Google finally unveil their new Chromecast with Google TV
The worst kept secret in tech (leaks and early sales took away all of the surprise) has been officially unveiled AND released. The Chromecast with Google TV is the surprisingly unwieldingly titled next generation Chromecast dongle that brings both the casting functionality of the existing devices together with the renamed Android TV interface.
Basically it's Google's in-house version of the NVidia Shield TV dongle - only at a fraction of the price. Retailing at £59.99 in the UK ($49.99 in the US - we'll have to have a chat about your currency conversion Google), the Chromecast with Google TV offers 4K HDR alongside everything you'd expect from a Chromecast device - except Stadia support. For some reason that will be following in a future update.
The rebranded Google TV interface is one of our favourite streaming platforms but it has consistently been underwhelming in terms of app support in the UK with the vanilla OS lacking both BBC iPlayer and All4. NVidia worked on their own iPlayer app but it's exclusive to Shield devices - releasing a major streaming device in the UK without that is pretty much unforgivable and we hope Google are working on filling that gap. There are sideloading solutions for both but that's not something that is in the grasp of the vast majority of the UK public. It also lacks apps for BritBox (disappointing) and Apple TV+ (unsurprising).
That said, the new device looks brilliant and if the holes can be plugged by Google and other third parties in the coming weeks we reckon it could be the device that topples the Roku streaming boxes from our 'best media streamers' list. However if anti-consumer rights issues get in the way of delivering a full rounded service we'll be here to share our very stern frown.
We're hoping to get our hands on a Chromecast with Google TV to do a full UK-centric review soon.