Google’s latest Chromecast dongle with Google TV is one of the smartest streaming sticks, but an upgraded model could be on the way soon. While Google has continued to improve its current offering, reports suggest a Chromecast Ultra type device with Google TV could be next.
Released back in late 2020, the Chromecast with Google TV comes equipped with a dedicated remote, 4K HDR streaming support, connected smart home device controls, personalized recommendations, and more. It took the Chromecast to a new level, even though it has a few shortcomings.
Update, 1/25/22: After this post was published, additional information about Google’s upcoming Chromecast came to light. According to Protocol, who talked to someone familiar with Google’s plans, this will be an even more affordable “downgraded” Chromecast with Google TV. The report states it will only offer 1080p streaming, perfect for older TV sets, rather than 4K, and likely be even more affordable than the current $50 model. The title has been updated to reflect this info.
According to 9to5Google, who did some digging into some Google app APK files, an upgraded Chromecast with Google TV should be here soon. The APK teardown has several mentions of a new device codenamed Boreal and runs the same Google TV software as the current Google TV-powered Chromecast.
We don’t have too many details yet, nor has Google confirmed anything, but it seems likely. That said, three potential upgrades could be adding support for the AV1 codec, which Google now requires for any TV device running Android that’s released after March 2021, not to mention an increase in storage capacity and processing power. For example, the current Chromecast with Google TV only has 8GB of storage, which can’t compete with other streaming devices, including the NVIDIA Shield.
What makes the Chromecast special is the small dongle form factor and affordable price point. However, even with a remote, it doesn’t quite stack up against competing devices released over the last few years.
This new device could be the 2nd generation Chromecast with Google TV or a slightly larger and more robust offering for a few more dollars. We’ll have to wait and see.