Google unveils the Chromecast Ultra with 4K UHD streaming and HDR support
Stephan Jukic – October 4, 2016
After weeks of rumors and leaks about its specs and appearance, Google’s new Chromecast Ultra has finally gotten its reveal, and right on the date suggested.
Google used its Pixel event on the 4th of October to announce the upcoming Chromecast Ultra, a 4K streaming media thumb drive that secedes the original and purely HD Chromecast from late 2015. The new version will be able to stream 4K ultra HD content from YouTube, Netflix, and Vudu right after its launch and it supports high dynamic range in both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats.
Google’s own Google Play Movies service will also be coming to the Chromecast Ultra’s menu of content options in November.
According to the company, this new Chromecast is the fastest version they’ve released yet and it loads video 1.8 times more quickly than the older Chromecast due to an improved internal WiFi structure for connectivity. Google is thus saying that the new version is ideal for consumers whether or not they have a 4K UHD TV.
The Chromecast Ultra, which looks pretty much as the most recent published leaks predicted it would, will also come with an Ethernet port in the power adapter for users whose WiFi connections aren’t robust enough for streaming video in 4K resolution.
The new device is basically a small flat circular gadget with a sort of hockey puck shape and the black color to match. However, now instead of the Chrome badge of the previous Chromecast, it sports only a small “G” logo and comes with an attached HDMI 2.0 cord for easy concealment behind your TV. Content can still be mirrored from other Android devices like phones and tablets. The new Chromecast will also be fully compatible with Google Home when the latter device goes on sale.
Google is however charging more money for this new toy of theirs. Unlike the older Chromecast, which cost just around $35 dollars, the new model is selling for a fairly pricey (for a streaming media thumb drive) $69 to U.S customers. This is certainly not a price that will put off numerous fans of Google streaming technology but it might look a bit steep for consumers who are on the fence about which device to pick. For example, the new Roku Premiere 4K set-top box with HDR sells for just $10 more and offers a more robust overall package than the Chromecast Ultra, and then there’s Amazon’s 4K Fire TV and even rumors of a new Apple TV device coming in the last months of 2016 as possible contenders against the Chromecast Ultra.
However, we can all at least be happy that the new thumb drive from Google means yet another 4K content platform on the market and in this case conveniently perhaps the most compact such device yet unveiled.
The release date for the Chromecast Ultra is November for the U.S it should soon be available in another 16 countries worldwide as well.
Story by 4k.com