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Chromecast with Google TV review: A love-hate relationship

Chromecast With Google TV
(Image: © Joe Maring / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: The Chromecast with Google TV is very different from past offerings in the Chromecast family, and that's not a bad thing. Google's latest streaming device has everything you could ask for, ranging from 4K HDR support, Dolby Vision and Atmos, and — for the first time ever — a remote. Bundle all of that together with the excellent Google TV interface and a killer price, and the Chromecast with Google TV ends up being one of Google's best new products in a long time.

For

  • 4K HDR streaming
  • Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
  • Fast, responsive performance
  • Google TV is great for curating content
  • Excellent remote

Against

  • No fast forward/rewind buttons
  • Not all streaming apps currently support Google TV integration
  • Not enough storage

Long before the Pixel smartphones and Google's big push for self-branded hardware, the Chromecast was a well-known entity in the streaming landscape as one of the best and most affordable ways to get video on your TV. Whether it was the $35 regular Chromecast or the more expensive Chromecast Ultra with 4K, the idea of having a cheap dongle that can play anything from your phone was a concept millions of people got behind.

As streaming media has expanded over the last few years, though, the Chromecast has started to look and feel a bit dated. Compared to the likes of Amazon's Fire TV Sticks, the best Rokus, and the Apple TV, the lack of a remote and proper user interface have hindered the Chromecast's functionality.

That has finally changed.

Chromecast with Google TV is the most radical update we've ever seen in the Chromecast series, bringing it up to feature parity with the competition while ushering in a brand new user interface. It may not be the upgrade Chromecast loyalists were hoping for, but for the rest of us, it's basically the best Android TV box you can buy in 2021.

Chromecast with Google TV Price and availability

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

The Chromecast with Google TV launched on September 30, 2020. It replaced the aging Chromecast Ultra with its debut, making it the most capable Chromecast you can currently buy.

You'll pay a retail price of $50 to get your hands on the Chromecast for yourself, with it being sold at retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and the Google Store. Sales for the Chromecast with Google TV are few and far between, so don't expect any big discounts even though it's been available for over a year now.

Chromecast with Google TV What I love

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Let's start with the boring stuff first — the Chromecast's hardware. This isn't something you'll be actively looking at all the time, but Google did a good job of ensuring it looks nice and has all of the specs/features you could ask for in a 2021 media device.

The Chromecast itself is made out of matte plastic and connects to your TV with the attached HDMI cable. A USB-C port on the back connects to the included power cable, which then plugs into the AC adapter that powers the thing. There's support for 4K streaming up to 60fps, HDR10 and HDR10+ are both supported, and you'll also find Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Google offers three colors to choose from, including Snow, Sunrise, and Sky (aka white, pink, and blue). Not only does your color choice determine the color of the Chromecast itself, but it also changes how the included remote looks, as well as the included batteries. Such a small Google touch. And this is the first-ever Chromecast with an explicit visual interface and a remote.

Google did a phenomenal job with the remote. All of the buttons are very clicky, it is comfortable to hold (albeit a touch slippery), and you have power, input, and volume buttons for your TV thanks to HDMI-CEC and IR blaster configurations you can configure in Settings. Just like all modern Android TV boxes and televisions, you'll also find a Google Assistant button that you can hold down to talk to the Assistant at any time. Asisstant works much faster here than it has on previous Android TV boxes, and the contour of the Assistant button makes it easy to feel for even in the dark of your living room movie marathon.

By now, you've also probably noticed the YouTube and Netflix buttons. Some people might hate having branded buttons like this, but I'm personally fine with it. As someone that actively uses both services, I appreciate the quick access. You can't officially remap the Netflix button — but it's not hard to do it yourself, but if you press and hold on YouTube button, you can switch between opening the main YouTube app or YouTube TV, YouTube Kids, or YouTube Music. It's a nice touch.

In all of these core regards, the Chromecast with Google TV is fantastic. It's easy to set up, it moves through menus and apps without a hitch, video content looks excellent, and the remote doesn't hinder any of the enjoyment you get from all of this (I'm looking at you, Apple TV).

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

However, that's just one part of this gadget. Now that we know what the Chromecast side of things brings to the table, we have to talk about the Google TV experience. Ready for a spoiler? I really, really like it.

