- ALSO READ
Announced in 2020, the Chromecast with Google TV finally arrived in India on July 11, 2022. Unlike its previous models, the Chromecast with Google TV is a standalone streaming device with Bluetooth-enabled remote control powered by Google Assistant. It is a streaming device with fundamentals matching the Amazon Fire TV stick (review), Realme 4K Google TV stick (review), et al. It requires a screen or a projector with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi network, a Google account, and a nearby electrical outlet.
Setting up the Chromecast with Google TV is easy. Plug in the stick into the HDMI port of the compatible screen – TV, monitor, projector, etc; power it up using the supplied adaptor and cable; change the screen input to HDMI; and follow the on-screen instructions – connect the stick with the wireless internet network and enter the Google account detail to finish setting up the device. Once done, you will see the first glimpse of the Google TV platform. While the previous Chromecast models were largely dependent on compatible smartphones for its functioning, the Chromecast with Google TV has a dedicated remote for ease of use. You may still need a smartphone to speed up the initial set-up process, especially where it asks for Google account, but that is it.
Coming to the features, the Chromecast with Google TV has everything on expects from a full-fledged streaming device. It supports video formats of up to 4K resolution at 60Hz frame rate and HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10). As for the audio, it supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos (HDMI passthrough). Besides, there is HDMI CEC for unburdened experience, a dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) for wireless internet connection, and two-way Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to connect peripherals such as soundbar, earphones, headphones, keyboard, etc.
The Chromecast with Google TV does everything you could do with previous models, and more. You can use it to cast content from compatible Android and iOS apps directly from phone, laptop or tablet. With Google TV platform built-in, it now has a dedicated home with a graphic user interface that shows content such as movies, music, shows, etc. available on streaming apps. With the voice-enabled remote powered by Google Assistant, it is easy to find, access, and manage content.
Unlike the Amazon 4K Fire TV stick, the Chromecast with Google TV does not show ads.
It has a simple and clean user interface with content suggestions from available streaming apps visible on the ‘For you’ screen, which is the default home screen. Complementing the swift and clutter free user interface is the performance. The device responds quickly and does not show any sign of slow down even after extensive usage.
From finding content using voice commands to streaming 4K resolution HDR content, the Chromecast with Google TV impresses on most fronts. But, it is not perfect. The device struggles to keep stable internet connection over 5GHz Wi-Fi network. On the 2.4GHz band, the connection drops frequently due to network interference with Bluetooth devices in close proximity. The built-in Google Assistant does not always gets the desired results. Moreover, it is not as quick as Amazon Alexa on the FireTV stick. Lastly, the device starts to lag if not restarted but put to sleep regularly.
Priced at Rs 6,399, the Chromecast with Google TV is on the expensive side of the price spectrum for a 4K streaming device. However, its performance and ease of use justify the premium pricing. In comparison, the Realme 4K smart Google TV stick offers similar features for about half the price. It is, however, not up to the mark in terms of performance. Likewise, the Amazon 4K Fire TV stick is a capable streaming device but shows ads in the interface, and that hurts the overall user experience. That said, consider the Chromecast with Google TV for its performance and ease of use because these parameters put it ahead of peers in the 4K streaming devices space.
Subscribe to Business Standard Premium
Exclusive Stories, Curated Newsletters, 26 years of Archives, E-paper, and more!
First Published: Tue, July 26 2022. 12:13 IST