Here’s what you need to know so far about Google Chromecast 4K
Stephan Jukic – September 11, 2016
Google Chromecast is apparently finally getting an upgrade to 4K ultra HD and the device/service will be getting its next release with the technology enabled sometime in the fall of 2016. This will be the third release of a Chromecast revamp since the product from Google first appeared and the second one in the last year.
In addition to its 4K UHD upgrade, the latest version of the technology will also come with some enhanced internal specs, a new app design and a new physical design as well. Now, let’s get down to some of the core details that every home entertainment fan who likes most things Google needs to know so far.
What is Chromecast?
Since being launched for the first time in 2013, Chromecast has become a very popular and highly affordable HDMI dongle device which streams or “casts” content wirelessly from the Google content ecosystem to a TV or 4K TV. In other words, it’s a small but powerful external smart TV platform for 4K or HDTVs which have or don’t have their own smart systems (since it can work over top of these).
A lot of people also use the name “Google Cast” interchangeably with “Chromecast” and this might cause some confusion but in basic terms, the two are nearly the same thing. Chromecast is the actual dongle device itself while Google Cast is the streaming service which the device supports. Thus for example, Vizio’s 2016 4K TVs like the P-Series and M-Series models offer Google Cast through their external SmartCast app but because they don’t require the Google dongle itself, they’re said to offer Google Cast instead of Chromecast, though the content offerings are the same in either case.
Additionally, Google released a second version of their device, called Chromecast 2, in 2015. This version was speedier, more flexible and cost the same while offering a wider range of content through a central Google Cast app which works as the core connection to a wide and growing array of other apps and their respective content offerings.
What will ChromeCast 4K offer?
As for Chromecast 4K, it will probably in many ways be the same thing as the previous/existing versions of Chromecast but with the addition of support for casting of 4K ultra HD content from select apps available inside the Google Cast ecosystem. This will mean Google adding support for 4K content to its HDMI Chromecast dongle and then allowing the Google Cast ecosystem to access 4K UHD content offerings from apps, offerings which can then be streamed to a compatible 4K TV.
In basic terms, the new 4K Chromecast dongle will be a sort of compact 4K set-top box but without internal storage for downloaded movie content. It will instead act as a streaming coordination hub. What makes this possibility so advanced is the fact that nobody else is yet offering it through a tiny dongle device, not even other 4K set-top box makers; both Amazon and Roku offer 4K UHD streaming media set-top boxes but their respective content dongles, called the Amazon Fire TV stick and Roku Stick, don’t offer 4K UHD compatibility. Google would be the first to do this if it releases 4K Chromecast in October as is being reported.
Finally, aside from the reported 4K chops, the new Chromecast for 2016 will also likely come with greatly enhanced WiFi capacity and multiple radio antennas for minimal streaming interference. We can also possibly expect the device to be called either “Chromecast Plus or “Chromecast Ultra”.
Pricing and availability?
According to the main source of these leaks about Google’s upcoming developments with the Chromecast 4K, the new device will be available after an October 4th hardware event from Google in which the company will also introduce new Pixel phones and a new Chromecast Audio device for casting audio content from a Chromecast enabled app to any speaker connected with the audio device. This is all speculative but we consider the Android Police website to be a more reliable than typical source for this rumor , so the fall of 2016 does indeed look likely for the release of Chromecast 4K.
As for its pricing, we have no idea, though the new Chromecast 4K device, if it does indeed come out in October, will likely cost more or less the same as the existing Chromecast 2.
Story by 4k.com