Android TV is technically the operating system powering this new Chromecast, but the interface you interact with has been completely overhauled. The main goal of Google TV is to heavily emphasize personalized and recommended content so that it's easier to find something to watch. There are also now dedicated pages/home screens you can navigate through, and they include the following:

  • Search — Recommended commands for the Google Assistant and movie/TV show genres to browse through specific types of content.
  • For you — Your main home page, showing top content picks, your installed apps, and other recommended content based on your watchlist, various genres, and more.
  • Live (optional) — An integrated live channel guide that will only show up if you have YouTube TV installed and enabled.
  • Movies — Browse through various movies to watch.
  • Shows — Browse through various TV shows to watch.
  • Apps — All of your installed apps, along with integrated Play Store access for downloading new ones.
  • Library — Movies and shows you own through Google Play (now Google TV).

Source: Android Central

Source: Android Central

I know a lot of Android TV die-hards were bummed when they saw this new layout, but in my experience a year on, it's been a fantastic upgrade.

This interface makes it substantially easier to discover shows to watch. The recommendations have been decent right off the bat, and I'm sure that'll only get better as time goes on. Not only can you add shows/movies to your watchlist, but you can also indicate once you have actually seen it and whether or not you liked or dislike it. It can all be a little overwhelming at first with three separate pages giving you ideas of what to watch (For You, Movies, and Shows), but it's markedly better than the half-baked app channels the regular Android TV interface has.

A quick note on Google TV vs. Android TV

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

If you're a little confused about what Google TV is and how it differs from Android TV, here's a quick explainer. The core operating system of the Chromecast is still technically Android TV, based on Android 10, but Google's added the Google TV software experience on top of it. In other words, any apps that you used on Android TV will work just as you'd expect on Google TV. Google TV started out exclusive to the new Chromecast, but Google expanded the interface to third-party hardware over the course of 2021.

Furthermore, Google rebranded the current Google Play Movies & TV app to be called Google TV. It works mostly the same, showing you content you can buy from Google directly and stuff you can watch through third-party services. The only real change here is that it's getting a fresh coat of paint and is being marketed more heavily as a companion app to the Chromecast with Google TV.

Google TV interface

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Once you do finally find something that you want to watch, clicking on the title shows you a small description, the Rotten Tomatoes score, auto-plays a trailer in the background, and surfaces the best way for you to watch it. Clicking on Solo: A Star Wars Story, for example, will make Disney+ the first way to watch it. If I select another title that's available on Netflix, Hulu, or something else, that'll be the service it shows on that first button.

Source: Android Central

Virtually all of the recommended shows you see on the For You page (except for the Trending on Google section) come from apps/services you've indicated you subscribe to. If you see something that's only available to rent or purchase, you'll see a small lock icon next to it and its rental price. Thankfully, Google's done a good job of integrating all of the major streaming apps into this Google TV experience. It began with about three dozen apps and has been steadily expanding over the last year, but it's still missing more niche services.

I've thoroughly enjoyed everything else about Google TV. I love that it's integrated throughout the entire interface instead of being a standalone app the way Apple handles its TV application, it's ten times easier to find new shows to watch, and adding a show to your watchlist from Google Search also adds it to your Google TV watchlist (which is fantastic). None of these features would matter if Google had a bunch of missing gaps with supported services, so having almost all major streaming apps integrated from day one brings us an actual completed product rather than a work-in-progress. Coming from Google, that's a big deal.

Chromecast with Google TV What could be improved

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Google just about knocked it out of the park with the Chromecast with Google TV, but even so, there are some minor revisions I'd like to see for the Gen 2 model.

While I like the general design and feel of the remote, not having dedicated fast forward, rewind, or play/pause buttons is annoying. I'd be more than willing to have a slightly longer or wider remote if it means getting that added functionality, and I hope it's something Google considers. It'd also be great to see things like backlit buttons and a lost remote feature, but considering the price of the Chromecast, it's understandable why some of those things didn't make the cut. You can use thrid-party Bluetooth remotes and game controllers — and if you use a controller, in many apps the triggers work as fast-forward and rewind.

