Google has revealed the new Chromecast with Google TV, and it brings with it big changes to Google’s streaming output.
Chromecast with Google TV remains an HDMI dongle that adds connected smarts to your TV. Like the Chromecast Ultra, it offers 4K/ HDR10, HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision playback support, as well as handling DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround sound audio.
But what’s different is that, instead of relying solely on casting functionality, the Chromecast with Google TV is built on the Android TV platform, with an all-new content focussed layer called Google TV that sits on top.
So what exactly does Google TV have to offer, and what can we expect to see added (and omitted) from the newest Chromecast? Read on for everything you need to know about Chromecast with Google TV below.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A streaming device from Google with Google TV on top
- When can I get it? September 30
- How much does it cost? $49 in the US, £59.99 in the UK, with wider global availability to follow
Chromecast with Google TV: pricing
Chromecast with Google TV launches on September 30, priced at $49 in the US, £59.99 in the UK, with wider global availability to follow. It will be available in three colors, Snow (white), Sunrise (peach-orange) and Sky (robin’s egg blue), with 49% of the plastics used in its construction being recycled.
Chromecast with Google TV: specs and features
Let’s start with Google TV. This is a streaming platform that’s all about personalized recommendations, and ease of discovery.
Google TV pools all your subscriptions together, from Netflix to YouTube to Amazon Prime Video, in a new ‘For You’ tab. This is further broken down into movie and TV subdivisions, categories, new releases and more.
Over time, Google TV will get used to your preferences, and suggest items around your interests, such as sci-fi movies or cooking shows. Free video content from apps will also appear here.
A Watchlist is also available, which will work alongside the Google TV app to allow you to line up what you’d like to watch later, whilst on the go.
As a jump from a regular Chromecast, the difference is even more stark, as Google TV has built-in app support, just like Android TV. More than 6,500 apps will work on the new Chromecast, provided they’re already built for Android TV. Media and apps live together, with everything ranging from Peloton to Masterclass ready for launch.
Google TV is also more adept at pulling together the wider collective of Google apps and services. For instance, you can use the new Chromecast with Google TV to check on Nest security camera feeds, or join a Google Meet video chat. It’s tied to the wider Google Home smart home ecosystem, meaning using it along with the Google Assistant voice helper could make it the central hub of your connected abode.
As for those with existing Android TV devices? If your device is already running Android TV 10, you can expect to see some of the new features hit your device too in the coming months, but older devices may be out of luck. Either way, it’s up to the device manufacturer whether or not to invest in the update. Going forward, Google expects all Android TV sets and devices made from 2022 forward to run the new-look OS layer.
Chromecast with Google TV: remote
This is the first time that a Chromecast has shipped with a remote control. The remote has a dedicated Google Assistant voice button and a built-in mic, which can connect to Nest doorbells (so you can ask “who’s at the front door” and have that appear onscreen), buttons for TV on and off controls, a Home Button, a TV Input control, YouTube and Netflix shortcut buttons, and Volume buttons. It runs off two AAA batteries.
Chromecast with Google TV: what’s missing?
The only notable thing that’s missing here is Google Stadia. Google’s game streaming service isn’t supported on the new Chromecast. Not only is there still no native app for Stadia, but it can’t even support the Stadia casting functionality that even a regular Chromecast can. Some early testers have had luck through side-loading the Android app, but that’s not a built-in, idiot-proof solution.
This omission will be fixed by an update in 2021, but the fact it’s not there at launch speaks volumes of the road bumps Stadia has hit already this year since it was firstly released to the public.