Google has really released a new, cheaper Chromecast gadget, although it lacks some functions seen in previous generations.
Some recent reports have hinted to the existence of a new gadget, dubbed the Chromecast with Google TV (HD), with some assuming that the company is expanding hardware support to non-4K TVs. That is, in fact, what is transpiring. This new HD Chromecast is basically a scaled-down version of the 2020 edition, which allows for 4K HDR streaming as well as many Dolby video formats.
All the improvements are on the inside, thus the new device looks exactly the same from the outside.
The HD Chromecast costs $29.99 and allows you to stream in 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution at 60 frames per second. The HDR (High Dynamic Range) format Dolby Vision, which enabled more vibrant colours and darker blacks, has also been discontinued. HDR10 and HDR10+, while not as powerful as Dolby Vision, nonetheless improve picture quality and are supported by the new gadget. The HD Chromecast also has less memory than the 4K model, at 1.5GB as opposed to 2GB.
Dolby sound enhancements are still present. There are still support for Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, and Atmos in the HD Chromecast. For those unfamiliar, Dolby Digital and Digital Plus are compression methods that aid in the device’s ability to deliver high-quality music without degrading fidelity. However, Dolby Atmos is a format that simulates spatial sound for a more enveloping listening experience. With an Atmos-compatible soundbar and HDMI pass-through, you can enjoy Atmos surround sound.
The HD Chromecast set consists of the dongle itself (which connects to a TV via an HDMI wire) and a remote control.
The 4K model’s navigation circle is on the remote, and YouTube, Netflix, and Google assistant are on the control pad. You can issue commands to the Assistant by simply speaking into the remote’s microphone. Google says HD Chromecast can also stream Nest Doorbell camera footage.
Company store customers can currently purchase the Chromecast with Google TV (HD), however it is only available in Snow White. However, Australians can expect to pay a slight more. The price tag in Australia is $59 AUD, which is roughly $40 USD.
Improving Google TV by Updating
It’s exciting to see Google improve their Google TV service alongside the release of the HD Chromecast.
The company acknowledged its service was not performing at peak efficiency on August 22 and has been working to improve it ever since. The latest version enhanced performance by enhancing storage management. More than 10,000 apps are available for Google TV, according to the company.
As an added bonus, there are reports that Google TV may soon offer an additional 50 channels of live TV, for an additional membership fee. Given the HD Chromecast’s rumoured origins and the recent surge in popularity, those 50 channels might actually materialize.
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The success of an HD-only Chromecast in a market where 4K TVs are quickly becoming the standard is yet to be seen. However, it could be the perfect solution for people on a tight budget who are seeking for a cheap streaming service.