The only big problem with the Chromecast with Google TV is the storage. Google had to keep costs down somehow, and that's likely why Google made the decision to only ship the Chromecast with 8GB of storage. You only get half of that for your apps and files, though, which means that you can fill it up quickly and not have any room left for new services or even for app updates. Of course, this is only a problem if you use a wide variety of streaming subscriptions, and most folks only pay for 3-6. If you are a streaming addict like me, you may want to look for a device like the NVIDIA Shield TV with more storage.

Stadia wasn't available at launch, but it was added this summer, just as the user profiles promised at launch were finally added in October 2021.

Chromecast with Google TV The competition

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The Chromecast with Google TV is an absolute joy to use, but before you make any purchasing decision, keep in mind that it's faced with a heap of fierce competition.

One of the most direct competitors is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which delivers 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Vision/Atmos for the same $50 price. You also get an Alexa voice remote with volume controls for your television, and there's the same 8GB of storage for all of your apps. The main difference between the two is the software they run, with the Fire TV Stick putting a greater emphasis on Prime Video content above all else. It also supports Amazon Luna for game streaming, whereas the Chromecast will get Stadia support down the road.

Another option to consider is the TiVo Stream 4K. Similar to the Chromecast, it's an Android TV-powered device with 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. It's running the regular version of Android TV, but it comes with the exclusive TiVo Stream app that's similar to Google TV in its ability to show personalized content from services you subscribe to. And, you guessed it, it only costs $49.

Finally, we have to mention the NVIDIA Shield TV 4K. This was previously the go-to Android TV recommendation before the new Chromecast came out, and there are still some things it does better than Google. Its remote is more functional, there's a microSD card slot for easily expanding your storage, and NVIDIA's 4K AI upscaling feature is surprisingly awesome. Its software interface is still the old Android TV, and while it's possible it'll get upgraded to Google TV in 2021, nothing has been confirmed quite yet. There's also the higher price tag to consider, with the $150 asking price likely being too much for some shoppers.

Chromecast with Google TV Should you buy it?

Chromecast With Google TV

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

You should buy this if ...

You want to stream content in 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision

All of the three key components to high-quality streaming are present on the Chromecast with Google TV. It supports 4K at 60fps, HDR10 and HDR10+ are present, and there's Dolby Vision for shows that take advantage of the format. It also supports Dolby Atmos for dynamic audio with supported setups.

You want to simplify the way you use streaming apps

Most streaming devices have good user interfaces, but the new Google TV layout manages to stand out as something special. From curating all of your content into one place and personalizing recommendations the more you use it, it's something that's greatly appreciated in a world where new streaming apps are launching all the time.

You don't want to spend a lot of money

At just $50, the Chromecast with Google TV is an easy recommendation for just about any budget. Plus, at the rate Google frequently discounts its products, it shouldn't be uncommon to find it on sale for even less.

You should not buy this if ...

You want 4K upscaling

NVIDIA's 4K upscaling feature on the Shield TV really impressed us, making HD content look just as good as native 4K stuff. Unfortunately, that's not a feature you'll find on the Chromecast with Google TV.

You need more than 8GB of storage

Google gives you 8GB of built-in storage for apps/games, and while that should be enough for most folks, power-users may need more room. With no microSD card support, you won't be expanding storage on the new Chromecast any time soon.

You watch a lot of Apple TV+

The app selection for Android TV has gotten much better in recent years, but there are still some gaps here and there. Right now, the most notable absence is the Apple TV app. If you watch a lot of shows from Apple TV+, you'll want to consider getting something else.

4 out of 5

As interested as I am in other Google products like the Pixel 5 and Nest Audio, I found myself most looking forward to the Chromecast with Google TV leading up to its announcement. I've always felt kind of bad for Android TV. It's a solid platform with lots of potential, but Google just never seemed to care much about it. It's been a long wait for a first-party streaming device from the company, but it was well, well worth it.

The Chromecast with Google TV isn't as fully-featured or spec-heavy as something like an NVIDIA Shield TV, but as a device that's designed to stream video content and help you find stuff to watch, it's amazing. As confusing as the branding around it may be, Google TV is an exceptional leap forward for Google's presence in the living room. Especially in a world where it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with new streaming services and licensing deals, Google TV does something legitimately helpful to address that confusion.

We'll see how this Chromecast holds up as other hardware starts getting the Google TV interface for themselves in the coming months, but even then, it'll still stand out as an affordable $50 streamer with 4K, a great remote, and fast performance. Google did just about everything right with this one, and if you ask me, Roku and Amazon should be paying close attention.

