Powerful Puck, Google Chromecast Ultra Streams 4K Video And HDR For $69

One of the most popular streamers on the market is Google's nifty little Chromecast device, a puck-shaped device that plugs into one of your television's HDMI ports so that you can cast content onto the big screen. Well, now you can beam 4K movies and videos thanks to the Chromecast Ultra, the newest version of Google's streaming gadget and one of several product announcements it made today (hit our homepage for full coverage).

In addition to being able to handle 4K Ultra HD resolution content, Google infused the Chromecast Ultra with High Dynamic Range (HDR) support and Dolby Vision. The end result is a crisper picture with a higher resolution and more vibrant colors. Plus, it gives you another reason to go shopping for a 4K TV upgrade, assuming you haven't made the leap already.

Google Chromecast Ultra

Of course, hardware is only half of the equation, there needs to be compelling content out there, too. To that end, Google says at first you'll be able to stream 4K content from Netflix, YouTube and Vudu while it works to bring more 4K and HDR videos on board. Then later this year, Google Play Movies & TV will serve up 4K content as well, Google says.

Even if you don't own a 4K TV, Google says the Chromecast Ultra still makes a fine streaming companion. It "automatically optimizes your TV's picture," which is a fancy way of saying it has no problem serving up 1080p and 720p streams, depending on what your TV supports. And like the original Chromecast, you can cast content from thousands of apps using your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Still not sold on upgrading from your previous generation Chromecast? Google says the Chromecast Ultra loads videos 1.8 times faster than other Chromecast devices. It also includes some "major Wi-Fi improvements," and for those of you dealing with tricky Wi-Fi environments, there's an Ethernet port so you can hard wire into your router.

The Chromecast Ultra will be available in November for $69. In the meantime, go here to join the waitlist.