Built in Chromecast - Ambient Mode Photos

Tonycv51

Active Member
Have been looking at using Google Photos to have our own photos on the TV as the screen saver in ambient mode. On an external chromecast there is a personalise ambient mode to set Google photos as the source and choose folders and playback options etc. The option is not there for the TV in Google Home settings.

Anyone know if that's always been the case or if there's another way to automatically do this.

I know I can cast Google photo folders to the TV from phone or by voice from a nest device, and guess it may be possible to ask the TV itself to do that.

Seems strange I cant do it automatically though as a screensaver

Edit TV is an XF on Pie in case it works on newer TVs...
 

Mallett94

Distinguished Member
Not possible due to the limitations of software based Chromecast.

You could try installing an alternative screensaver app from the playstore and changing the tv screen saver settings to use that app instead of the default Chromecast ambient mode.

Not sure if there are any apps which let you hook up to a google photos account though.

I know some people download an app called daydream to try and get the AppleTV screensavers on their AndroidTV.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.
 

Tonycv51

Active Member
Not possible due to the limitations of software based Chromecast.

You could try installing an alternative screensaver app from the playstore and changing the tv screen saver settings to use that app instead of the default Chromecast ambient mode.

Not sure if there are any apps which let you hook up to a google photos account though.

I know some people download an app called daydream to try and get the AppleTV screensavers on their AndroidTV.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.
I have few photo apps and at least one of them did show Google photos as an option if set to the screensaver. However you have to buy a premium with no way to try before buying.

Logically if an on board app can do it, why can't the onboard chromecast do it. I can cast via nest, so it's just the initial trigger to point at the photos rather than the standard chromecast gallery ones (both served from Google servers) so struggle to see why it's a horsepower issue (or why I should pay extra)

I did put a load of photo folders on a USB and that works with one of the apps for free
 

Mallett94

Distinguished Member
I have few photo apps and at least one of them did show Google photos as an option if set to the screensaver. However you have to buy a premium with no way to try before buying.

Logically if an on board app can do it, why can't the onboard chromecast do it. I can cast via nest, so it's just the initial trigger to point at the photos rather than the standard chromecast gallery ones (both served from Google servers) so struggle to see why it's a horsepower issue (or why I should pay extra)

I did put a load of photo folders on a USB and that works with one of the apps for free
I can't give you an answer other than hte built in chromecast is pretty cr4p. I only use it very occasionally to cast spotify if i cant be bothered to load up the actual android tv spotify app, or to v quickly put a trailer on from youtube for a film or tv series from my phone super quickly.

The refresh rate is locked to 60hz which is crap too. The actual hardware chromecasts you can change to 50hz. Also the built in Chromecast struggles with higher frame rate content too.
 

Tonycv51

Active Member
I have few photo apps and at least one of them did show Google photos as an option if set to the screensaver. However you have to buy a premium with no way to try before buying.

Logically if an on board app can do it, why can't the onboard chromecast do it. I can cast via nest, so it's just the initial trigger to point at the photos rather than the standard chromecast gallery ones (both served from Google servers) so struggle to see why it's a horsepower issue (or why I should pay extra)

I did put a load of photo folders on a USB and that works with one of the apps for free
I tried 3 apps so far :-

- fotoo needs a daydream upgrade and can't try screensaver functionality before you buy but did include Google photos on the menu

- TV Photo. No Google photos option and can't try screensaver functionality without an upgrade

- photo gallery and screensaver. Includes Google photos as a source. Local photos are limited to oldest 50 until premium is paid but at least you can try it. It may be possible to try Google photos for free but wasn't totally clear
- "backdrop" setting is the chromecast gallery
 

Tonycv51

Active Member
I tried 3 apps so far :-

- fotoo needs a daydream upgrade and can't try screensaver functionality before you buy but did include Google photos on the menu

- TV Photo. No Google photos option and can't try screensaver functionality without an upgrade

- photo gallery and screensaver. Includes Google photos as a source. Local photos are limited to oldest 50 until premium is paid but at least you can try it. It may be possible to try Google photos for free but wasn't totally clear
- "backdrop" setting is the chromecast gallery
I have now got it to work, but not in the way that it shows on chromecasts or in the Google instructions. Change the screen saver on your TV - Android - Android TV Help

I selected backdrop as the screensaver, pressed start now so the screensaver was running, then went into Google home on my phone and selected the TV. Rather than go into settings there was now a personalise ambient at the bottom of the screen, which showed the Google photos option. The option then dissapeared but in the content on the screen there's a slider to change between gallery and your Google photos. Hope I can now sync some more and set the folders to the ones I want as screensavers
 

Mallett94

Distinguished Member
I have now got it to work, but not in the way that it shows on chromecasts or in the Google instructions. Change the screen saver on your TV - Android - Android TV Help

I selected backdrop as the screensaver, pressed start now so the screensaver was running, then went into Google home on my phone and selected the TV. Rather than go into settings there was now a personalise ambient at the bottom of the screen, which showed the Google photos option. The option then dissapeared but in the content on the screen there's a slider to change between gallery and your Google photos. Hope I can now sync some more and set the folders to the ones I want as screensavers
Great info, never messed around with it in depth because I already had hardware chromecasts before I got the TV!
 

Tonycv51

Active Member
Great info, never messed around with it in depth because I already had hardware chromecasts before I got the TV!
I can confirm this works as have now loaded 60gb of photos into to Google (on the Lower resolution that should remain free - though that in itself is a faff to get correct options).

  • the screensaver has to be running on the TV to be able to set it up on your phone
  • when the screensaver starts the first photo is a stock image, but then it changes to my own photos
 

The latest video from AVForums

Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom