After a long hiatus, Google is getting back into the TV ‘set-top box’ game with its all-new Google Chromecast powered by Google TV. Following a torrent of leaks, Google has officially unveiled the new device at their 2020 Made by Google event.
The new TV dongle, made from recycled plastic, continues to bear the Chromecast brand, leading on from Google’s relative success with their streaming-only dongles over the past few years. As expected this is no mere streaming stick however, it’s a fully-fledged TV interface. Powered by Google TV, a rebrand of Android TV, the new device brings full remote support, lean back apps and Google Assistant integration to any HDMI-compatible TV.
The device itself is relatively simple, a small oval puck with a short HDMI tail, a USB-C power in and that’s it. Out of the box, the new device is Wi-Fi only and we are unsure at this stage if the device is compatible with previous Google Ethernet Adaptor for Chromecast, and even if it was the previous device isn’t officially sold any more.
Many are calling this the first Chromecast with a remote, however, we see it more as a Google TV device with Chromecast built-in, just like all previous Android TV devices. Either way, the included remote includes a traditional D-Pad, Assistant button, back and home buttons, volume and mute, YouTube and Netflix buttons, a power and line in button.
The new Chromecast with Google TV also introduces much more system-wide integration with your smartphone with the ability to add items to your watch list easily just by using Google Assistant. The new interface with Google TV will show up a row of your favourite TV subscriptions in a single row.
The device will support native 4K HDR playback via compatible TV’s and comes with Android 10 under the hood. This gives the Chromecast access to Google Play and the increasing array of media and entertainment apps that the growing Android TV platform supports.
Audio-wise, the new Chromecast with Google TV supports DTS, Dolby Digital+, Dolby Audio and Dolby Atmos alongside Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5GHz and Bluetooth. It also supports 1080p, 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10+ picture modes.
The device will come in several colour options internationally including Snow (white), Sky (Blue) and Sunrise (Orange). In Australia, all colours are available for just $99. Google also have a Google TV — Netflix bundle available that gives you 6 months of Netflix AND a Google TV for just $139.99. The Netflix bundle is available to both new and existing Netflix subscribers and is their standard two-screen streaming plan (total current value $95.94 — “watch on 2 screens at a time. Full HD (1080p) available. Download videos on 2 phones or tablets”).
You can pick up a Chromecast with Google TV via pre-order from the Google Store where you will get 15% store credit, along with all of your usual electronics retailers. The Google Chromecast wit Google TV will go on sale in Australia from October 15 according to their local announcement