When Google first launched the Chromecast, I wanted one as it seemed like it would solve a lot of viewing problems for me. The trouble was, my “TV” (technically, it’s a 42″ monitor as it has no tuner) doesn’t have any HDMI sockets, so it would cause more issues than it would solve, and I figured it would be £30 wasted.
When the price was dropped to £18 recently though, I figured that was within the realms of wasteable money I was prepared to spend. My TV didn’t have HDMI, but it did have composite, RGB, SCART and VGA connections. Surely something would work…
I remembered that I had got hold of a HDMI to VGA adapter for the Raspberry Pi which worked quite well (both times I tried it!), and although I couldn’t find any definitive answers on line, I thought I’d give it a go.
These are plentiful on eBay for under £5, although there are several variations, and I can only vouch for the ones that look the same as the ones shown above. eBay listings update more often than this blog post will, so I won’t link to a specific one, but search for “HDMI VGA Raspberry” and you should find some that looks like the photo above. Some of them do not have audio out though, so watch out for those as they’ll be a problem.
The first problem I found, however, was that the Chromecast had a male HDMI plug. So did the VGA adapter. I had my doubts, but a female to female HDMI adapter (£2 from eBay) worked a treat! Add in a 3.5mm jack to twin phono adapter (your audio set up might be ok with the 3.5mm lead that comes with the adapter – alternatively, you might need to buy an amp and speakers!) and I was good to go
It might look a bit gangly, but the point is, it works! Google Chromecast to VGA TV for under £27! (And most of the ganglyness is hidden in normal use anyway)
Generally, this works perfectly streaming 720P to my TV. The only slight niggles I have is that I lose about an inch of picture down the left hand side (but not really noticable), and when the power is removed from the Chromecast the speakers make a funny popping sound (probably the caps in the VGA discharging). But otherwise, all is good.
So, if you want a Chromecast but don’t think you can use it, think again.