When Google Chromecast first launched in 2013, it was based on a stripped-down version of ChromeOS and was meant to be used controlled via your Android phone, iPhone, Windows PC, or Mac computer to stream audio and video, and even more recent versions like Chromecast Ultra were not standalone media players.
But Google’s “Chromecast with Google TV” changes all that as it’s based on Android TV OS and supports all 6,500 apps designed for the operating systems, and ships with a remote control to playback videos from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other apps without the need for your phone or a computer, although it still support all existing Chromecast features.
Chromecast with Google TV hardware specifications:
- SoC – Quad-core processor @ 1.8GHz with ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, likely
Amlogic S905X2 or even S905Y2 since there’s no Ethernet.[Update: It’s Amlogic S905D3 according to a screenshot provided by Android TV rumors.]
- System Memory – 2GB RAM
- Storage – 8GB flash
- Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4K HDR @ 60 fps with ALLM support
- Video – 4K H.265/H.264 with Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+ support
- Audio – Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos (pass-through)
- Connectivity – 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz), Bluetooth
- Power Supply – Via USB Type-C port
- Dimensions – 162 x 61 x 12.5 mm
- Weight – 55 grams
Some of the specifications above are from a thread on Kodi forum since Google does not provide the full specs. ChromeCast with Google TV is currently available in “Snow”, “Sunrise”, or “Sky” colors, and ships with a voice remote with Bluetooth and IR transmitter, accelerometer, and integrated microphone for Google Assistant.
The company did not provide the full details, but as I understand it, Google TV is basically Android TV OS with a slightly different launcher with a focus on content rather than apps. The new Chromecast also adds other features such as the ability to control smart home devices, and later in 2021, it will also be compatible with Stadia cloud gaming service.
The “Google TV” brand is actually not new, as it was the older name for the TV-optimized Android operating before it was renamed to Android TV. What will we have to see in the future is whether Google TV and Android TV will coexist, or whether all official Google streaming device will now run Google TV.
Chromecast with Google TV is now available in the US for $49.99 or $89.99 with a 6-month subscription to Netflix.