Review Changelog, October 2021

This article was originally published in January 2021. It was updated in October 2021 with the following changes.

  • Added changelog.
  • Updated pricing and availability.
  • Added 1 year review.

Chromecast with Google TV One year later review

App Storage on Google TV

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

We're now 15 months past the release of the Chromecast with Google TV, and I've been using mine for at least four hours every single day. I still love the remote — I bought a blue one from the Google Store for a little extra style — and most apps are still as smooth as they were on day one. However, there is one Achilles heel that gets stabbed every time I update those apps.

There are 0 bytes of data available.

Google shipped this Chromecast with only 8 gigabytes of storage. Once they install the operating system and you're past the initial set-up — before you've even installed any of your apps — you're down to 4.4GB. I have 14 installed apps taking up 3.6GB, 8MB of photos (screenshots), 84MB of cached data, and 6MB of miscellaneous, leaving the "available" data on my Chromecast at 0B.

There is literally no room left. The last time I installed an app update, I had to delete two apps to make room. This may not seem like much on its face, but consider that this is a streaming TV stick. You want all your streaming apps on it so that they're all there, logged in and ready for a quick six-hour movie marathon. Instead, they might not all fit on here, especially if you're a Twitch user or sports fan where everything has its own dedicated app.

In every other regard, the Chromecast with Google TV is wonderful. It's easy to set up, Google Assistant works quickly and consistently even with complicated actions like rewinding or skipping ahead, and it's affordable. USB-C means you can plug in a USB-C hub to add Ethernet, a keyboard (for logging into apps more easily), or a portable hard drive full of movies. I'd recommend them to everyone I know — except for the fact that you will instantly fill up the storage.

Google has finally added multiple profile support so that my recommendations don't get contaminated whenever my family visits and uses it, and more apps are partnering with Google TV to factor into your content matrix. Google has even solved most of the bugs we spotted during its early months. But system updates can't fix the corner Google has painted itself into storage-wise.

Chromecast with Google TV 4 months later review

Chromecast Google Tv Remote Green

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

It's been about four months since the Chromecast's debut in late-2020, and during that time, it's had a pretty rocky life. The core experience of everything it does with Google TV continues to be amazing, but as more and more people have gotten their hands on the Chromecast, a variety of software bugs and glitches have been making themselves known.

It's unclear what exactly the root cause of these bugs are, with possibilities including underpowered specs or kinks in the OS that have yet to be patched. Whatever's causing the trouble, here's a quick rundown of what some users have been experiencing:

As for my personal experience with the Chromecast, I have run into some of these issues in the four months it's been in my living room. The Wi-Fi has turned itself off a couple of times, the YouTube app has occasionally played audio with a black screen while trying to watch a video, and the Chromecast has made it a habit of shutting off while in the middle of watching something.

These bugs have made using the Chromecast less seamless than it initially appeared right out of the box, but even with them rearing their ugly heads, I'm still thoroughly enjoying my time with the gadget. The Google TV interface continues to look fantastic, the content recommendations have exposed me to a lot of shows/movies I would have otherwise missed, and having my watchlist synced to the Google TV app on my phone has been such a huge convenience.

As for whether or not I'd still recommend others go out and buy the Chromecast with Google TV, I'm pretty torn. On the one hand, the Google TV software is a seriously excellent way to simplify the way you stream things in a world where new services are launching every other day. And, at just $50, the value proposition continues to be nothing short of amazing. At the same time, I don't know if I'd tell my parents to get this as their next streamer if I know they'll need to unplug it and plug it back in every few days when something decides to glitch out — though Google has pushed out a fresh system update to start addressing the issues with random crashes and improving 4K60 support.

If you're aware of the current bug situation and don't mind dealing with some periodic wonk, I still think the Google TV platform is well worth experiencing. But if you'd rather play things safe and not have to worry about that, I wouldn't blame you for going out and buying a Roku or Fire TV Stick instead.

