Google announces new Chromecast running Android TV rebranded as Google TV

Google has just announced the new Chromecast (2020) with Google TV, their first true competitor to Amazon’s Fire TV line of streaming media players. Unlike past Chromecast models that required a mobile phone to use, this new Chromecast comes with a remote and runs Android TV, which has a completely redesigned interface that Google is branding as Google TV. Like past Chromecasts and the Fire TV 3, the new Chromecast is a pendant-style device that hangs off of its permanently attached HDMI cable. It supports 4K video at 60fps, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and costs $49.99.

Apart from carrying the Chromecast name and having a similar shape, this new Chromecast has very little in common with past Chromecast models that did not run Android TV. Among the main differences is the included remote which features a Google Assitant voice button, TV controls through power/volume/mute buttons, and partner buttons in the form of a YouTube and Netflix button.

Under the hood, the new Chromecast is powered by an Amlogic S905X2 Cortex A53 quad-core CPU running at 1.8 GHz and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. The Beelink GT1 Mini is a 3-year-old generic Android TV box that uses this same SoC and usually performs about 5% higher on benchmark scores than the Fire TV Stick 4K. Assuming thermals aren’t an issue in the new Chromecast’s smaller casing, it should perform on par with the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Stick Lite in daily use.

Update

My apologies, but the processor info I originally stated above is incorrect. The new Chromecast has an Amlogic S905D3 Cortex A55 quad-core CPU running at 1.9 GHz and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. I expect that it too will perform slightly better than the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Stick Lite in benchmarks, but everyday use should be on par with the Fire TV Stick 4K. Thank you Jamees for pointing out my mistake!

The new Chromecast has 8GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. It features 802.11ac WiFi and has a USB-C port that may accept ethernet adapters, but one has not been announced. As mentioned, it supports 4K video at 60fps and HDR support comes in the form of Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HDR10. Audio specs are listed as Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos pass-through.

While the new Chromecast runs Android TV, Google is now calling the experience Google TV. It has been significantly redesigned and now much more closely resembles the Fire TV’s interface. Across the top is a navigation menu featuring For You, Live, Movies, Shows, Apps, Library, and what looks like a user profile menu.

Scrolling down the interface you’ll find various rows of categories and suggestions for what to watch, just like you have on the Fire TV. Google talked up aggregating content from various apps and displaying them together on the same screen.

The new Chromecast is available in 3 colors, Snow (white), Sky (blue), and Sunrise (pink), which is also carried over to the remote. It’s available to order today for $49.99 and will arrive later this week. Google is also offering a bundle with 6 months of Netflix for $89.99.

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35 comments
  1. GP says:

    Able to do sideloading or use Downloader?

  2. David Andrews says:

    Please compare this with the very similarly priced Tivo Stream 4K in a future article. They were reported to have identical microprocessors.

    • David Andrews says:

      I currently have two other Android TV devices from Nvidia and the above Tivo device. So when will Google be releasing their new “Google TV” updates to these 3rd party partners so that current Android TV users can enjoy the new Google TV experience.

      • TechyChris says:

        I read an unsubstantiated rumor that Google may start offering these devices for free (or at an extremely reduced price) to Google One users. There is precedent for this with previous devices.

  3. Jamees says:

    Small correction, the SoC is an Amlogic S905D3 (A55).

  4. clocks says:

    At least this got a full 2gb of ram.

  5. Charlie says:

    Hey Mi TV Stick, say hello to my little friend! That’s all she wrote for you.

  6. Jemima says:

    802.11ac (instead of ax) and 8GB storage in 2020? Ugh.

    • clocks says:

      Why is wifi 6 needed for a streaming device? Wifi 5 easily handles 4k, and adding AX would only increase the cost.

      • David Fleetwood says:

        I mean, the price difference between AC and AX with adapters is like $1. I’m fine with that for potentially faster performance, and more importantly, support for WPA3 so I can more quickly deprecate WPA2 off my network.

        • clocks says:

          I wonder what the penetration rate is for wifi6. I have somewhere between 15-20 devices connected to my router, and not one of them has wifi 6. I know it is coming, but not sure the masses have switched over yet. I don’t even know that Pixel phones have wifi 6, so it is no surprise that their cheap streaming device does not have it.

