Google Chromecast & Cisco E3000 Router – Fix

Chromecast DeviceI was recently given the new streaming device from Google, Chromecast. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s a small HDMI dongle that you plug into your TV. It requires an external power source so it’s not quite as self-contained as Google is making it look in promo shots. There is another wire you’ll have to add to your entertainment system.

Tom’s Hardware describes it as:

a device that you plug into your TV’s HDMI port, powered by a USB cable (included). Using your smartphone or computer as a remote control, you can use Chromecast to access video content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus and the Google Play Store. You can also use it to stream almost any kind of content from the Chrome browser on a computer.

Google also promises easy installation and setup. That may be the case in many instances but not so with me. I plugged it into my TV (via an HDMI switcher) and the setup screen showed up right away. My computer detected and connected to the device just fine. However, in the final step of the setup, when the Chromecast device tries to connect to the network, it failed. The message each time was the same. We weren’t able to discover your Chromecast on the network.

A quick google search on the error pointed out the I needed to login to my router and find out where to disable AP Isolation. I use the Cisco Linksys E3000 and found the setting under Wireless/Advanced. It was already disabled.

Very quickly I’d gone from a set up process that was supposed to be incredibly easy to a fairly advanced procedure that would probably stop most home users in their tracks. Do most users know how to login to their router? Do they know how to navigate the menus? Do they know what was “AP Isolation” even is? I doubt it.

The dd-wrt WebsiteOnce I’d checked and confirmed that AP Isolation was indeed disabled, I tried again. Same issue. I searched Google for ‘E3000 Chromecast setup problem’ and found this conversation on Google+. The poster made reference to dd-wrt, a custom firmware for routers. I checked it out, found the firmware version for my router and then ran the firmware installer.

Note: there are several files listed on the dd-wrt site. I used only the firmware E3000 one. At the time it was the first one in the list.

At this point I seriously doubt any but the most nerdiest (or committed) of us would have gotten to this point. It can be pretty off-putting upgrading firmware and even more so when it’s third party.

However, after installing the firmware and rebooting the router, I reran the set up. This time, presto! It worked. I’m not sure where the issue was but something in the router wasn’t happy talking to the Chromecast device.

There are over a dozen routers listed on the Chromecast site. If they don’t get this issue ironed out — an issue I’ve never come across with Apple TV — it’s going to be a big barrier to rolling it out.