Chromecast with Google TV sequel could be a lower-end model
The Chromecast with Google TV was revealed near the end of 2020, marking the start of the Google TV software platform that is now found on other streaming devices and TVs. However, the $49 stick isn’t perfect, and there has been speculation about a replacement model. A new report says the next Chromecast could be even cheaper, serving as a budget alternative.
9to5Google spotted evidence of an upcoming Chromecast with Google TV model in an APK teardown, codenamed ‘Boreal,’ though the teardown didn’t reveal any details about its hardware or features (besides that it will also use Google TV). Now we have additional information from Protocol, which reports the device will be aimed at people with older TVs. The resolution will reportedly be limited to 1080p, according to Protocol’s sources, and it could be marketed as the “Chromecast HD with Google TV.” Google has started adding a “4K” badge to the boxes for the current Chromecast.
The lower-end Chromecast reportedly uses an Amlogic S805X2 CPU with a Mali-G31 GPU, which is also found in a few other low-end Android TV boxes. That chipset includes hardware decoding for the AV1 video codec, which is not present on the existing Chromecast with Google TV. Hardware support for AV1 was reportedly a point of contention in Google’s recent fights with Roku, with Google pushing Roku to add AV1 decoding to its future products (which would reduce bandwidth/server costs for streaming). It’s also expected to have 2GB of RAM at the most.
Even though the original Chromecast with Google TV was already fairly affordable at $49.99, and has gone on sale for $39.99 a few times already, it makes sense for Google to try producing something even cheaper. Amazon and Roku both have 1080p streaming devices in the $20 range — the base Fire TV Stick and Roku Premiere, respectively.