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The team behind the open source video player VLC launched a major new version Friday: VLC 3.0 adds Chromecast support to both mobile and desktop versions of the software, and also includes the ability to play HDR and 8K video files as well as 360-degree video.

VLC has long been known for its ability to play pretty much any media file, and the  new version adds support for a bunch of additional video formats and technologies, including high dynamic range and 360-degree video.

The software also uses a computer’s or phone’s chips to hardware-decode 4K and 8K video files, which makes the playback of these high-resolution videos a lot smoother. In fact, VLC’s developers claim that on Windows computers, their app uses less computing power than Microsoft’s own Movies app.

Perhaps the biggest feature update is the addition of Chromecast to VLC — something that the developers of the app had been working on for quite a while. The result of that work is that VLC 3.0 not only supports casting from Android, but also from Macs and Windows PCs.

That’s despite the fact that Google doesn’t officially support casting from desktop computers. Instead, the VLC team essentially reverse engineered casting to make it work from computers. A brief test Friday morning showed that the app was able to cast from a Mac to both a Chromecast-equipped TV as well as a Chromecast Audio device.

Cast support for iOS will be added to VLC in the coming weeks, according to its developers.

 

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