Google today announced a new Chromecast at its live-streamed “Launch Night In”; event, but it’s not the smartphone-driven Chromecast that most people are used to. No, $ 50 Chromecast with Google TV is a full-featured streaming device with the right menu system, remote control and interface that brings together all your streaming services.
Google’s new Chromecast runs on the Android TV operating system, which should feel familiar to users of NVIDIA Shield TV or Xiaomi Mi Box S. Android TV is a simple interface that lets you download apps and games from the Google Play Store. It is compatible with most streaming services and integrates perfectly with Google Assistant for voice navigation or smart home controls. Android TV also supports casting from your phone or laptop – so don’t let anyone tell you that this new thing is just a Chromecast by name!
Google is still putting a custom spin on its Chromecast with Google TV interface. Instead of the standard Android TV home screen, which contains rows of organizeable apps and games, Google fills the “Google TV” custom home screen with aggregated content from all the streaming services you subscribe to.
In other words, Google TV is a one-stop-shop for all your streaming needs. You don’t have to dig through the Hulu and Netflix apps just to find a show – just watch your Google TV home screen, use the universal search feature, or check your universal watch list. Google TV also has a custom “For You” section full of recommended content for all services and the ability to collect programs by genre or content.
The new Google TV remote control is available in three colors and has a minimalist design. It has dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, YouTube and Netflix. And instead of using boring arrow keys, the Google TV remote control has an iPod-style steering wheel that lets you quickly navigate programs, movies and on-screen keyboards.
Some Google fans and journalists got their hands on Chromecast with Google TV early on. Their main complaint is that you can’t ditch the aggregate Google TV home screen for the standard, customizable Android TV home screen. Google also says that its Stadia game streaming program will not be available on Google TV until 2021, which is strange considering that Chris Wlech at The border managed to load the Stadia Android app on its new Chromecast on September 29 (a day before the official Google TV announcement).
In any case, Chromecast with Google TV is the next logical step for the Chromecast brand. Google wants to provide an all-in-one platform for streaming, listening to music, controlling your smart home and playing Stadia. For many people, the remote Chromecast with Google TV is more accessible than the basic phone-controlled system. For $ 50, it’s $ 20 cheaper than 4K Chromecast Ultra, and Google offers a limited $ 90 Google TV package that comes with half a year of Netflix.