Tl;dr? Try downloading Chrome Canary and installing the Chrome cast extension.

For the past few years I’ve been connecting my computer to my TV through various wired methods. I started with an A/V cable and worked my way up to an HDMI cable as soon as I could.

That said, less is best, and I tired of having an HDMI cable strung across the room while both working on my laptop and watching Netflix so I started looking for wireless solutions.

The best (read: fastest, easiest and cheapest) solution I found was the Chromecast by Google. It’s only $35, it’s readily available at most Walmarts and Targets (not to mention online) and setup is painless.

Well…almost.

I was able to set up the Chromecast on my network, update it and connect to my computer very easily. I was also able to cast any app that utilized Chromecast, such as Netflix or YouTube.

That, however, was only half of the goal. One of the biggest selling points of the Chromecast was that you could cast any browser tab, or even your whole screen to your TV. Everytime I tried to do that, I got the following error:

Unable to cast to Media Room. An unexpected error occurred. Please try the following: – Try to cast again – Verify your network connectivity Well, after checking connectivity and trying to cast countless times, I still wasn’t able to cast my tab/screen to the TV.

I did some research and went through all of the suggested steps:

  1. I moved my router closer to my TV (within 20 feet)
  2. I restarted my computer, TV and the Chromecast.
  3. I tried powering the Chromecast through both the TV’s USB port and through it’s external power.
  4. I tried the Chromecast in a different HDMI port on my TV.
  5. I tried disabling the firewall on my computer.

All to no avail. At this point, I called Google’s support line and spent about 40 minutes debugging the problem (and going through the above steps again) until we finally found the solution:

Use Chrome Canary.

Chrome Canary is like a permanent beta of Chrome. It’s for developers, so is not guaranteed to be stable, and can crash at anytime. However, if nothing else gets Chromecast to cast tabs, install Chrome Canary and then add the Chromecast extension.

Happy casting!