Google working on cheaper Chromecast with Google TV

Google is working on a more affordable Chromecast streaming stick aimed at users who don’t have a 4K TV, according to a report from Protocol.

The publication cited a source with close knowledge of the company’s plans, which is reportedly being developed under the codename “Boreal”.

The current plan is to market the device as the “Chromecast HD with Google TV,” offering a maximum output resolution of 1080p at 60 frames per second.

While the first, second, and third-generation Chromecasts also supported that quality, the new device will feature the company’s new Google TV operating system and a remote control.

These are the standout features of Google’s most recent streaming device, the Chromecast with Google TV.

However, that streaming adapter can output at 4K resolution, which means its component costs are higher.

Protocol said the new Chromecast is likely to sell for $40 (R613) or less, compared to the $50 (R766) price tag of the Chromecast with Google TV.

The low-end Chromecast with Google TV will reportedly feature an Amlogic S805X2 CPU alongside a maximum of 2GB RAM, as well as a Mali-G31 GPU.

That should make it capable of decoding the new AV1 video codec.

This streamlined open-source codec offers higher quality pictures with less data usage, improving the overall viewing experience, even on low bandwidth connections.

Netflix recently started using AV1 for streaming its movies and TV shows on certain Samsung, Amazon Fire, and Android TV devices.

While Google has been pushing other hardware manufacturers to adopt this codec, it is not supported on the higher-end Chromecast with Google TV.

The latter currently costs R1,495 when bought from GeeWiz, or R1,843 on Takealot.

The new Chromecast will likely replace the older OS-less devices and could compete with the Roku, Xiaomi, and Fire TV sticks, which sell for between R699 and R1,199 in South Africa.

Now read: South African streaming services compared

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Google working on cheaper Chromecast with Google TV