Along with the new Pixel Phones and Google Home, the new Chromecast Ultra made its official debut today at Google’s much anticipated live event from San Francisco. As previously rumored, the newest version of Google’s casting device now supports 4K HD and HDR video. Along with premium video support, the Chromecast Ultra will also feature Dolby Vision Audio for better sound playback.
Google has stated the new Chromecast will bring speeds of up to 1.8 times faster for loading content as well as a seamless transition between resolutions when bandwidth drops. Along with Wi-Fi the Ultra will also have a built in ethernet adapter for those hard-to-reach wireless areas in the home.
Interestingly, the Chromecast name has remained. Google’s wildly hyped event focused very strongly on the integration of the Google Assistant into a wide array of products. As we saw earlier this week, the Chromecast “preview” program hinted at the possible re-branding of the Google Cast to the Google Home App. This left us wondering as to the future of the Chromecast nomenclature. It seems the Chromecast name will live on and a waitlist for the 3rd generation device is already live at the Google Store.
The Chromecast Ultra is listed for $69 making is a bit of a jump from the last generation. But, this price is still very competitive along side other streaming devices such as the Roku Player and Amazon Fire 4K which come in at $80-$100.
While there wasn’t anything earth-shattering announced about the Chromecast, the integration of Google Assistant and release of a bank of consumer products points to a more consumer focused Google. It seems, to me at least, their intention is to connect “all the things” in a unified ecosystem with the Assistant at the helm.