Google’s 4-year-old base-model Chromecast is getting a giant improve. Today, Google made that rumored Google TV pivot official and launched the “Chromecast with Google TV (HD).” The unique 4K, $49.99 model of the Chromecast with Google TV was introduced in 2020, and now whenever you go to take a look at within the Google Store, there is a “display decision” choice for “4K” (nonetheless $49.99) or the brand new “HD” model for $29.99.
So that is one retailer itemizing with two totally different sizes, which communicates that these two units have solely minor variations. They look the identical, they’ve the identical distant, and so they run the identical software program. Google TV is Google’s new model of Android TV and represents a serious improve in capabilities for the Chromecast. The preliminary variations had been dead-simple streaming sticks that had been solely in a position to obtain content material from a cellphone and had no UI themselves. The Chromecast with Google TV is a full TV OS, with a house display, Play Store entry, person accounts, and scrolling lists of apps, video games, and content material. If you are not interested by any of that, the Google TV nonetheless acts precisely just like the Chromecast did whenever you press a Chromecast button in an app. It can nonetheless obtain a media stream, activate the TV, and begin enjoying, all without having to seek out the distant.
Just just like the 4K model, the HD Chromecast with Google TV helps 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) and makes use of a USB-C port for energy. Google hasn’t posted a full spec sheet however confirms the dongle solely has 1.5GB of RAM, whereas the 4K model has 2GB. Earlier experiences of this indicated that it used an Amlogic S805X2 SoC (12 nm, 4 Cortex A35 cores), which might give it the fascinating wrinkle of supporting Google’s new AV1 video codec, one thing that’s lacking from the 4K model.
It’s onerous to anticipate this to be solved within the low cost model, however storage is a serious drawback for the Chromecast with Google TV. This needs to be an Android machine, however it solely has 8GB of storage, which is nowhere close to sufficient even for those who obtain zero apps. Updates for the packed-in functions can shortly replenish the machine, and customers continually should cope with full storage issues. That’s earlier than they even contact the Play Store and the attract of third-party Android video games or apps. Hey, Google, how a couple of quietly up to date 4K mannequin with extra storage and AV1 help?
Google wanted to do that to be aggressive with Roku, which sells the same streaming stick, distant, and OS setup for $30. The previous Chromecast could not compete with that. The new HD Chromecast is on the market proper now on the Google Store.