What you need to know
- 9to5Google reports that Google is working on a new Chromecast Ultra.
- It's said to look a lot like the current 3rd Gen Chromecast and support 4K HDR streaming.
- The big difference is that it'll run Android TV and come with a remote.
New Google hardware could be soon available, and we aren't just talking about the Pixel 4a. According to a new report from the folks at 9to5Google, a new Chromecast Ultra is in the works and nearing its launch.
Just like the existing Chromecast Ultra, this 2nd gen model will allow you to cast your movies and TV shows to it and watch them in glorious 4K HDR. Design-wise, it's said to look a lot like the regular 3rd Gen Chromecast with a soft-touch finish and a "G" logo smack-dab in the middle.
None of that is particularly exciting, but that's not all there is to this new Chromecast Ultra. Apparently, it'll run a fully-fledged version of Android TV and come with a remote for navigating the user interface. All old and current Chromecasts rely on you using your smartphone or tablet to stream content, making them feel less complete than something like a Fire TV Stick or Roku Premiere. By turning the new Chromecast Ultra into an Android TV dongle, that'll allow Google to be a more direct competitor to these other streaming devices and give Android TV the first-party showcase it so desperately needs.
It's unclear when Google will announce the new Chromecast Ultra, but it'll likely happen around the same time Google holds its virtual I/O conference in May. As for pricing, we can likely expect a slight price increase over the $69 existing Chromecast Ultra.
I personally wouldn't be surprised to also see a name change to have the streamer line up with Google's other hardware — Pixel TV/Google Nest TV, anyone? Nothing on that end is being talked about, but I'd say it's worth keeping an eye out for. Chromecast Ultra is a fine name, but it no longer makes sense with the rest of the Pixel and Google Nest devices.
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Get 1080p video on your TV right now
The Chromecast (3rd Gen) isn't the most technically impressive streaming device on the market, but it does serve as a great option for people in the Google ecosystem that are trying to save some money. The Chromecast offers 1080p Full HD streaming at 60fps, a clean design, and a dead-simple installation.
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