Google may revamp the Chromecast Ultra with Android TV and a dedicated remote
The Google Chromecast is undoubtedly one of Google’s most successful hardware ventures. These little dongles have become incredibly popular thanks to their affordable price tags and ease of use. Google has revamped the little dongle a few times over the years, and the company currently offers two different models: A cheaper dongle and an Ultra model that supports 4K streaming. If a new report is to be believed, Google may revamp the Chromecast Ultra this year with a dedicated remote (finally) as well as full Android TV.
This new report comes from a reliable source speaking to 9to5Google. They claim Google is planning to launch a second-generation Chromecast Ultra based on Android TV rather than the Google Cast platform. It will support 4K HDR content and the usual Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. As an Android TV device, it will need a remote for operation, and that remote likely passed through the FCC just today, as spotted by Janko Roettgers from Protocol.
The remote is said to be a cross between the Daydream View remote and an Apple TV remote. It will have a microphone and a button for Google Assistant, unsurprisingly. The remote will be programmable to your TV as well, indicating it may have an IR blaster. The design of the new Chromecast Ultra will be very familiar with some refinements. Expect a softer round design with an HDMI connector cable.
This new device is a big departure for the Chromecast series. Chromecasts get their name from being able to “cast” content from your phone to the TV. There isn’t a UI on your TV to navigate and everything is done with your phone. This new Chromecast Ultra would essentially be Google’s version of the SHIELD TV streaming stick, or a consumer version of the existing ADT-3 for developers.
NVIDIA’s streaming stick costs $149, which is a pretty big step up from the usual Chromecast prices. We expect to see the new Chromecast Ultra be more expensive as well, though Google could undercut the SHIELD TV. This device was most likely scheduled to be shown off at Google I/O, but with that event changing, we’re not sure when we’ll see it.