Cheaper Chromecast With Google TV Debuts For Cord Cutters On A Budget

Chromecast HD lifestyle shot
Google has officially released a new Chromecast device targeting owners of TVs that would benefit from an affordable smart upgrade. Sitting alongside the established ‘Chromecast with Google TV 4K’ from 2020, there is a new ‘Chromecast with Google TV HD’ announced. They look pretty similar, and the difference is almost all given away in the name: the new version is limited to 1080p HDR content viewing. However, the new Chromecast HD (Google calls it this too) comes with a very attractive price of $29.99 with free shipping in the US, nearly half of its 4K brother.

When we think about pairing a Chromecast with a modern TV, it probably isn’t going to be paired with a very high-end setup. Most premium modern TVs will come with Google TV or similar smart TV and projection functionality built in. Logically then, the higher-end Chromecast 4K, launched in 2020, likely won’t be the hottest seller in the range. Those scrimping on their TV budget, wanting to add smarts to a second TV, or using an older TV, may be more likely to consider adding a Chromecast or set to box to expand functionality into the AI-powered high-speed internet streaming age.

There have been a multitude of Chromecasts in the nine years since the original broke cover and was responsible for converting many a dumb TV set into something much smarter. So, it is interesting to see Google frame this release with a view to the original, with three generations between them. Google highlights that the original Chromecast launched at $34.99, but this new generation device offers much more at just $29.99.

Google Chromecast HD hero

If you have one of the older Chromecasts, perhaps even the old 2013 model, why should you upgrade? Google’s product page illustrates that the Chromecast HD has all the great features of the $49.99 version, except for the 4K output. As we mentioned previously, the new model maxes out at 1080p (FHD) output. Oh, and we must mention the 4K model is available in four shades, while the HD model is in white only.

The Chromecast 4K and HD models both provide the following:

  • Google TV
  • Voice remote with Google Assistant
  • Smart Home control
  • Stadia Compatibility
  • Casting
For a pre-2020 model generation Chromecast owner, these changes are pretty huge. For example, Google TV opens up a 10,000+ range of TV-friendly apps. In 2022, many more people will also appreciate smart home device control offered by this new internet connected HDMI dongle. Previously you would mostly find, send and control content via your smartphone, and mostly from TV and movie streaming apps which displayed a cast button. Google’s Stadia hasn’t really been the hit the company had hoped for, but might be worth a try for casual console style fun on the new Chromecast HD.

Checking out the new device’s specs, it is interesting to see that the SoC within supports accelerated AV1 decoding of content. This is a feature the more expensive 2020 4K version lacks. There have been some complaints about the 4K version's lack of processing power too, so perhaps that model is due for an upgrade soon. We aren’t sure about the processor and RAM quota of the new Chromecast HD, but the 1080p output limit should mean lower hardware demands, and it is possible it is more responsive.