Google launches cheaper Chromecast streaming dongle

Mike Wheatley

Google has announced a new, lower-end Chromecast with Google TV streaming dongle that’s available for just £35 in the U.K. For that low price, buyers will be able to transform any bog-standard television into a smart TV with support for 1080p resolution, HDR10 and HDR10+.


The Google Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is the company’s sixth Chromecast device overall, and provides a full user interface just like the fifth edition. With Google TV, users can access more than 10,000 applications, Google said.

The most prominent apps include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix, and added to that is the classic Chromecast functionality, where it becomes possible to cast content from a smartphone, tablet or personal computer to the TV screen. Other features, as revealed in a leak earlier this month, include the Google Stadia game streaming service, Google Assistant and Google Home. Other supported standards include SDR, HLG and Dolby Atmos passthrough.

"Today, we’re expanding this lineup with the new Chromecast with Google TV (HD). We built this product with affordability in mind and to help bring all our favorite features of Chromecast and Google TV to more people than ever," the company said in a statement.

The £35 price tag is strange in that it makes the device only slightly more affordable than the existing Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K) option, which costs £40 in the U.K. It’s designed to replace the 3rd generation Chromecast device, which was also a lower resolution option, and is meant to compete with lower-end Fire TV and Roku streaming sticks.

Despite being marginally cheaper, the newer device actually comes with a few things the 4K version doesn’t have, including Android 12 pre-installed and support for AV1 video decoding. Android 12 notably introduces frame-rate matching support for stutter-free video playback.

Some buyers may be concerned that the new Chromecast HD still only provides a measly 8GB of internal storage, some of which is already taken up by system software and essential apps. It’s a bit odd because Google has recently begun insisting that its hardware partners all boost their storage capacity to 16GB for new Android 13 devices. Google has done this because Android has a storage problem, with thousands of users running out of storage space on their devices too quickly. Admittedly, the Chromecast HD runs Android 12 so it's not subject to that requirement, but it’s a little surprising that Google wouldn’t want to set an example.

In a second brief announcement, Google has also said it will update the existing Chromecast with Google TV (4K) to Android 12 via a forthcoming system update. No timeline has been announced so far.

Chromecast 4K has been stuck with Android 10, which dates back to 2019, ever since it was launched in October 2020. To date, Google has only provided small performance tweaks and security updates for the device, so this will be its first full-featured update.