The Chromecast with Google TV is a stupendous piece of streaming hardware when it works, but the problem is that it doesn't work all the time. And honestly, that's a huge bummer.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

57 Comments
  • 69,99 € In Europe with taxes included $68 plus taxes, 36% more pass
  • Pretty nice. I gotta say Google did well with this. However, while they did well they really didn't have to work too hard at it. I mean, the competition has been doing full-on stick type devices for so long now that they have quite a blueprint to work from. I dislike how android/Google tv makes it so hard to sideload (yeah it's tougher than FireTV and it shouldn't be) and how they don't even support a browser (though PuffinTV works pretty well). The whole Google TV vs Android TV thing is yet another blunder on Google's part. Now they have 2 TV OS's skins to support; seriously Google? Fragmentation much? It's bad enough it happens on phones/tablets and now it's happening on TVs? People may hate the FireTV OS skin/setup but at least it is completely consistent across all their devices. Roku very much deserves a shout-out here too since their interface is crazy simple to use and setup. I realize you get different services across all the devices (you get access to Google movies with Roku and Android TV but not on FireTV but you get access to IMDBTV on Fire and not the others. Though some would argue as long as you have the Prime video app you get IMDBTV but its very limited from that app). Sorry Google but you did well with this but its too little too late. Many of us have already heavily invested in the competition. This will sell well at first but then it will bottom out before long. That is why I believe you'll see it heavily discounted all over the place shortly. Also, leaving out official Stadia support from day one? What a missed opportunity.
  • This new device is running atop of Android TV. Google TV is the rebranding of the Play Movies app that will function as a launcher for the new device (Google Chromecast TV). They dropped the ball explaining this much during the initial launch event and required tech-sites to follow up with more information to clear up the confusion. Where is the "little too late" coming from? The device is replacing the Chromecast Ultra but priced even more competitively and adds additional value. With this device, Google is bringing the 4K Android TV experience to households for $50. That anything but too little and too late. This will stimulate the streaming-stick market the same way the initial Chromecast did. In a years time, there will be multiple companies offering an Android TV experiences in a dongle formfactor that's priced competively with this device.
  • I have shield TV but will definitely get one for bedroom. One thing I didn't like about Chromecast was not having an UI. This solves that.
  • Hmm yeah that is not good on Google to leave it up to tech sites to have to explain that. You'd think with all their chops they wouldn't drop the ball like that. The device comes with a lot but my point is that the competition has been around MUCH longer and many people don't want to invest in more tech that merely is a substitute for what they already have. I'll end up getting one eventually when they drop in price (or get a random discount) but nearly everyone I know is Roku or FireTV all the way. Most I've talked to didn't even know AndroidTV existed. Google needs to do a better job of advertising all this if they want people to learn about them. I suppose shoving AndroidTV into more smart tv's is a good way.
  • "stimulate"? Roku has had a $50 4K stick for several years. This is Google once again being late like they are with pretty much everything they do nowadays.
  • eeehhh You're speaking in wall garden terms. When Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus etc. are all cross platform It honetly doesn't matter whether you have a Roku or a Fire Stick. And at $50 and mostly like $35 promo around Christmas it becomes a impulse buy that you can stick into a tv around the house that may not have a streaming device or even with the current TV Especially is you have Google Phot's this becomes a more seamless way to displays your home videos and photos etc. I love my Roku but I have no issues sticking one of these in the empty HDMI slot.
  • There is a walled garden, though. We only had Roku until Peacock and HBO Max showed up, but that (especially the latter) spurred us to get a Chromecast to be able to get HBO Max on the big screen. Meanwhile if you want IMDB TV, you're looking at Fire. As long as the content providers and the hardware providers play these licensing games, you do need to look at what is supported on what platform to make your buying decision. Personally I find the HBO Max content more compelling than Netflix - and we get it free due to other purchases from ATT.
