Rumors of a new Chromecast streaming device from Google have begun to surface. 9to5Google reported last weak that the next Chromecast is currently in development and is codenamed Boreal, but didn’t provide any further information. Now Janko Roettgers from Protocol, who has a good track record for insider information, has been told by a source that the new Boreal Chromecast device will be cheaper than the $50 Chromecast released in 2020 because it will only support 1080p video and not 4K.
The “Chromecast HD with Google TV”, as it is rumored to be called, is said to support 1080p video at up to 60fps. It is also said to be powered by an Amlogic S805X2 CPU and a Mali-G31 GPU. It will, apparently, support AV1 video decoding, a capability missing from the current 4k-capable Chromecast, and it will have “2GB of RAM at most.”
With both Roku and Amazon selling 1080p streaming devices for less than $30, it’s hard for Google’s $50 Chromecast to compete in the budget streaming device market. While a cheaper and less capable new Chromecast is likely disappointing news to streaming enthusiasts, 1080p devices, unfortunately, still dominate streaming sales. Among Fire TVs, 1080p-only models still make up over 60% of the devices used by customers in 2021 with very little change throughout the year.
Google recently refreshed the packaging of the existing 2020 Chromecast by adding a large “4K” label to the bottom. This was likely done to help differentiate the upcoming 1080p model from the existing one. The new packaging also suggests that the existing 2020 Chromecast will remain on sale and not be replaced with a new 4K model when the new 1080 model is released.
Google holds its large Google I/O developer conference in May, so that could be when the new Chromecast gets announced. However, Google typically announces most of its products at an annual hardware event in October, so it may be a lot longer before the new Chromecast is revealed.