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Chromecast with Google TV vs the "old" Chromecast series
In 2013, Google launched the first version of its Chromecast TV dongle. It was designed to cast smartphone apps, including video streaming apps, to big-screen televisions. Several years later, the market for streaming TV apps has changed, and Google is changing with it. In 2020, it officially announced Chromecast with Google TV, and in 2022, the company launched a cheaper model, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD). So what are the similarities and differences of Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast?
As you will see, the original Chromecast is still very useful. However, the newer Chromecast with Google TV devices offers a lot more, and it’s not that much more expensive.
Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast: Features
Back in 2013, smart televisions were still something of a novelty. The first Chromecast allowed TV owners to quickly turn it into a smart television, and inexpensively. If you had a smartphone, and your apps supported Chromecast, you could connect the dongle to your TV’s HMDI port. Then you could cast and watch movies, play games, and more from your phone to your TV.
Later versions of Chromecast did basically the same thing as the original. The third-generation Chromecast streams smartphone content at 1080p resolution. Google did offer a more expensive Chromecast Ultra for sale in 2016. It increased the streaming resolution to 4K and added support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision video formats and an Ethernet port. However, it is no longer available for sale.
In 2022, Google stopped making the third-generation Chromecast device. It is no longer for sale on its official Google Store site. If you really, really want it, you can still buy one of the remaining Chromecast that’s still available in inventory from third-party retail sites, including Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot.
The Chromecast with Google TV is a very different device. While it can still cast smartphone apps to your TV, it has Android TV built-in as well. That means you can watch streaming TV and apps directly, with no smartphone required. It comes with its own hardware remote for controlling those apps. It also supports Google Assistant to control apps with your voice, again via the remote.
In fact, for this product, Google has installed a new UI on top of Android TV. That’s where the “Google TV” part of the brand comes in. It allows you to watch movies and TV shows across several streaming apps and services on one screen, rather than switching between apps. It’s very similar to what you will find on the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV apps. The device supports up to 4K resolution, along with HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision video formats. One other minor additions to Chromecast with Google TV are color choices. You have snow, sunrise, and sky colors to pick from.
The 2022 release of Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is basically the same as the older model, except that the video resolution tops out at 1080p. This allows the device to be cheaper than the original, and it’s best used on cheaper TVs that can only display video at FHD resolution.
Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast: Price
The current third-generation Chromecast is available for between $30 and $40. The Chromecast with Google TV is available for as little as $29.99
Which one should you buy?
With the regular Chromecast no longer being made, the truth is you should either get one of the newer Chromecast with Google TV devices. If you have a larger smart TV that supports 4K video, the regular one at $49.99 is for you. If you have an older TV, or one that’s smaller, cheaper and only supports HD video, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is for you at $29.99.