        • The thing is that you usually can’t just cherry-pick WiFi 6 and add it to any SoC you want. To get a cutting edge feature, you’re usually forced to upgrade everything else because the CPU, GPU, WiFi, and BT are all pretty closely tied together.

          For example, take MediaTek, which powers all the Fire TV Sticks. If Amazon wanted to include WiFi 6 in the new Fire TV Stick 3/Lite, their only option would be to bump up to an SoC capable of 8K video. Obviously, that’s not going to be possible for the Sticks, given their thermals and price point. Amlogic has the S905X4 that can be paired with WiFi 6, but again I don’t think that could work in a Stick. Maybe a dongle if the thing is massive.

          • Jamees says:

            They also offer the S905Y4 for Dongles.

            But, as Google’s new Chromecast took at lease 18 months to be developed (just a guess), X4/Y4 wasn’t yet ready and they had to choose the X3/D3.

      • Paulie K says:

        Wifi6 isn’t really about latency or bandwidth, it’s about improving the experience in congested areas. If you live in an urban area and the list of 2.4Ghz wifi networks scrolls off your screen, wifi6 will help a great deal.

        Of course the answer has always been to just use 5Ghz wifi5(AC), but that has substantially poorer range, it doesn’t penetrate walls nearly as well.

        The problem is that you need all your devices and your router on wifi6 to get that benefit, living in an urban area, and so far there are no cheap/commodity IoT devices that support it, only flagship phones and laptops. That’ll change, but not in 2020.

        • clocks says:

          Well, and to add to the dilemma, I have seen people say not to buy a wifi 6 router. That wifi 6e is already almost here, and the current routers will not handle it. Anyway for me wifi ac works like a champ. On the rare occasion I have a streaming/buffering issue, it is my cable provider, not my wifi.

          • Paulie K says:

            That’s because wifi 6e actually _WILL_ improve bandwidth. It adds the 6Ghz band, which is a ton more room. Of course the question is how many people really need more speed than the 450Mbps that wifi5/6 will already give you, but that’s just being pedantic. I know I plan to upgrade to 6e when it’s out.

  7. Bob says:

    USB-C port will accept an Ethernet adapter. Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast with Google TV is available for pre-order.

    https://store.google.com/us/product/chromecast_ethernet_adapter_gen_2?hl=en-US

    • Charlie says:

      That makes this more interesting to me. I’m trying not to order one and I was using, it’s only wi-fi to help keep me from being impulsive. Going to need a need objection to hold onto.

  8. Aemdi says:

    Atmos on which apps exactly?
    Variable refresh rate / 24fps topic, also on which apps if yes.
    Those Software questions are more important imo, but probably not answerable yet :/

  9. Koying says:

    Not sure why they still call it “chromecast” besides marketing.

    Seems like a full-fledged “adt-like” device to me ;)

  10. Mike G says:

    Does it have a browser app like silk on firestick ? Does it have the google play store ?

  11. Charlie says:

    Elias, are you going to order one of these? I guess Amazon will have no more Fire TV surprises in the next few weeks. It would be interesting to compare this dongle, with the Ethernet adapter added, with a Shield, not that it would be a fair fight except in the streaming department.

    • Mine just arrived yesterday. I’ll have much more to say about it in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

      • AWC says:

        Any updated opinions on the Chromecast with Google TV? I’m interested in the ease of content aggregation from multiple apps into one watchlist so you don’t have to go into each app separately. Does this work well? Will the updated Fire TV software that is coming soon be comparable?

  12. xnamkcor says:

    How does this compare to the Ultra? Does this have Chromecast support still?

  13. Keith says:

    More RAM (2Gb) that the Firesticks (1.5GB) but the same inadequate storage (8Gb). Why don’t these companies listen to their customers and put in 16GB?

  14. Charlie says:

    OK, so I have seen this now and just from a streaming basis I would rather have a Stick 4K, not to mention my Cube or Shield. Most every negative I read about I found to be true. The all important video quality on a 1080P and a 4K set was disappointing. The remote is too small and frankly I found not quite as “pleasant” to use as the original Shield remote, which is enough said. As I read, it does take a long time to load after startup. This to me was unforgiveable. Just overall, I was not impressed and though lots of people are I was not. I was weighing this against buying another Cube and wanted to be impressed. The Stick 4K I was using on my 1080P set this was replacing was just an overall better experience for me. I sold that Stick Saturday, so good news I’ll be replacing it a Cube on Prime Day!

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