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The new Chromecast with Google TV is a Big Upgrade to the Chromecast Line

The new Chromecast with Google TV is a Big Upgrade to the Chromecast Line

By Thomas Kenzaki

It may have taken until 2020, but Google has finally released its first full featured streaming device with a dedicated remote. The new Google Chromecast with Google TV brings with it many highly requested features, and is now a more serious contender in the competitive streaming device arena.

If you’ve used an older Chromecast device, you’ll know they worked well, but lacked a lot of things you’d find from competing products from other companies such as Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku’s Streaming Stick.

The most obvious thing you didn’t get with older Chromecast models was a dedicated remote. To watch video on your TV you would need to cast video from your smartphone, tablet or other compatible device which then allowed you to watch on your TV.

While it worked very well and was intuitive, the lack of a dedicated remote was definitely a big drawback and obviously made it not an option for anyone who didn’t have a compatible device, or those looking for a simple all-in-one solution to streaming on their TV.

Enter the new Google Chromecast with Google TV. Priced at a very reasonable $69.99 (the same as Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku’s Streaming Stick), it offers a slick new design AND comes with a very intuitive remote control.

Most owners never see the actual streaming stick after they set it up because they attach directly to the back of the TV and offer wireless control that doesn’t require line-of-sight. If you’ve got a unique setup where you will regularly see it, take comfort knowing it’s very small, and even comes in three unique colours. The included remote is also the same colour so if you’re big into esthetics, Google has one up on the competition in this area.

The remote is compact (about 20% smaller than the Fire TV Stick 4K remote), and offers all the functions you’d expect including power, volume controls, and even dedicated buttons to launch YouTube (a given) and Netflix (who must’ve won the bidding war over competing streaming sites).

The best button of all on the remote is the Google Assistant button. If you own an Android phone or Nest smart home device, you already know how good this feature is. If you’re not familiar with it, think of it as a very smart way to voice control your new Chromecast. You can use it to discover new content, ask general questions, and even control your smart home devices.

Looking past the physical hardware is a brand new interface called Google TV. Every streaming stick has a launchpad to fire up your apps and discover new things to watch. Previous Chromecast models didn’t require this since you’d have to start streaming from other devices so the interface on the new Chromecast is brand new.

Setting up the device is as easy as you’d expect from any other Google device, and should only take 5-10 minutes including the time to download any updates. Simply follow the steps on your screen, and in the Google Home app.

There’s app support for all the popular streaming sites you can think of including YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Crave, Spotify, Sportsnet and many more.

With support for 4K HDR video, you’ll always get the best quality video available. Those of you who subscribe to Google game streaming service Stadia will be happy to know support for that will be coming in the first half of 2021.

Final Thoughts

Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV is the long overdue upgrade for its Chromecast line of streaming devices. It’s now up to par with offerings from Amazon and Roku, and is competitively priced.

One big reason to choose the Chromecast with Google TV is its integration with Nest smart home devices. If your home is full of them, you’ll get more from going with Google than you would with the other brands devices.

Google was late to the party in releasing this device (the Fire TV Stick 4K was released almost 2 years ago by comparison), but if you’re new to the streaming stick world or are looking to upgrade your older device, the Chromecast with Google TV is definitely worth considering.

Buy the new Google Chromecast with Google TV at Best Buy Canada, Google, Staples, and select other retailers in Canada.

39 Comments

    • Hopefully in Canada. I see US already selling.
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    • Interesting. I hope it can support Netflix and Prime Video in Dolby Vision/Atmos/HDR10+, etc.
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    • Interesting. I hope it can support Netflix and Prime Video in Dolby Vision/Atmos/HDR10+, etc.
      Don't know about Prime but I don't see why not when the leaked specs suggest it. Hopefully the petty spats between Amazon and Google are over.

      As for Netflix, it would be a bit odd to have a dedicated button on the remote if the device itself wasn't certified to do Netflix at 4K.
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    • Been waiting for this to replace the fire sticks, hopefully it goes on sale at the same time for us,
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    • Don't know about Prime but I don't see why not when the leaked specs suggest it. Hopefully the petty spats between Amazon and Google are over.

