This is the product of the year. There, I’ve said it. Google Chromecast has long been my go-to recommendation for those looking to get into streaming, but the new Chromecast with Google TV is a step or ten above that by putting all the streaming on the device – no smartphone required.
Anyone with a Chromecast will know how it works, you open up Stan or Netflix on your phone, you press the little Chromecast icon, and whatever you’re watching or plan to watch appears on the big screen the Chromecast is connected to.
Amazing really. However, it does require that device in your hand to make it work. Your Smartphone, Tablet, Laptop – one of them needs to “initiate the stream”.
When it comes to “Smart TVs” we all know they’re about what apps are onboard. Android TVs come from cheap to high end, and the advantage of them is they are capable of pretty much every streaming app.
So imagine the power of Android TV – where you install the Apps on your TV, and the remote control to navigate it – in something the size of the palm of your hand. That’s Chromecast with Google TV.
Honestly, it’s brilliant. And it’s just $99!
Chromecast with Google TV comes in a range of colours – White, Blue and Peach, or should I say “Sky” and “Sunrise”.
The biggest difference is it comes with a remote in the box.
Setting up your Chromecast with Google TV is straightforward, using the Google Home app on your smartphone, but we did confirm with another test unit that you can set it up without a smartphone, using the remote to connect to your WiFi network.
Once that’s done, you install the apps you want and start viewing.
Voice control happens with the push of a button, searching for movies, TV shows or anything you want.
Universal Search on the Chromecast with Google TV works utterly brilliantly – allowing you to see on which services a show is on, so you know if you can stream it or need to buy it.
Performance is snappy, no lag at all, it performs like a high end Android TV.
You could plug this into the dumbest of TVs – all it needs is a HDMI port – and you are up to date.
Output is 4K if your TV is capable, and the quality is amazing – of course that’s down to your TV more than the Chromecast with Google TV itself.
I’ve got Chromecasts setup on three TVs here in the EFTM office, and four TVs at home – I’m replacing them all! This is too good!
And, if you can’t reach the remote – fear not, you can still use it to cast from your phone just like you could before.
The ONLY thing I need to point out is that unlike current Chromecasts which can be powered by that USB port on your TV – the Chromecast with Google TV needs mains power to feed into that USB C port.
Chromecast with Google TV is available now, and I’m going to struggle to find a product better than this in 2020.