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Google merges Chromecast and Android TV with the “Chromecast with Google TV”


axipher

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Folding@Home Staff
726 370
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Alongside the launch of the Pixel 5, today Google is making major changes to its TV strategy and merging its products, Chromecast and Android TV, into a single device. Oh, it's also changing the name of Android TV. Meet the redundantly named "Google Chromecast with Google TV," a $50 Chromecast that, instead of being just a streaming endpoint you control with a phone, runs Android and comes with a remote.

 

The new HDMI dongle is $49.99, and it looks like a replacement for the Chromecast Ultra, since it supports 4K and HDR10. Google didn't officially release specs yet, but since this is already for sale in some stores, we know the specs. It's powered by an Amlogic S905X2 SoC, which has four 1.8GHz Cortez A53 cores and a Mali-G31MP2 GPU. There's also 2GB of RAM, a measly 4.4GB of user storage (there is probably 8GB total), 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.1.

 

Since this is a low-power streaming device with almost no storage, you would think playing games on Google Stadia would be a major part of the sales pitch, but Google didn't mention the streaming service once during the live event. The Stadia Twitter account tweeted that support would be coming in the first half of 2021.

 

The remote features a microphone for sending voice commands to the Google Assistant, a round, five-way D-Pad, a volume rocker, and eight face buttons for things like the Google Assistant, navigation, and dedicated "YouTube" and "Netflix" buttons.

 

508975460_googletv.thumb.jpg.254202e1d2cf1426c1065196f0644407.jpg

 

Source

 

Aside from Google's usual foolish naming and bouncing back and forth, it seems like a pretty nice upgrade for Chromecast.  I'm looking forward to the remote for some of my *cough* older *cough* family members who don't want to rely on using voice commands.

 

Luckily my Yamaha A/V Receiver's remote is able to control my current Chromecast Ultra (Play/Pause/etc.) via HDMI CEC which is great, but having a included remote makes it more accessible for more people.

 

The Lack of Stadia at launch is rather concerning though.  I admit I joined the founder's program to get the nice controller and another Ultra for my house but haven't really used Stadia much at all since then aside from playing Destiny 2 from Linux through Chrome with pretty good latency and it was perfectly playable and high quality.  I'm hoping Stadia can actually carve out a nice part of the market and stay affordable as a alternative way to play games on the go.  It was nice a couple times while travelling for work to just plug my Chromecast Ultra in to the Hotel room TV and be able to just play some games without needing to have a powerful gaming laptop and HDMI cable and all that setup.

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