Google is said to be developing a new Chromecast aimed at folks who haven’t splurged on a 4K TV. According to Protocol, the low-end device will harness the Google TV interface and include a remote, as well as a maximum resolution of 1080p.
The device, which could be named Chromecast HD with Google TV, is said to be capable of decoding the AV1 video codec (something the 4K-capable Chromecast with Google TV doesn’t support at the hardware level). It seems likely that, given the lower resolution output, the device will cost less than the $50 Chromecast with Google TV.
It’s been over three years since Google unveiled its third-gen 1080p Chromecast. That device, which is still available for $30, doesn’t come with a remote and nor does it offer any native apps. Given that Roku and Amazon sell 1080p streaming devices for under $50, it’s probably about time Google introduced a lower-end Chromecast with the Google TV UI, a remote and perhaps even Stadia compatibility.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard about a Chromecast dongle with the codename “Boreal.” 9to5 Google last week reported Google was working on a device with that name, but no specs were mentioned.
It’s not clear if or when Google plans to release the Chromecast HD with Google TV (or whatever it’s called). It doesn’t seem quite splashy enough to be showcased at the annual fall hardware event, but, as Protocol notes, the company has debuted some devices at its I/O developer conference, which typically takes place in May. Other recent rumors suggest the first Google-branded smartwatch and the Pixel 6a could arrive around that time.
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