After a number of leaks confirming the Chromecast Ultra was on its way to Australia, and confirmed pricing from Officeworks and JB HiFi, we can now (finally) confirm ourselves that the Chromecast Ultra is indeed now on sale in Australia, for just $99. By the time you read this, you should be able to find the Chromecast Ultra on shelves to buy for your very own.
We’ve been able to play with one for a couple of days, and in many respects, it works just like both versions of Chromecast before it; set up is ridiculously easy, and getting it working took no more than a couple of moments, which included a software update once it was first connected to the Internet.
There are a couple of twists, though. Unlike previous Chromecast devices, this one can be used with an Ethernet connection instead of just WiFi (though you can use that if you prefer). This is because 4K streaming video can use a heck of a lot of bandwidth, and your WiFi might not always be up to the job.
However, once plugged in and powered — and it is easy, you just plug it in, and optionally connect an Ethernet cable to the power supply — set up is as simple as a couple of clicks, and you’re good to go.
We tested out the Chromecast Ultra streaming some 4K content from YouTube, and it worked straight away. Initially, the quality was a bit lower (probably around 720p I guess), but it quickly dialed up to the full 4K resolution. If you’re looking for a great video to test, this is the benchmark for 4K as far as I’m concerned:
Casting 4K content from Netflix seemed a bit less reliable, with some known 4K content refusing to play in higher definition. Other shows, though, seemed to work just fine. It is, at this stage, a bit hit and miss but you will get some glorious footage out of this little device.
For those not familiar, the Chromecast Ultra can do more than just stream your YouTube videos to the big screen. You can mirror content from Chrome or Android to the big screen to browse collectively. You can use it with iOS devices, and Windows and Mac desktops, too. Chromecast apps include streaming content, games for the family, playing music and more.
When, or if, we get Google Home in Australia, you can integrate Chromecast Ultra (and other Chromecast devices) with Google Home, to easily choose content to consume wherever you’d like to consume it, with commands like “OK Google, play me some PJ Masks on the Loungeroom TV”.
Chromecast Ultra is on sale today for $99, at Officeworks, JB HiFi, and of course online at the Google Store.