After months of unconfirmed reports and leaked images, Google has finally released the cheaper version of its flagship Chromecast with a Google TV streaming device.
The Chromecast with Google TV HD formally replaces the third-generation Google Chromecast puck. It provides access to high-definition video through apps downloaded from the Google Play Store and supports the most popular services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, YouTube, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and Apple TV.
Like the older model Chromecast with Google TV, the Chromecast with Google TV HD comes with a remote control that allows users to navigate through the Google TV home screen and its various apps without having to “cast” content from their phones or tablets. But the option to cast content is still available to streamers who want to stream something from an app without having to download it to the device.
The Chromecast with Google TV HD costs $30, about $20 cheaper than the 4K-compatible model, which costs $50. It comes in one color – white – compared to the 4K model’s three color options (white, blue and pink).
Early reviews of the Chromecast with Google TV HD suggest that Google used cheaper, less powerful internal hardware to make the device cheaper to buy. A benchmark test conducted by the technology blog AFTV News found that the Chromecast with Google TV HD was about 75 percent more powerful than the full-featured but more expensive Chromecast with Google TV.
The tests put the Chromecast with Google TV HD on par with the Android-powered Xiaomi Mii Box S, which costs twice as much as the Chromecast with Google TV HD, but lower than Walmart’s Onn-branded Android TV 4K box, which costs $ 10 less than the Chromecast with Google TV HD. It was also swept into power by Amazon’s cheapest Fire TV Stick Lite, which retails for $30, but often retails for as little as $15.
Still, the Chromecast with Google TV HD has some redeeming features: it’s the first Google TV-powered streaming device to ship with Android 12 as standard, while the more expensive, 4K-capable Chromecast with Google TV comes with Android 10. It also offers support. for high dynamic range (HDR) content and comes with a free six-month trial of Comcast’s streaming service, Peacock.
The Chromecast with Google TV HD is on sale today at Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon.