In addition to exciting updates to Google’s first-party Pixel phones and the new Slate, the company also announced a minor revision to its popular Chromecast streaming device today. It’s not a big update, but it’s worth a look for new purchasers.
The new model includes a slightly faster processor, allowing for 60 frames per second video at full 1080p resolution—it’s been limited to 720p on the entry-model Chromecast until now. Google says the new version is 15 percent faster. It also uses a more sedate Google “G” logo and comes in white (“chalk”) for accessorizing…um, the back of your TV, I guess.
Google says that the new model will be able to “add Chromecast to speaker groups” in Google Home, like the Chromecast Audio, but that this feature won’t go live until later this year. Whether that will include access to wireless speakers via the Bluetooth radio—which is disabled on the Chromecast after the initial phone setup—seems to be up in the air. Either way, it’ll work with speakers connected to your TV via HDMI-ARC or older audio cables. Like all of Google’s connected devices, it gets access to new Google Home features like the upcoming Live Albums.
Leaks from the FCC filing say that the Wi-Fi radio also gets a slightly improved design, roughly doubling its reception for the faster 5GHz band. It still uses a MicroUSB port for power via the included cable and wall-wart, and according to early leaks, the magnetized portion of the case and HDMI port are gone.
The new Chromecast is now on sale for the same $35 price it’s always enjoyed. Bundles with other Google products, like the Home Mini, are also available. The new model does not support 4K resolutions like the more expensive Chromecast Ultra, topping out at 1080p streaming from phones, tablets, laptops, and other cast-compatible devices.
Source: Google blog