes our BadTech Story, and no one lived as happily ever after as the Evil Emperor Google does - a supposed (formerly) "Dont Be Evil" motto'ed entity, also a supposed advocate of free and open protocols and development - after having fractured and captured the casting world for its own benefit (by using a classic Microsoft technique:  embrace and extend).

Stay tuned for the associated BadTech Story "Apple AirPlay - We Don't Do Industry Standards Either If We Can Avoid It Even If We Are Members Of The Industry Forums That Create Them Unless We Invented Them Because We Want To Lock You In"...

StreamerUser
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Anonnona
Level 7

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

Right.

 

So when I said that YouTube would only tell me how to set up casting via assuming I'm using some or all of Chrome/Chromecast/Android and asked if Google have really removed the ability to use a non-Google browser and a non-Google streaming device, and that basically Google has broken something which was working when they bought it, and it's Google-products-only-way or no way, there wasn't really much of a misconception after all, was there?

 

BTW - it's been a very long time since I've thought that there was any truth in "don't be evil", or “do the right thing”.  But then to be fair, they aren't any worse than so many other companies.  They may deserve a special prize for hypocrisy, and quantitatively the extent of their hegemony makes their moral bankruptcy particularly egregious, but qualitatively they're using the standard plays.  Microsoft wrote the book on arrogance, Amazon think their customers are so thick that they don't know what they are looking for, eBay engage in criminal conspiracies with fraudulent buyers to steal from sellers, the social media companies are a cancer in society which is eating it from the inside and could well destroy it.

 

Not one of them would recognise any form of morality or decency.

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StreamerUser
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

"Can I do what I want, or have Google really removed the ability to use a non-Google browser and a non-Google streaming device?

It used to work, and YouTube have videos showing people entering their device code in YouTube, but is the situation basically that Google has broken something which was working when they bought it, and that's it?
It's Google-products-only-way or no way?"

This was your OP.

Google have not removed the ability to use a non-Google browser.  Nor has Mozilla removed support in FF (it never had it).

YT changed the primary protocol/process they used for casting (from DIAL to GoogleCast) which had the effect of reducing casting functionality from browsers in general at the time, even their own, which required new code and enhancements to support GoogleCast going forward ("Cast extension"). 

Nothing precludes any browser from implementing DIAL or Miracast or GoogleCast (or even AirPlay) functionality into the browser itself (get a GoogleCast (or other) license if required).  The previous YT method worked in any browser because it didnt require any additional browser code/functionality (or a GoogleCast license)

In fact MS Edge has GoogleCast support (and on Windows 10 both new & legacy Edge support Miracast and DLNA mirroring/casting as well).

Google "didnt break anything when they bought it" (didnt buy it in this case - DIAL/GoogleCast were developed many years after their YT acquisition), but they did change how it worked, requiring specific code support in browsers (or other apps for that matter).

Ultimately, Mozilla has chosen not to add casting support to FF (aside from on Android, where it gets "passthrough" support...though...strangely..they didnt do the same for FF on Windows 10 with Miracast & DLNA..just shows Mozilla isnt interested in any casting support).

Ultimately, when it comes to FF, its more about Mozilla's continued lack of casting support than it is about Google's casting market/industry behavior 6-7 years ago...

(Repeated suggestion:  Try MS Edge, and on W10 you can get Miracast/ChromeCast/DLNA casting support)

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Anonnona
Level 7

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC

I think we're just looking at the same thing and naming it differently. I accept that it may not be as cut and dried as "Google-products-only-way or no way", but I hope that you'll accept that if we consider who owned YT when "YT changed the primary protocol/process they used for casting..." it was the case that Google took something that was working and changed it so that it no longer worked in a non-Google browser unless the maker of the browser paid a licence fee to Google.

I maintain that it is far from unreasonable to call that "breaking it".

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SaphiraBlue
Level 7

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC


@StreamerUser wrote:

 

(Repeated suggestion:  Try MS Edge, and on W10 you can get Miracast/ChromeCast/DLNA casting support)


It really would be great if folks could remember that not everyone uses Windows. There is no MS Edge for the Mac. Probably isn’t for Linux, either. And even if there were, multiple browsers in order to do everything you should be able to do in one is an unrealistic expectation .

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StreamerUser
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Casting YouTube videos to a Roku from Firefox on a Windows PC


@SaphiraBlue wrote:

@StreamerUser wrote:

 

(Repeated suggestion:  Try MS Edge, and on W10 you can get Miracast/ChromeCast/DLNA casting support)


It really would be great if folks could remember that not everyone uses Windows. There is no MS Edge for the Mac. Probably isn’t for Linux, either. And even if there were, multiple browsers in order to do everything you should be able to do in one is an unrealistic expectation .


It would be really great if folks could remember that the OP and the title/subject of this thread is about casting YT videos to a Roku from FF on a Windows PC.

Its especially ironic considering that the title of your reply, and every other in this thread, reiterates that fact.

Even more ironic is that the quoted suggestion taken issue with is very specifically directed at the OP, not the folks who aren't the OP and apparently don't have the same issue.

Perhaps instead of jumping into the thread to remind everyone that the thread isnt about them and their particular different issue, that they start a new thread regarding their particular different issue.

(Summation: probably also a good idea not to "look to take offense" at something not specifically directed at you or engage in "manipulative victimization" in order to get desired assistance, along with "dont try and hijack the thread")

Regardless, as a point of privileged indulgence, the same logic that applies to Mozilla and FF and MS and the Edge(s), applies to Apple and (..whatever that browser thing they code is ..SaFarsi? Saffron? SadFarce? ..now you can be offended via extended purchase pride) Safari.

Nothing precludes Apple from adding casting functionality into it, except Apple itself - which is busy pushing its own proprietary non-standard casting/mirroring protocol AirPlay (ok, so no DIAL/DLNA/Miracast support, that would undermine the AirPlay push).

And for the record, there is MS Edge for Mac & Linux:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Edge

Microsoft Edge is a cross-platform web browser developed by Microsoft. It was first released for Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2015, then for Android and iOS in 2017,[7][8] for macOS in 2019,[9] and as a preview for Linux in October 2020.[10][11]

Download:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge

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