When the first generation of Chromecasts arrived in July of 2013, it was considered a revelation by many. Flexible and relatively simple to use, Google’s dongle solution was developed primarily around a single concept – to bring smart functionality to non-smart devices. Limited by the standards of today, the Chromecasts kept evolving over time, eventually becoming broad and effective tools in the recent Chromecast with Google TV release.
Not all has been smooth sailing for Chromecast though, as their original intent has been undermined by the growing ubiquity of smart televisions. Being able to do much or nearly all of what the original Chromecast did led many users away from Google’s dongle system, as they regarded it as obsolete. From a certain point of view, however, modern Chromecasts have advantages that most Smart-TVs can’t match, and likely won’t for some time.
Chromecast with Google TV Specs
Released in September of 2020, the latest version of Chromecast might not have the catchiest name, but it is a powerful device in its own right. With a launch price of US$49.99, it’s also not a costly investment. In terms of hardware, the new device comes with a 1.9 GHz quad-core CPU, two gigabytes of RAM, and a dedicated Mali-G31 MP2 GPU.
Together, these features allow for maximum supported playback of 4K ultra-HD content at up to 60 frames per second. This includes support for HDR10 and HDR10+, a growing feature on LCD televisions. Combined with Bluetooth 4.2 and a 2.4/5 GHz wifi connection, the new Chromecasts can manage practically all modern media playback tasks with ease. What really sets it apart is the Android TV operating system which, combined with included storage capacity, raises the device’s potential to new heights.
Pushing TV’s Envelope
The big problem that most people have with their Smart-TVs is that the basic usability lasts for years. While this is fantastic in terms of value and reducing electronic waste, it also means the backing firmware can quickly grow outdated and frustrating to use.
If you’ve even run into the ‘not enough memory to browse this page’ error in YouTube, then you’ll understand how annoying this can be.
Upgrading to a completely new TV to fix this problem can be too expensive, and since you can’t update internal hardware in TVs directly, users can be left growing frustrated over time. Chromecast doesn’t just eliminate this concern; it also introduces a level of flexibility that the vast majority of smart TVs can’t match.
One of the best ways this is illustrated is in the supporting software that can operate on Android TV firmware. This doesn’t just apply to TV and web video content, but can also extend into browsing, tools, and gaming.
Screen mirroring is one such system, where displaying any visual device through the main television over a home network is far more streamlined than ever. Players could even use programs like Parsec to stream games to TV from the other side of the house if they chose to.
Browsing is another key area that sees significant advantages through the device’s specs and Bluetooth support. Consider something like checking and betting on the football odds on a contemporary smart TV.
Though feasible in some cases through TV browsers, the frustration of typing through a remote and the nebulous support of cookies could make the process untenable. With a system like Chromecast, checking the odds for any games is not only easy through Bluetooth mouse and keyboard support, but is also reliable through better browser integration.
With the ability to take a Chromecast with you wherever you go, the devices can essentially act as portable entertainment devices on their own. Though it’s true the models will become eventually outdated, the low cost means that upgrades are relatively simple.
Of course, the same applies to many other dongle solutions like Roku and Firestick, both of which have their own advantages. For these reasons, we’d encourage our readers not to overlook what these devices can bring, either for themselves or others.