We’ve all done it: try to get out of paying a ton for new hardware by buying something smaller and less expensive. Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is for folks who can’t help but attempt to breathe new life into old hardware. It helps that it doesn’t cost more than $30.
The Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is a dialed-down version of its predecessor, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K), which will remain at its $50 price point. But it looks virtually 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 rumored, 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’s been 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 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 for devices like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite and Roku Express, both meant for streamers on a budget. Google hopes the Google Assistant-enabled voice remote, plus its casting ecosystem, will be enough to convince you to choose its cheaper option. It’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up compared to third-party Google TV dongles, like the Onn streaming stick, which offer similar features, including a remote.
Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is available now for $30 in the Google Store. It’s available in 19 countries, with more regions on the way. The device is only available in Google’s Snow White colorway.