New Low-End Chromecast with Google TV Might Be in the Works for Users with Old TV Sets
There are a lot of speculations about Google’s upcoming device that we will cover here. First off, some have been calling the new streaming adapter “Boreal,” which is supposedly connected to the same Google TV Chromecast software for Android that powers the Chromecast with Google TV.
A source with “close knowledge” of the company’s plans told Protocol that this would be a new low-end Chromecast streaming dongle that caters to people with older TV sets. It will run its Google TV interface and ship with remote control. There’s also talk that it won’t support 4K streaming and will instead max out at a resolution of 1080p.
In addition, it’s apparently based on an Amlogic S805X2 CPU with a Mali-G31 GPU. This would allow it to support decoding of the AV1 video codec, which the multimedia tech company has been asking other hardware makers to adopt. The dongle will have a maximum of 2GB of RAM, and have a maximum frame rate of 60fps.
The biggest problem with the current Chromecast is that the device only has 8GB of storage for the entire OS and all the apps and updates. The other problem is the lack of AV1 support. So it’s reasonable to speculate that the next Chromecast would hopefully offer 16GB or 32GB of storage.
In September 2020, Google changed the Chromecast line from a simple, streaming-only video device to an Android streamer with installable apps, a navigable UI, and a physical remote. Essentially a merger of the Chromecast and Android TV, the Android TV-based software was rebranded “Google TV.” This current Chromecast with Google TV compares to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
Since the Chromecast with Google TV supports 4K streaming and retails for $50, it’s a good assumption that the upcoming HD-only Chromecast will sell for $40 or less. In 2013, the original Chromecast streaming dongle was $35.
The company could benefit from updating the Chromecast dongle with a new 1080p streaming device with Google TV. Especially because competitors Roku and Amazon also sell 1080p-only streaming dongles, priced between $30 and $40.
It’s unknown when Google plans to officially announce the new Chromecast device but it’s possible the company will say something during its annual hardware event in October. However, past devices have also been launched during its Google I/O developer conference in May. There have been reports circulating that Google may unveil its first branded smartwatch on May 26.
The tech company appears to have plans to release the streaming adapter in North America but it may become available in other markets in the future.