Google’s Upcoming Chromecast HD Doesn’t Seem All That High-Def

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A photo of the Chromecast with Google TV

Is the next Chromecast with Google TV an affordable model?
Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

Now that the Apple fanfare is nearing its end, we can start focusing our sights on what might be next from Google. The company is hosting a Pixel event next month in Brooklyn, N.Y., and there are rumblings that Google may also debut its next Chromecast device there.

The latest leak comes from a developer on Twitter named Kuba Wojciechowski, who has a history of successfully decompiling Google’s software builds. Via Reddit, Wojciechowski tweeted their thoughts on an apparent pre-release build for the next Chromecast device, supposedly dubbed Chromecast HD. But the spec list makes the succeeding Chromecast dongle seem like a low-cost alternative to the one already on the market.

The Chromecast HD may ship with an Amlogic S805X2 chipset. As 9to5Google points out, the chip offers open-source AV1 decoding support that the current Chromecast with Google TV doesn’t. But glaringly, the chip is not up to snuff with the one currently in the 4K-compatible model. It tops out at 1080p video playback, meaning if you pay extra for 4K-enabled YouTube TV, you wouldn’t have access to the full resolution of those streams with this new device.

It’s also rumored that the Chromecast HD only has 1.5GB of RAM compared to the current model’s 2GB of memory, which leads us to believe that this dongle will be a lower-end model—something cheaper for folks to bring home and tap into the Google TV ecosystem with. Earlier this month, there was another leak that Google would price this device around $30 versus the $50 tag on the current Chromecast model. This device would directly compete with options from the third parties bundling Google TV with their dongles and affordable options from Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV stick.

The other element worrying blogs and bloggers alike is that the software shows it’s running Android 12, two versions ahead of the current Chromecast with Google TV, which is still on Android 10. 9to5Google notes this means the device might have an easier time receiving updates than its predecessor, since there’s built-in support for Virtual A/B in Android 12, which Google concocted to deliver “seamless” updates to compatible devices. However, we’re still scratching our heads at whether it will receive Android 13, since the minimum memory requirement for that version is 2GB of RAM. Then again, that might not matter with Google TV devices.

We hope to know more about the new Chromecast in due time. Google is expected to make a bunch of device announcements on Oct. 6, where we’ll learn about the new Pixel smartphones, Pixel Watch, and anything else belonging to the Google hardware family.





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