  • Agreed this is a walled garden situation. Even though the wall isn't high and most services can be had on most devices. I would say that amazon is falling the most behind since they don't have GoogleTV(never will I imagine), Vudu, Peacock or HBO Max but you can sideload all but one of those plus you can get your hands on the 4k fire stick nearly a dozen times a year for $25; its tough to be upset about a few services when it's so cheap. Roku surprises me that they haven't made an HBO Max deal yet honestly. For us, since I use Samsung phones (Note 20 Ultra at the moment) and my daughter has a Moto G Stylus, we just cast to our TV's the services our devices don't support (so basically like a chromecast or miracast for the Fire devices). We have yet to find anything on Peacock we want and HBO Max doesn't have enough for us to justify the price so we stick with Netflix, Hulu, Prime and Disney+ and that fills our needs entirely, Heck, there is no way we'd have the time to watch everything those 4 services have to offer.
  • No rewind fast-forward or play buttons are really a downer for the remote without those it is a no go for me they could’ve done a better job with this remote for sure reminds me of the old fire stick remotes With no volume controls.
  • I assume the area around the top button is directional and is used for fast forward, rewind, volume etc within in app. I get wanting a dedicated set of buttons but if they provided a way to do the same thing without additional button presses, then functionally it's the same. I'm not really liking the way the interface looks. It just looks like there's a whole lot of wasted space on the top with the ribbon of apps on the bottom. That's going to mean more scrolling. Discoverability is nice and all but the thing I haven't seen any review say is what it's like when you're looking for something specific to watch. Anytime I'm using a device like this, I'm looking for what I want to watch, not what it wants me to watch. How easy is that?
  • In many apps, yes the left and right buttons are fast forward and rewind in the app, but many apps have extra button pushes you need to make to fast-forward or rewind (YouTube, Disney+, VRV, etc), so having dedicated buttons was very helpful. As a note, Google Assistant can also be used to fast forward/rewind a set amount of time in most apps that are working with Google TV. "OK Google, rewind 30 seconds" "Hey Google, fast forward three minutes". It's clunky, but it works for most apps.
  • Then that is disappointing. Any additional button presses is a loss of function. And yes, doing anything that precise with Google Assistant is always clunky. If it'll take less time to go through extra button presses and complete your task than it'll take to say it, GA to respond, and then do it, it's a losing battle.
  • I think as long as you can use the left right functions on the main apps like YouTubeTV, YouTube, HBO, Netflix, Disney etc any of the entertainment apps then I don't really see this as being an issue.
  • I agree, this is just not a thing. At all.
  • I pre-ordered one. I'll probably mostly use it as a chromecast ultra. I fully expect to leave that ugly remote in a drawer... Hopefully it'll work well with the LG magic remote.
  • As much as I'd like to have one for my living room TV I just can't fathom giving them another $50 for that when I just bought a Chromecast ultra less than a year ago. Our cell phones work just fine as remote controls...
  • It's more than the remote, but not enough to upgrade from an ultra, no. But they don't expect you to. The phones work ok as remotes, but an physical remote is better to catch the older and less tech inclined crowd, and can still be controlled by your phone in the same way. Plus it's good for kids without phones, guests, etc.
  • You can use a usb-c dock for expanding the storage, you can also connect a cam and more.
  • Have you done this yourself, or know someone that has?
  • Thee a articles about it. Get a dock that's separately powered and use a different charging cable or something. The cable that comes with the chromecast, while usb-c, doesn't carry enough power to run a fully loaded USB hub, depending on the devices used.
  • I wish this device would offer Att tv now app natively. If it did it would replace every firestick I own smh.
  • It has terrific performance, but sorely lacking in storage. I want to use this for gaming as well, but I can't download my favorite game in it's entirety due to the limited storage.
  • So the new Chromecast is nice but there are a few anoyances I'm experiencing. First I use Vudu and currently there is no 4k HDR support, also for whatever reason everything on Vudu plays in stereo even though it should be Dolby 5.1
    Netflix seems to be the only app that I have used so far that works for both 4k hdr and Dolby sound. If I switch back to my Roku with same setup, everything works fine.
    Two other things I noticed is chromecast doesn't have variable refresh rate option, roku does. Also, when watching live sports on YouTube TV, the feature that shows stats and scores is missing, again roku has this. I really like the Google TV interface, but all these minor things that should be there make me think I should return it and Google will probably take months to fix them.
  • Vudu is way better than GPM (or Google TV app). Vudu (and Movies Anywhere) is the main reason I stopped ripping movie disks to local storage. Vudu is the only streaming app that allows me to stream in 4K (HDR) with 5.1 sound (DD+) with my slow 12Mbps internet (DSL) on the Nvidia Shield. So GPM won't play HDR on the Shield, and requires 20Mbps for 4K, and the Vudu app won't do 4K HDR or 5.1 sound on the new Chromecast. That gives me little reason to use the new Chromecast or GPM (Google TV app), so I'm sticking to the Shield and Vudu.