      As for Netflix, it would be a bit odd to have a dedicated button on the remote if the device itself wasn't certified to do Netflix at 4K.
      It's one thing for the device itself to support these various technologies (which it does) and another for the app itself to support it or not for that device. Like my Android's TV's built-in Netflix app supports Dolby Vision but not Atmos while my 4K player's Netflix app supports Dolby Atmos but not Vision. Netflix on PS4 doesn't support 4K, HDR or Atmos. It gets hella confusing. Somebody on reddit managed to buy this already and states that the Disney+ app does not support Dolby Atmos and certain apps aren't in 4K at all currently. I just want one device that supports everything!
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    • It's one thing for the device itself to support these various technologies (which it does) and another for the app itself to support it or not for that device. Like my Android's TV's built-in Netflix app supports Dolby Vision but not Atmos while my 4K player's Netflix app supports Dolby Atmos but not Vision. Netflix on PS4 doesn't support 4K, HDR or Atmos. It gets hella confusing. Somebody on reddit managed to buy this already and states that the Disney+ app does not support Dolby Atmos and certain apps aren't in 4K at all currently. I just want one device that supports everything!
      Can you link that reddit post? I'm curious to see which apps don't support 4k.
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    • Been waiting for this to replace the fire sticks, hopefully it goes on sale at the same time for us,
      Same. Cannot wait to get rid of the First Stick 4K's I have. Nothing but problems.
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    • Same. Cannot wait to get rid of the First Stick 4K's I have. Nothing but problems.
      What problems were you having with the Firestick 4k? A big downside for me with Google TV is the lack Apple TV support.
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    • Made this reddit post today asking if there's any info on a Day 1 launch in Canada: https://www.reddit.com/r/googlehome/com ... countries/

      Somebody just responded that they'd be available tomorrow after the announcement (so, Day 1). I'm assuming on the Google Store for sure, but if I wanted to pick it up tomorrow (or even tonight), any hints on where I can go hunting for Chromecast?

      stocktrack.ca isn't showing any results for the new Chromecast, but maybe that's because it's not in the system yet or products that have a street date won't show on the scraper.
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    • This will be interesting. It'll be kinda like the old Nexus player. Wonder if we can side load apps and stuff too.
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    • Can you link that reddit post? I'm curious to see which apps don't support 4k.
      Link
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    • sounds like it'll go for about $69 and come with six months of Netflix
    • Report Post
    • Two Walmarts and a Staples I went to this evening didn't have it stocked yet. Guess I'll be jumping on it on the Google Store tomorrow!
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    • If you already have chromecast and a google home mini, would you buy this?
      It looks like a nice interface, just wondering what all the benefits are over my current setup. Right now I typically use voice to control the chromecast anyways..
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    • Damn she just said available today in the USA and more countries by the end of the year :(
    • Report Post
    • From the launch broadcast, it's only available in US now and elsewhere only "by the end of the year."
    • Report Post
    • Damn delivery in 2-3 weeks on Google Store. No thanks. I'd rather just wait until Home Depot and Walmart sell it early in stores here. The general public isn't clamoring for these devices. I'm not pre-ordering this lol.
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    • The Google store website seems to be saying the Netflix bundle will cost $120...
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    • i ordered one, this will replace my old mibox 3 for a 2nd tv and im keeping my shield tv for my main tv. too bad its not available in black though....its still a good price point even without free netflix imo
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    • The Google store website seems to be saying the Netflix bundle will cost $120...
      Why does it seem like you're unsatisfied about this option? You can buy the device for $69.99

      Or get that Netflix bundle. $50 for 6 months is cheapers so it's up to you. All this is is just Netflix giving google a lot of money for the button on the remote and the Netflix bundle.
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    • Damn delivery in 2-3 weeks on Google Store. No thanks. I'd rather just wait until Home Depot and Walmart sell it early in stores here. The general public isn't clamoring for these devices. I'm not pre-ordering this lol.
      where do you see delivery time
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    • where do you see delivery time
      It will show you in the checkout process. Oct 16-19 Delivery. I'm sure it says that for everyone.
    • Report Post
    • ordering directly from google usually gives you a better warranty (at least thats been the case with phones)
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    • I've been waiting for this device. I held out getting another Firestick 4K stick and I'm glad I did. I have a Vizio M-series from 2016 and it has Chromecast built in but I'm not able to add it to audio groups because the firmware is out of date which is annoying. Also the Vizio smart apps interface isn't the best. It works and has the latest apps...but super slow as its HTML5 based.

      I'm interested in side loading an IPTV app onto this. I wonder if it will run native android apps instead of Android TV apps. Firefox on my Android box is super clutch with extensions. I'm able to use Ublock Origin and watch NBA streams without the annoying ads. Hopefully this version lets us do the same.
    • Report Post
    • Why does it seem like you're unsatisfied about this option? You can buy the device for $69.99

