(Cybertech) – Google has officially announced the Chromecast with Google TV, its latest TV streaming device that wants to make the Chromecast experience smarter and easier.
The big change is that the new Chromecast will come with a remote. That means you don’t have to cast everything that you want to watch, you’ll be able to switch to the Chromecast and use the remote to navigate the new UI – Google TV.
Google TV isn’t a replacement for Android TV, it’s a separate experience, hence this is ‘Chromecast with Google TV’. Google is describing it as an “entertainment experience”, promising to offer suggestions for what to watch from across your streaming services and recommendations based on what you watch.
The remote will not only provide navigation, but will offer voice support through Google Assistant, so you can say what you want to watch, you can ask for suggestions or you can control other smart home devices. Because it’s Google Assistant, you can also check your Nest Camera and ask other questions of Google.
The remote has buttons into Netflix and YouTube, while the services and available apps will essentially be the same as those found on Android TV. In the UK, that means you’ll be getting BBC, ITV, My5, but no All4. Major services, like Disney+ will of course be supported.
Casting is still supported, so the functionality offered from the previous model is still there, although surprisingly there’s no app interface for Google’s game streaming service Stadia. Google says this is something that will be added in 2021.
The Chromecast with Google TV will support 4K HDR content at 60fps, with formats like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos supported where offered by those streaming services. As previously, the new Chromecast is a simple and slimline dongle that plugs directly into the HDMI port on a TV and takes its power from USB. It will then connect to Wi-Fi and let you sign into your Google account and other streaming service accounts.
There will be an accessory powerpack that also offers an Ethernet connection, for those who want a hard wired connection rather than wireless.
Looking to compete with the likes of Roku and Amazon, the new Chromecast with Google TV will cost £59.99 in the UK and $49.99 in the US and is available for preorder from today, in general retail from mid-October.
Writing by Chris Hall.