  • Yeah Google's devices don't include the 5.1 support it needs to be built into your TV or speakers or something. I used to have an issue there where you could buy shows on Google Play but they'd have no sound because of the setup I was using. All seems fine now though on the new TV.
  • I am making 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Here's what I've been doing,
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  • Yep,been there done that! Wasted money on the Logitech Revue and Sony GS7 and I'm not impressed with the android tv on my Sony TV.Too few apps.Not here to bash the new Chromecast and it's great it has it's own remote now.The circle is complete.But,one thing I can brag is that Roku plays nice with everyone!
  • The only problem with this thing is it doesn't work. I spent hours trying everything I could think of, but it will not connect with my phone. The Chromecast Ultra it replaced worked fine for years. Another Google fail...
  • You tried one clearly faulty device and didn't go exchange it? That's not a Google fail.. it's a you fail.
  • Why is it the chromecast comes in three different colors to put on the back of your TV. The pixal5 comes in just two colors, what, huh? The S20 FE comes in six different colors, this make great sense right?
  • I have the new Chromecast with Google TV. It's great, but I can see a few things that need improvement. 1. Parental Controls. Family link has been great for Android phones and Chromebooks. A TV in the living room is likely to be used by kids. A universal content filter would be great. It could be unlocked with a pin or even better by voice. 2. Improved multiuser experience. Currently, the default user is the likely user. It would be great to have to first choose a user and unlock it if needed (parental control). Could encourage apps to support these users. 3. Private listening on the remote. The current remote is great, but it doesn't have a headphone jack. That would be nice to have. 4. Find my remote. If the remote had a small speaker to beep/chirp, it could be used to help find a misplaced remote. 5. Reduce number of clicks to play. I've noticed that it sometimes requires several clicks to play something from the home screen. This could probably be simplified. 6. Make a black/dark gray version. I think it would sell well for those who want something that hides better behind their black colored TV. With that said, I really like how well this thing works out of the box. A lot of my "improvements" could be made without new hardware.
  • Can you download those "hacky" apps (Kodi, for instance) like you can on the Fire Stick?
  • Hi, sorry for my english but does the remote control allow advance, rewind, pause etc? Thx :) Mat
  • Yes it does don't listen to this guy, it's the navigation circle click left for rewind click right for FF and the center is you play / pause.
  • Yes, just use the click wheel.
  • I see a lot of people complain about not having dedicated fast forward and rewind buttons... I hope everyone realizes that they're just integrated into the left/right clicks. Either click them or hold them, depending on how far you want to rewind/fast forward. Works just fine for me, and I find no need to have separate dedicated buttons. Waste of space in my opinion. 🤷‍♂️
  • I expect my father or my grandfather to need to be told this but this guys a tech blogger and didn't know it. Sad.
  • I guess I've been lucky. I have a few of these in the house and haven't had any of these stated issues. I've owned all of the major streamers except for Apple TV and can't see myself going back to any of the others. I already loved my Chromecasts and this just upped the game for them. As for people dinging it for not having a headphone jack in the remote, pair bluetooth headphones with it and don't be tethered to a remote. The ONLY thing I'd like in a new version is more storage but even with all of my streaming apps and a few games installed I still have space. Most of the games I like aren't compatible with it anyway and I can always use Steamlink for the rest.
  • The round circle is your FF and RW and the center button is Pause and play.
  • My one (minor) issue is the symmetrical shape of the remote. Often I pick it up and don't check for the scroller position. Then instead of selecting YouTube or Netflix, I press the home or mute button. Or instead of selecting Home as I select Netflix. So, turning the TV on is a two step process: make sure the scroller is at the top, then find and turn on my selection. If the remote was wider at the scroller side I could tell the orientation by feel just picking up the remote.
  • I don't think moving your thumb 1 inch to find out which way you're holding the remote is much of a step. But it could be flatter or heavier on one end to overcome that, sure.
  • What is the purpose of the input button and when can it be used?
  • it can I used it to change my input out of Sony sony bar it has a subwoofer that doubles as an HDMI swithc input button works great. Trust me this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Android Central has gone down hill
  • It's just a standard TV source switcher (HDMI 1 to HDMI2, etc . Use it whenever you want to switch back and forth from Google Chromcast to regular TV or anything else.
  • Fun probably little known fact, many tv remotes will control the media on your chromecast. At least basically. Personally I can never find my remotes, I much prefer using my phone anyways.
