The Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s first real attempt at closing the market gap with Roku’s streaming players.
Google’s newest iteration of the Chromecast, the Chromecast with Google TV has officially launched, bringing the 4th(?) iteration of the streaming device. This follows the original Chromecast, the Chromecast v2, and the latest Chromecast Ultra.
This is also Google’s first Chromecast to come with a remote, and they’re banking hard on this new transition to bring in additional buyers, as shown by their Netflix promotion.
The biggest differences between this specific Chromecast, and every other Chromecast released is the new included remote, and the addition of Google TV built in.
Google TV: this proprietary TV software allows all of your logged in programs, like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime, etc, to be viewed in one program. This creates a single ecosystem that allows you to search whatever episode you want, or whatever series, without needing to go into individual apps.
This brings to mind the app RealGood, which can connect to every service you have synced to it.
This is actually a big deal, since it provides a coherent way of accessing every program you want to. Previously, the only way to access programs would to be projected from your phone to the Chromecast, not allowing any set apps to be left on the Chromecast, accessed locally.
As seen above, all of your apps are laid out in a smart TV-esque pattern, with continue watching below, reminding me of an Apple TV layout.
This is a major improvement compared to the last-gen Chromecast, since, well, it didn’t exist like this. Google TV makes viewing much more efficient, accessible, and easier to use.
Voice Remote: Google’s new Voice Remote is what it sounds like. A voice remote.
This remote comes with a touch circle?, a back button, Google Assistant (for voice access), a home button, mute button, YouTube button, Netflix button, power button, and source? I’m not quite sure what the last one is.
Personally, the remote reminds me of a cheap knockoff VR headset controller, like a smartphone Bluetooth VR controller.
For many others, which I can see too, it’s a regular remote, competing almost directly with Roku, with their remotes.
Wait a minute, Roku?
This Chromecast almost exclusively is built to compete with the Rokus, that are currently number one with streaming boxes/sticks. The remote is built to address complaints with the user interface, while also making the Chromecast more of a smart device.
Both have similar price points, $50, as well as 4K, HDR, HDMI, and even interfaces.
Roku’s interface is a more vertical version of Google TV, but it’s missing Google’s resume options and universal searching.
For a more head to head comparison between the Google Chromecast with Google TV, and a Roku, feel free to comment.