It’s been just over two years since Google has updated the Chromecast, but the wait is finally over thanks to the Chromecast with Google TV. This new product is running a modified version of Android TV, as Google is trying to give users more of a focus on content, instead of what you may find with some of your favorite televisions or something like the NVIDIA Shield TV.
While we still have a dongle that just plugs into the back of your television and hangs freely, there is a new addition to this package. For the first time, Google is including a remote in the package which won’t stick out like a sore thumb and is great for those who don’t want to use their phones to handle content streaming.
This remote features some basic navigation buttons, along with Power On/Off, Mute, Go Back, Home, and Change Source. Google didn’t stop there, giving users some quick access buttons which will come in rather handy. There’s a dedicated Google Assistant button in the top right, along with dedicated YouTube and Netflix buttons. When activating the Assistant button, you’ll speak your request into the remote, and watch as the content appears on the big screen. On the side of the remote, there is a volume rocker, and navigating through the interface is done with the touchpad at the top of the remote and button in the middle for making selections.
As one might expect, there are a few new colors to choose from, as Google has moved away from the glossy (read: tacky) black dongle. The three new colors are Snow (white), Sunrise (orange-ish), and Sky (light blue). These match perfectly with the new Nest Audio which has finally replaced the original Google Home which launched all the way back in November of 2016.
When it comes to the capabilities of the new Chromecast with Google TV, you’ll be able to stream your content in 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second. Google included Dolby Vision, providing improved color, brightness, and detail on your TV while streaming your favorite movies or TV shows. There’s even HDMI pass-through for those wanting to take advantage of Dolby audio content. While you may have expected the new Chromecast to be compatible with Google’s streaming service, you’ll have to wait a little while. Google confirmed that Stadia support will launch “in the first half of 2021”, which is not great considering what we’ve seen from Xbox Game Pass and others.
Google will be launching the Chromecast with Google TV starting today and is priced at $49.99 and will be available at many of your traditional big-box stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, and more.