  • Personally I despise the Chromecast Home app on my phone, I feel Google has invested in sooooooo many different things that they do not polish any one thing. They have turned into the New Apple, My way or the Highway. And if it does not make mountains of money they discontinue it. Do no evil is dead.
  • Ok, so "do no evil" obviously never existed anyway. As to 'my way or the highway' I wish they actually pick a "way" and stop constantly changing things. Add new features of course - fill your boots there - but stop making standards then abandoning them (hamburger button) or don't change the location of stuff from the top left to the top right while changing the button appearance (hamburger again). In fact if theywere going to move anything, join us here in the future and bring the buttons to the bottom! (My way or the highway)
  • You said: "While I like the general design and feel of the remote, not having dedicated fast forward, rewind, or play/pause buttons is annoying. I'd be more than willing to have a slightly longer or wider remote if it means getting that added functionality, and I hope it's something Google considers." You make it sound like the device does not have that functionality at all. The large round directional circle performs rewind and fast forward, and the center button toggles pause and resume.
  • I know right? How is this guy to be considered a tech expert when he doesn't know the basic functionality of the remote.
  • He also specifically makes a point about it not supporting the Apple TV+ app without bothering to check if it actually did or not (it does).
  • You said Apple TV isn't available, but it is now available (only for this platform--not phones). I have it and watch Apple TV and movies purchased through Apple (though they are also linked in my Movies Anywhere account).
  • "not having dedicated fast forward, rewind, or play/pause buttons is annoying. " WTH are you talking about on the circular dial of the remote click left is rewind click right is FF and click center is play/pause. How are you writing for a tech blog and not now this.
  • Agreed. Center button is play/pause. Hold left and right for rewing and fast forward. The last thing Google should start doing is changing up the physical buttons, they do enough of thay with virtual buttons in their constantly changing apps!
  • Storage is absolutely abysmal. I have installed 800MB of apps (which isn't a whole lot nowadays, like 5 or 6 streaming apps, and checked the amount of storage they are using) and have 4MB free. I have to clear cache and reboot to net a few extra MB to just update apps Another issue is the discover tab on older devices. If you set up personalized recommendations on the chrome cast with Google TV, it breaks that tab on other Android TV devices. I get the "something went wrong, please try again later" error on both my shield and nexus player (it's old, but still works pretty well) Besides those annoying issues, easily works better than the firetv it replaced.
  • I have had the device for almost a year now it has been a good experience with it. I haven't had any major issues with it, in terms of functionality, usage, connectivity etc. It is easy to connect and set up. Utility, functionality and ease of use are a big selling point for me. Actually crucial. It is reasonably priced for what it has to offer. And the design is clean and minimalistic. As others have mentioned here, if there's an issue it is the pretty small built-in storage. 10-16 GB of memory would have been more appropriate (8GB at the very least). I imagine the next generation of these devices will have that. I'm not sure what the complaint about the remote is, but to me that is perhaps one of the best aspects of the Chromecast with Google TV. It is simple, light, multifunctional and straightforward to use. The integration of the Google Assistant is quite excellent and I've made ample use of the voice function, especially while doing searches for different types of content. The all in one watchlist means I don't have to go to individual streaming services and build one for each. As you add to your watchlist the individual suggestions also improve and become more personalized. Also, because Google is "neutral" in all of this aka only providing the platform, device and connection to the content, there is no push or promotion for any particular content or service above another. Like let's say if you have an Amazon Firestick... Amazon will promote it's Prime content over Disney Plus or Netflix. All in all I have few if any complains about it. It is not perfect or the best ever. But it is a solid and practical choice amongst the other existing streaming devices on the market. Also, already being part of the Google/Android ecosystem, allows for a seamless integration with other devices. I know this may sound dumb, but I always get a kick telling the Google Assistant on my phone to turn on the Chromecast...LOL...which it does, as well as the TV. I've bought a few of these for other family members and some friends and have not heard of any major issues or other related complains. Especially when they spelled the end of cable... Once this Chromecast becomes dated I'm definitely not opposed to upgrading to the next iteration.
  • What are ppl putting on this thing to fill up the memory? I have a bunch of streaming apps and never had a problem.