We’ve all done it: try to pay a ton for new hardware by buying something smaller and cheaper. Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is for people who can’t help but try to breathe new life into old hardware. It helps that it costs no more than $30.
The Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is a pared-down version of its predecessor, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K), which will remain at its $50 price point. But it looks practically the same, the only difference being the “HD” etched on the back of the device. Otherwise, it plugs into any TV or computer monitor with an available HDMI port and even uses the same Google remote with programmable buttons.
As rumors, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) runs a different processor than the first-gen. It’s compatible with up to 1080p HDR and supports the AV1 codec, an open-source video format that Google Shopping around the industry. The AV1 codec is a relatively new addition to the Chromecast ecosystem, which is why it’s not in the first-gen Chromecast with Google TV (4K). The HD dongle does not support Dolby Atmos.
The company expects that most people will buy Chromecast with Google TV (HD) to upgrade an old TV or computer monitor to a smart TV. At its price point, it’s a direct competitor to devices like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite and Roku Express, both intended for streamers on a budget. Google hopes that the Google Assistant-enabled voice remote, plus its broadcast ecosystem, will be enough to convince you to choose the cheaper option. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against third-party Google TV dongles, such as the Onn streaming stickwhich offers similar features including a remote control.
Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is now available for $30 in the Google Store. It is available in 19 countries, with more regions on the way. The device is only available in Google’s Snow White color range.