- With Chromecast with Google TV you receive access to thousands of apps all available through the Google Play Store.
- Even in 1080p format, there is support for both HDR content in the form of HDR10 and HDR10+.
- The HD 1080p variant is powered by an Amlogic S850X2 SOC, which is a slightly less powerful version of the Amlogic S905X3 that powers the 4K model.
Chromecast with Google TV is already a favorite amongst the streaming crowd, so it comes as no surprise that Google would unveil a new model. This time around, Google is aiming at an even lower price point with the release of a 1080p HD variant of its latest Chromecast with Google TV device.
With a more relaxed price point and remote control that’s easy to use, Google hopes to capture anyone who didn’t feel its 4K Chromecast with Google TV variant is right for them.
Let’s dive into this new release!
|Release Date||September 22, 2022|
|Entertainment||700,000+ movies and TV episodes|
|Voice Assistance||Google Assistant|
|Color Options||Snow White|
What You Need to Know About Chromecast with Google TV HD
Available in the same “Snow White” hardware as its 4K sibling, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is almost indistinguishable if you’re just looking at the hardware. Right out of the box you receive access to thousands of apps all available through the Google Play Store. At 1.6 x 1.3 x 0.8 inches in size, the hardware plugs directly into any available HDMI port on your television and receives power through the included USB-C power cable and plug.
The included remote makes it incredibly easy to navigate all around the gorgeous interface of Google TV. It offers one-click access to YouTube and Netflix, a home button, a mute button, a back button so you can go back one screen, and a Google Assistant button for voice search. Press the voice button and say “Find action movies” and Google will quickly show you a list of action movies available through all of your registered streaming services.
Of course, you can also use the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) for non-television-related functions. Let’s say you are watching the morning news and you want to know what traffic is like on your commute to the office. Just press the dedicated Google Assistant button and ask “How’s the traffic to work?” and your show will pause, give you a traffic update, and then instantly continue your program.
Looking at the 4K and 1080p Chromecast with Google TV side-by-side would be almost impossible to differentiate. That’s on the outside; on the inside, there are a few differences. The HD 1080p variant is powered by an Amlogic S850X2 SOC, which is a slightly less powerful version of the Amlogic S905X3 that powers the 4K model.
Google promised with their launch announcement of the HD model that they have made “software optimizations behind the scenes” to make sure anyone purchasing the device will receive a “smooth and snappy experience” regardless of the TV model they connect with.
Additionally, the HD 1080p model only includes 1.5GB of RAM compared to the 4K’s 2GB. The good news is that early reviews indicate the smaller RAM allotment doesn’t make loading or switching apps any slower.
On the HD variant, you only receive 8GB of storage on board, which is half of the 4K variant. so you will want to be more cautious about installing too many apps. However, as long as you are cognizant of how much you are installing, running out of room shouldn’t be a big issue for the majority of Chromecast with Google TV (HD) users.
What is notable is that even in 1080p format, there is support for both HDR content in the form of HDR10 and HDR10+. That’s great news for anyone who wants to see the best possible 1080p quality on an HD-compatible television.
Why Release the Chromecast with Google TV HD?
A big question that might be on your mind is why would Google release this Chromecast with Google TV in HD format. Well, for starters, it’s replacing the legacy Chromecast third-generation, which launched in 2018, so a refresh was long overdue.
There’s also the consideration that both Amazon and Roku also offer their own 1080p models at entry-level price points so competition likely drove part of this release.
Then, there is the bigger reason as there are still millions of homes running older televisions. For those homes, the 4K variant won’t provide any additional value. In HD format, the Chromecast with Google TV format will run at 1920 x 1080p resolution, which is more than good enough for millions of television owners who have yet to make the 4K jump.
Why Choose Chromecast with Google TV (HD) Over the Competition?
For starters, Google TV powers the interface of the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) and is one of the best-looking and most navigation-friendly interfaces in the business. Whereas Roku is basically just square icons on a screen for ultra simplicity, Google ups the stakes with an aesthetically pleasing interface while keeping things simple.
For parents with small children, you can easily set up different profiles for yourself and your partner, as well as different profiles for each child. That’s good news for two purposes. Adults can restrict apps for kids (and avoid fights between kids with different profiles) while also allowing personalized recommendations on what to watch next on their own Chromecast with Google TV profiles.
All totaled, there are more than 700,000 movies and TV episodes available and, with YouTube Music available through its own subscription, millions of songs, as well.
Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick with HD is regularly priced at $10 more than the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) and offers a less user-friendly interface. The Fire TV Stick remote offers a few more buttons including Alexa for voice assistance, but none of the buttons are anything you will miss if you choose the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) route.
The Roku Express is undoubtedly a solid value and offers the same price tag as the Chromecast. However, it still requires you to place the device in front of your television as the infrared remote requires a direct line-of-site for it to function properly. That, and the lack of HDR quality, makes the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) an easy winner.
Is HD Really that Much Worse than 4K?
Let’s be honest, everyone reading this has most likely spent years watching television shows and movies in HD/1080p quality. Even on a 4K television, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) remains a solid option and doesn’t provide any major blur.
With 4K, there is a 4x jump between the number of pixels on the screen, so there is a definite quality difference. However, 1080p remains the native resolution of millions of older HDTVs still in homes across the U.S. and around the world. On these television screens, HD 1080p resolution will still provide a sharp and detailed experience overall and any text on the screen is still very legible, even from quite a distance away.
Should you ever want to make the jump to 4K, you would have to buy Chromecast with the Google TV 4K variant. Unfortunately, there is no software update that can upgrade picture quality from HD to 4K without requiring an entirely different device.
Where to Buy?
- Streaming in 1080p HDR
- Compatible with almost any TV with an HDMI port
- Access to over 700,000 movies and TV shows
- Easy to install, just plug it into your TV's HDMI port
- Google Assistant button on remote
The Chromecast with Google TV HD is available at all major retailers including Amazon here and from the Google Store directly.
The HD model is regularly priced at $29.99 but, with the holidays coming up, there is a good chance a small discount will drop the price even lower. Even at the $29.99 price tag, we’re still in impulse purchase territory. The HD model is only available in the “Snow White” color and it comes with matching batteries in white for a completely white package.
Pick up the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) at Amazon here.
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