It looks like Google is working on a new Chromecast Ultra. The device was expected to be unveiled at Google I/O 2020. However, due to COVID-19, Google I/O has been cancelled. There is no information on when the device will now be unveiled to the public. Unless Google decides to do a web-only event like other brands have resorted to these past few weeks. Coming back to the device at hand, the information about the upcoming Chromecast Ultra comes from 9to5Google. Sources close to the website say that the new Chromecast Ultra has the codename “sabrina”. The source says that the dongle will have the same form factor as the current Chromecast Ultra but will bring with it a remote control. It will support 4K and HDR, but it isn’t clear if it will support other formats like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
The remote control which will come with the new Chromecast Ultra will be a cross between the Daydream remote control and the Apple TV remote control. It is also expected that the remote control will have a microphone for easy access to the Google Assistant along with a dedicated button to bring up the assistant.
Aesthetically, it seems the device will be the same as the 3rd-generation Chromecast aka the Chromecast 3 (read our review here). It is expected to have a soft rounded finish with the “G” logo on it. It is still unclear whether the device will come in black and white colour options only or will it come in the colourful options we saw with the Chromecast 2 (read our review here).
According to 9to5Google, “Our source tells us that the device will fill a long-awaited gap in the market: a mass-consumer dongle that runs full-fledged Android TV. The device will give users access to apps such as YouTube TV, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more.”
For consumers in India, it looks like Google could be late to the streaming party with this upcoming device. There are a lot of Android TV based streaming boxes available, some from service providers like Airtel and ACT combining their respective services with the Android TV box to give consumers a package deal. We also have a device like the Fire TV Stick, which is available in 2 options - FHD and 4K HDR to cater to those that want to upgrade to a smart TV experience. Just so you know, the 4K Chromecast Ultra was never officially launched in India.
The first generation Chromecast was a revolutionary device when it was launched back in 2013, giving users the ability to transform their old TV into a smart TV. With the advent, growth and affordability of smart TVs, such streaming devices seemed like an unnecessary device. However, a lot of budget smart TVs in India come with a lacklustre smart TV UI making devices like the Fire TV stick and Chromecast as essential as a Soundbar is to enjoy content on your flat-screen TV.
We have also seen devices like the NVIDIA Shield bring with it the benefits of the Android TV like UI, but also work as a gaming device hooked up to the TV.
It will be interesting to see how this new Chromecast Ultra takes on devices like the Fire TV stick especially in a country like India. If you are a proud owner of a Chromecast 3, you can check out our guide on how to set it up here. You can also read our impressions of the Fire TV stick here.
|Release Date:||02 Apr 2019|