Chromecast with Google TV: 2021 Review, Price, Pros, Cons
Google's latest streaming device could well be the best streamer of 2021
Google's new £60 4K streaming dongle tries to deliver but is far from ideal. It suffers from inconsistent integration with streaming services, and the underlying Android TV operating system might need a little polish. The new Chromecast works, but it's blatant when it doesn't work.
It's Android that works with your TV, and it shares a lot of elements with Android TV. You can use it like an old Chromecast to stream videos from compatible apps to your phone.
The other way to use the Chromecast is to immerse yourself in the new Google TV software, even though there's nothing new or oversold about it. It is plugged into the Google Home app under Settings > Audio > Group.
Chromecast with Google TV performs just as well as the new Firestick. There are no frame drops or delays, but it takes a stroke longer than expected to launch apps and display content and details. I played a few simple games and they worked well.
The live TV integration doesn’t work as I would like it to, there were no live TV providers available at the start. This is a nuisance for Google TV, but if you think that as a bonus, you probably won't use it. If Chromecast is your preferred streaming device, the new version is a breeze to use.
For streaming with maximum resolution in high-end formats, we recommend the remote control or the native Android TV remote app.
The only real limitation we have to come up with at the hardware level is that the Chromecast with Google TV does not support Stadia.
This is probably not a deal-breaker, but it is a small caveat for people who are looking for a singing and dancing streaming media player to play the latest games. If you want content, you can use it as a normal old Chromecast or transfer it from your web browser, iOS or Android device, which is convenient.
The original Chromecast, which sold for £35, was a revolutionary development. It supported a whopping 6,500 Android apps. But as more devices with remote controls and the ability to select built-in streaming sources came onto the market, the old Chromecast began to look a little lacklustre.
It brings pictures and sound to your home in top quality, provides a variety of popular streaming sources and enables fan favourites such as the ability to broadcast from your mobile phone.
The quad-core processor delivers faster performance, and Google's massive app library is an all-around advantage that boosts the Chromecast over the competition. It fits nicely into the home environment of Google TVs and is worth £15 more than the original Chromecast.
The Chromecast with Google TV is one of two streaming devices developed by Google. Originally Google's original Chromecast device, it was brought back last year to replace the Chromecast Ultra.
It is powered by Google Assistant voice control, it is comprehensive and can be run with just one voice button on the new remote control. It's the most expensive of the two and the only one that offers 4K streaming. Price: The Chromecast is available for £59.99 from John Lewis.
In short, Google TV is the operating system that stores your apps and content on the Chromecast streaming dongle. It resembles the way streaming devices Roku and Amazon Firework. The Chromecast comes with a remote control.
The Chromecast with Google TV performed well in all tests with fast menu navigation and fast content loading. I watched shows on Netflix, Sling TV and YouTube without switching between different apps. Videos looked good and supported fast loaded HDR content.
I fell in love with Chromecast with Google TV I plugged it into one of my TVs and spent a few days using it as my primary streaming device. It only takes a few minutes to follow the simple setup commands, and for those of us who hate using three or four remote controls on the same TV, this is a big win. This is Google's first attempt with a remote control to accompany the device, and they've done a good job. Some interesting observations accompany this experience.
The corresponding remote control is simple in the same colour (in our case white) and with a total of nine buttons. You’ll find Google Assistant buttons, shortcuts to Netflix and YouTube, and a mute button on the remote.
One of the only major mistakes we've found with the Chromecast with Google TV is the lack of a play/pause button on the remote control. Instead, you need to use the navigation buttons at the top of the remote to press Play on the TV screen. Despite its simple and modern design, the Chromecasts plug-in HDMI connector is not visible in operation.
Speaking of remote control: let's talk about the biggest feature of Google's latest streamer. Since the beginning of the Chromecast, one of the biggest requests from many users has been for physical remote control. With the new Chromecast with Google TV, we've finally made it thanks to the Android-based operating system.
The Chromecast with Google TV emphasizes content from apps. The interesting thing about the Chromecast is that it pulls content from different apps. There are several apps available on the home screen, but they're just that - they're not the focal point.
Google TV also lets you set up a universal watchlist, an idea that's long overdue on a streaming device. Instead of managing separate lists for multiple apps, you can have a list for everything you want to see. You can add movies and shows to your list using Google Search or the Google TV mobile app, and they wait in your watchlist on the Chromecast.
The other tab includes apps, libraries, and movies and shows. Apps display your installed apps and allow you to browse additional apps and services downloaded to Chromecast. With Movies and Shows, you can search for different movies and TV shows, with suggestions ranging from multiple streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and Hulu. Libraries display all movies or show you purchased through Google Play Movies & TV.
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