Everything you need to know about Chromecast

Learn all about Google's vision for TV streaming.

Video/music streaming is the main way a lot of us consume content in 2021. From Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, and countless others, these services provide instant access to virtually limitless media wherever and whenever.

When you're at home and want to catch your shows on the big screen, a lot of people flock to the likes of Roku or Amazon Fire TV boxes/dongles. Among those options, we also have Google's Chromecast. The Chromecast made its grand debut all the way back in 2013, and today, the platform is still going strong as one of the best ways to bring all of your streaming entertainment to the living room — even if things are looking a bit different these days.

From pricing info, getting help on which model to buy, and so much more, here's everything you need to know about Chromecast in 2021!

Latest and greatest

Chromecast with Google TV

$50 at Best Buy $50 at Walmart $50 at B&H

The next generation of Chromecast

As it stands, the Chromecast with Google TV is the best streaming device Google has to offer. In addition to supporting things like 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Vision/Atmos, it's also the first-ever Chromecast with an interactive user interface and remote. Thanks to its affordable price, ample features, and Google TV software, it's a streaming powerhouse.

Google Chromecast

$30 at Amazon

Don't need 4K and want to catch a bargain for your streaming budget? The regular Chromecast streams at up to 1080p — which makes it perfect for smaller or older TVs in the kitchen or bedroom.

Chromecast Price and availability

There are currently two versions of the Chromecast available for purchase, including the Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV.

The regular Chromecast is the most affordable of the duo — coming in at a retail price of just $30. Comparatively, the Chromecast with Google TV will set you back $50.

Both models are readily available from most major retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart, B&H, and the Google Store (to name a few). You can also buy the baseline Chromecast from Amazon, but if you're shopping for the Chromecast with Google TV, you'll need to shop elsewhere.

Chromecast Which should you buy?

If you're in the market for a Chromecast but aren't 100% sure which one is right for you, try not to sweat it too much — we're going to help you decide right now.

For shoppers that want to spend as little as possible and don't care about 4K, the regular Chromecast continues to be a really good buy. Plug it into your TV, open your favorite streaming app on your phone, and you can send your movies/TV shows/music from your phone directly to the big screen. All of your content will stream at up to 1080p Full HD, and given how affordable the Chromecast is, you can even afford to get a couple of them if you have more than one TV in your home.

That said, it's difficult to not recommend spending just $20 more for the Chromecast with Google TV. You can stream content in 4K HDR, Dolby Vision and Atmos support is available, and there's an actual user interface you can interact with using the included remote.

It's much more akin to something like a Fire TV or Roku, and if you ask us, that added functionality and power is worth the increased price. Not to mention, you can still cast content from your phone to the Chromecast with Google TV whenever you want — giving you ample ways to stream whatever tickles your fancy. Simply put, it's one of the best Android TV boxes money can buy.

The regular Chromecast is a decent pick if you want to keep things as simple as possible and limit your spending to a minimum, but for those that can afford it, the Chromecast with Google TV is a fantastic upgrade in more ways than one.

Chromecast Google TV

As its name implies, one of the main draws to the Chromecast with Google TV is, well, Google TV. It's an interface layered on top of Android TV designed to help simplify your various streaming apps and more easily discover content to watch.

The home screen of Google TV is called "For you," and on this page, you can browse through a heap of recommended TV shows and movies based on what's currently trending, what Google thinks you're interested in, and recommendations based on things you've previously watched. Selecting a title will give you more information about it, along with shortcuts to instantly start watching it on whichever service is hosting it.

Google's idea around Google TV is that, rather than jumping back and forth between multiple streaming apps, you can find all of your available content right within the Google TV interface. And you know what? It actually works pretty damn well. Google TV is dead simple to navigate, it's substantially easier to find new things to watch, and its content recommendations are genuinely useful.

You can learn more about Google TV in our Chromecast with Google TV review, but the tl;dr is that it's a huge selling point for Google's more expensive Chromecast dongle.

Chromecast Stadia

Speaking of Google services, we should also mention Stadia — Google's platform for cloud gaming.

Stadia is only available on the now-discontinued Chromecast Ultra. You can get Stadia on your TV using the Chromecast Ultra by purchasing the Stadia Premiere Edition, but as of right now, you can't go out and purchase a Chromecast Ultra on its own.

Google has confirmed that Stadia is coming to the Chromecast with Google TV at some point in the first half of 2021, but as for the regular Chromecast, there aren't any plans for Stadia availability on it.

Latest and greatest

Chromecast with Google TV

$50 at Best Buy $50 at Walmart $50 at B&H

The next generation of Chromecast

As it stands, the Chromecast with Google TV is the best streaming device Google has to offer. In addition to supporting things like 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Vision/Atmos, it's also the first-ever Chromecast with an interactive user interface and remote. Thanks to its affordable price, ample features, and Google TV software, it's a streaming powerhouse.

Google Chromecast

$30 at Amazon

Don't need 4K and want to catch a bargain for your streaming budget? The regular Chromecast streams at up to 1080p — which makes it perfect for smaller or older TVs in the kitchen or bedroom.



Source: androidcentral

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