      Or get that Netflix bundle. $50 for 6 months is cheapers so it's up to you. All this is is just Netflix giving google a lot of money for the button on the remote and the Netflix bundle.
      I was actually just pointing out you pay extra for the Netflix bundle, unlike the US deal where you get it for the same price as the device. I think the reporting before the event was that the 6 months would be free in canada also. Is there still a saving for some, Yes. Is it as good a deal as US bundle, Not at all.
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    • I was actually just pointing out you pay extra for the Netflix bundle, unlike the US deal where you get it for the same price as the device. I think the reporting before the event was that the 6 months would be free in canada also. Is there still a saving for some, Yes. Is it as good a deal as US bundle, Not at all.
      Interesting, can you show me where US customers get Netflix for free? Can't seem to see that anywhere.
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    • they changed the usa deal too and its similar to canada now with the netflix bundle fyi
    • Report Post
    • Interesting, can you show me where US customers get Netflix for free? Can't seem to see that anywhere.
      My bad, your absolutely right, the US deal seems the same now, when I checked it earlier made no mention of the extra cost.
    • Report Post
    • Damn, great price. I'm tempted to sell my Shield 2017 to get this thing.
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    • What is a good USB-C hub to get for this? I also want to use Kodi + portable hard drive with this device.
    • Report Post
    • What is a good USB-C hub to get for this? I also want to use Kodi + portable hard drive with this device.
      Anker one that has usb C PD, hopefully it works out to be cheaper than a sheild tv. I will be adding a SSD and Ethernet.
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    • And here I was hoping for a Shield competitor or a replacement for the Mi Box. Instead, we get competition for the Firestick and Roku devices. My hopes are dashed once again...
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    • And here I was hoping for a Shield competitor or a replacement for the Mi Box. Instead, we get competition for the Firestick and Roku devices. My hopes are dashed once again...
      There's still hope. Google is trying to popularize Android TV (now Google TV.) Perhaps next time they'll introduce a more sophisticated device to compete with Shield and Mi Box. Consider that Amazon took several iterations of its "stick" devices before they came out with a "box" that natively supports Ethernet, etc.
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    • This seems to just be updating the Chromecast to match what has been available with a Roku Streaming Stick for a few years now. (I assume also Fire stick? Never used one.)

      Upside of the new Chromecast over Roku seems to be that the remote has a TV input button (which with Roku is the only reason I can't throw the TV remote in a drawer), although the Roku has a dedicated button for Disney+ as well as Netflix. Price is the same as the Streaming Stick+.

      I have a TV with the Google TV interface and it is pretty good, with a dashboard/home that lets you get back to specific content within apps, compared to the Roku where you still have to go into each app and access the content the usual way.

      Took Google long enough to catch up but I would probably consider this if I had to replace a Roku stick or needed another one.
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    • USB 3.x / USB C is a bit of a mystery. It's meant to "just work" but behind the scenes, there is voltage and current negotiation. That gets messy in a hub topology. Or at least it is beyond my current knowledge. This also makes USB C hubs quite expensive.

      I would be surprised if 18w isn't enough for running a hub, chromecast, and ethernet dongle. Probably it is a voltage/current negotiation issue.

      That doesn't mean that there is an easy or cheap solution. The easiest and best is to wait a few weeks until some enthusiast figures out a good solution for all of us.

      BTW, it looks to me as if Google tried to create the minimal useful Google TV device but many of us want something more generously provisioned. For my family, our old MiBox 3 is fine (compared with the Chromecast, it has more flash memory and an unallocated USB port) (we don't have an UltraHD TV). The various Nvidia Shield models have even more extras (and price).

      It's a shame that Xaiomi hasn't released an interestingly updated Mi Box for North America. The minor upgrade to an s905x3 processor would be nice. And a little more RAM and flash (although we haven't felt a pinch on our old box). The cost of the BoM would still be less than the original's BoM when it was released.
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    • USB 3.x / USB C is a bit of a mystery. It's meant to "just work" but behind the scenes, there is voltage and current negotiation. That gets messy in a hub topology. Or at least it is beyond my current knowledge. This also makes USB C hubs quite expensive.

      I would be surprised if 18w isn't enough for running a hub, chromecast, and ethernet dongle. Probably it is a voltage/current negotiation issue.
      +1

      That's why I added, "Then get a Mi Box or Shield." Granted the Mi Box may be hard to get for CA$100, let alone CA$70 from a US Walmart as long as the border remains closed.

      As for hub technology, as I understand it, it shouldn't be that expensive to produce a "dumb" USB-C hub that supports only 5VDC power rather than the full Power Delivery (PD) protocol. In any case it's possible to find on Amazon, AliEx, eBay, etc., multipurpose USB-C hubs that include several USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, uSD card reader, etc. as well as full PD--all for $25+. They're intended for notebooks but I can't see why they wouldn't work with this device. (An external 5VDC power source would still be needed. Hopefully some of these hubs have an accessory power jack...)
      BTW, it looks to me as if Google tried to create the minimal useful Google TV device but many of us want something more generously provisioned.
      Absolutely. I have a Mi Box 3 and a Shield. There's nothing compelling about this device for me.
      For my family, our old MiBox 3 is fine...

      It's a shame that Xaiomi hasn't released an interestingly updated Mi Box for North America...
      It's also a shame that Walmart Canada hasn't offered the Mi Box here for CA$99 regular and way less on sale. I wonder if that could be because of pressure from the big-3 telco oligopolists in trying to keep "piracy boxes" off the market.
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    • If you already have chromecast and a google home mini, would you buy this?
      It looks like a nice interface, just wondering what all the benefits are over my current setup. Right now I typically use voice to control the chromecast anyways..
      Apps
    • Report Post