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Chromecast With Google TV Review

Posted on 10-Jun-2022 17:10 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Chromecast With Google TV Review

The Chromecast has evolved a lot since its first release but the imminent launch of the Chromecast with Google TV brings a sea of changes. Starting with the new Google TV built-in. Google TV is a version of Android designed for use on larger screens.  


Google TV is already in use on Smart TVs so the user experience has been refined over the years. The platform has been refreshed that introduced some changes in the user interface so that you can see movies and TV shows from streaming services right in front of you. This includes content you are already watching and suggestions so you can find new content easily.  


Like an Android device, Google TV runs apps, and those are available through the web-based Google Play Store or directly on your Chromecast with Google TV. You can run apps for YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Plex, Kodi, Spotify, Apple TV and even local ones like TVNZ on Demand and Three Now. 


But Google TV is really focused on content, with apps taking a back seat. 


Chromecast with Google TV connects to your TV using an HDMI port, and to port through a USB wall charger (provided). Once it starts you can easily configure it using Google Home on your mobile, linking to your Google account and proceeding to install your favourite apps. 


Previous Chromecast devices were dependent on you having a mobile device around to cast content. This feature is still there but having Google TV built-in means you need a new way to use it. For this Google is introducing a small remote that gives you full control of Chromecast with Google TV without the need of a mobile device. 


The remote control is pretty nifty, with a navigation button with a select button, plus Home and Mute buttons and dedicated YouTube and Netflix buttons. It can also control your TV through the HDMI connection so you can turn the TV on/off, change volume up/down and even change the TV input. 


It also comes with built-in Google Assistant and a dedicated button on the remote control, which has a small microphone. Push and hold the button to talk to Google Assistant – you can ask about the weather, open an app, and start playing music or a movie. You can use it to control home automation platforms linked to your Google account and do anything you can when using Google Assistant on your mobile. 


If you ask Google Assistant “What should I watch?” you will get a list of movies and TV shows available from the streaming platforms you’re logged into – including movie rentals on Google Movies, shows on Netflix and Disney+ and so. 


The Chromecast with Google TV has also evolved to fill your room with better picture and sound. This version supports content up to 4K HDR 60 frames per second. If your TV/sound system supports it, you can get Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos when playing compatible content. 


This means you get the best picture and sound your TV and sound setup can provide. And with the appropriate content, the picture is really amazing. 


Because the Chromecast with Google TV is small it hides neatly behind your TV – the only cable you will need to manage is the power since the device itself connects to your network via WiFi.  


Chromecast with Google TV connects to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks and from the tests I’ve done it ends up on the 5 GHz band most of the time. This will of course depend on how reliable and prone to interference your WiFi configuration is.


Performance-wise, the Chromecast with Google TV is really good. Compared to my Amazon Fire TV Cube, apps start almost instantly and streaming has been flawless (on a fibre connection). I have actually replaced the Amazon Fire TV, with this Chromecast with Google TV being the default media device now. 


For those without access to Freeview (terrestrial or satellite) and looking for a streaming solution, it doesn’t have a dedicated app for live New Zealand TV streaming. You can install Kodi from the Google Play Store and configure any streaming sources you have access to. 


After configuring the Chromecast with Google TV for the first time there was one system update available so it’s worth checking it out and installing it when things are configured the way you want. 


The Chromecast with Google TV is a big update and it’s finally landing in New Zealand, after being available overseas for a few months now. You will find those devices from late June.