Google’s first Chromecast dropped in 2013 as a $35 TV dongle that let you cast content from your phone. It was a new take on streaming boxes and one that could be out of sight, out of mind. It didn’t even have a remote. Then in 2022 the Chromecast with Google TV was introduced as a $49.99 streaming dongle, with a remote, and a full interface.
Now in 2022, and ahead of Google's Oct. 6th event, we have the Chromecast with Google TV (HD). And that part in parenthesis is really the whole story. Much like the ever-growing Amazon Fire TV Stick lineup, Google’s now making a version that only supports up to 1080p HD resolution. It’s also cheaper at just $29.99.
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Chromecast with Google TV (HD): What You Need to Know
Just like the 4K version, the HD version of Chromecast with Google TV is a simple flat piece of hardware with a HDMI cable port. It’s attached to a flexible piece of plastic and it plugs right into the back of your TV. The other end of the Chromecast is a USB-C port, which you’ll plug into power. A USB-C cable and a wall plug are included in the box as well. It’s the same hardware as the Chromecast with Google TV (4K), but this HD one only comes in a “Snow” color.
You also get the ergonomically shaped remote that is complete with TV controls. This way it can be the one remote to rule them all in your home entertainment setup. You’ll use this to navigate the Google TV interface and by holding the microphone button, you can ask the Google Assistant to pull up content.
In terms of resolution, this Chromecast is likely best for an HD TV or for folks who haven’t upgraded to a 4K TV as of yet. And it’s a way to add some smarts without buying an entirely new TV. Google notes that it plays content at up to 1080p HDR and the onboard processor will work to ensure a smooth viewing experience. We’re eager to put this to the test and will soon.
As for the Google TV interface it’s pretty great and provides easy access to a bevy of streaming services. The major players like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock are all here. Though, remember, you’ll need individual subscriptions for these.
You can also explore all the TV capable applications within the Play Store. And just like how you need an Amazon account to get the most of a Fire TV Stick, you’ll need a Google account to get the most out of a Chromecast. Google promises that performance will be snappy on the HD version.
Let’s Recap the Chromecast with Google TV (HD)
While it’s not the most exciting product introduction ever, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is a logical expansion of the current Chromecast line. It will certainly appeal to folks who want to spend less, it’s only $29.99 versus $49.99, and is an easy way to add some smarts to any TV.
We’ll be going hands-on soon, but if you’re sold the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is available now at $29.99. And if you’re after a higher resolution, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is $49.99.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.