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A much needed upgrade on the Google Chromecast Ultra.
Released late last year, the Chromecast with Google TV is the brand's latest smart TV device. Available in three colourways – white, coral and blue – the device's design is a sleeker take on the traditional, round Chromecast, but the improvements are internal, too.
Serving as a replacement for the old Chromecast Ultra, the Chromecast with Google TV offers 4K streaming, voice control via Google Assistant and the new addition of a remote.
Unlike the standard Google Chromecast, the new streaming device does not rely on you choosing content to cast. Instead, there is a Google TV homepage where you can find all the typical apps, including Spotify, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, pre-installed and ready to use.
The streaming quality, voice recognition technology and design were all assessed alongside how easy the Chromecast with Google TV was to set up and how user-friendly the interface was to use daily. All this is considered against its price for us to decide whether its good value or not.
So, it is worth spending £59 on the Chromecast with Google TV? Or do you get better value for money with the £20 cheaper Roku Premiere? The former is definitely more stylish, and here's why we think Google's multi-room technology makes it the perfect companion to the Google Nest Audio smart speaker.
To find out more about the Chromecast's competition, read our Amazon Fire TV Stick review, Nvidia Shield TV Pro review and Amazon Fire TV Cube review. Or, check out our best streaming stick guide for a full rundown of our top-rated smart TV sticks.
With a new voice remote powered by Google Assistant, Chromecast with Google TV is a decent step up from its predecessor, the Google Chromecast Ultra. The voice remote has only 10 buttons, including shortcuts to Netflix and YouTube, a home button, a power button and volume buttons. It streams in 4K HDR and delivers a bright and sharp image.
Price: The Chromecast with Google TV is available for £59.99 at John Lewis.
The Chromecast with Google TV is one of two streaming devices created by Google. The Google Chromecast is the brand's original device, and the Chromecast with Google TV was brought in last year to replace the Chromecast Ultra. The Chromecast with Google TV is the more expensive of the two and is the only one to offer 4K streaming. Powered by Google Assistant, the voice control on the Chromecast with Google TV is much more comprehensive and is done through the voice button on the new remote. To find out more about how this new device compares to the old Chromecast Ultra, read our Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra guide.
The Chromecast with Google TV gives you access to more than 400,000 films and TV shows, along with entertainment apps such as YouTube, Spotify and Deezer. Unlike the original Google Chromecast, it doesn't require you to cast from a secondary device such as your smartphone; instead, all the apps can be download straight to the Google TV homepage. This gives you one central location to view all your subscriptions and pick a TV show or movie to watch.
At just under £6o, the Chromecast with Google TV is a good, mid-range option. Prices for 4K streaming sticks begin at around £39.99 for the Roku Premiere and can be upwards of £199.99 for more premium streaming devices like the Nvidia Shield TV Pro.
This device is on the more affordable end by that benchmark and offers a significantly more sophisticated set-up than its £30 counterpart, the Google Chromecast. Unlike the Chromecast with Google TV, the original device does not have its own interface; instead, it requires you to cast from apps on a secondary device like a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Compared to the Roku Premiere, one of the most obvious differences is that the Chromecast with Google TV is completely hidden from view when in use. A direct line of sight is required between the Roku Premiere streaming player and remote for it to work, so it needs to be placed on top of the TV stand or screen. While the Roku Premiere is small, some may prefer the more slick and out-of-sight design of the Chromecast with Google TV.
With a simple yet modern design, the Chromecast with Google TV plugs directly into the HDMI port and is hidden from view once in use. The accompanying remote comes in the same colour – in our case, white – is also simple and has a total of nine buttons.
On the remote, you will find a Google Assistant button, shortcuts to Netflix and YouTube, and a mute button. One of the only major faults we could find with the Chromecast with Google TV was the lack of a play/pause button on the remote. Instead, the device requires you to use the navigation button at the top of the remote to press play on the TV display. It is hardly a make-or-break feature but can be a little fiddly.
However, we found the Google Home app to be a brilliant companion to the streaming device. The app is extremely user-friendly and a great tool for managing settings quickly and efficiently. It is via the app that you can also cast your phone screen to share photos or videos with friends and family.
Paying a little extra for the Chromecast with Google TV means that you get 4K HDR streaming and support for Dolby Digital Plus and Vision. The picture was bright and sharp and had no problem with buffering during any videos, TV shows or films. For the price, we think you'll be hard-pressed to find better streaming quality.
Google TV responded to the remote without any lag, and voice control was particularly useful when searching the homepage. Voice control is activated by holding down the Google Assistant button on the remote and found it quicker to use than scrolling through the homepage. However, the homepage is very user-friendly so, if you prefer to search manually, it is very intuitive.
We particularly enjoyed how prominent YouTube was on the homepage. Because you sign into the Chromecast with Google TV with your Google account, you can also see a selection of new videos from your subscriptions on the homepage without having to log in to YouTube separately. This also allows you to click straight onto a video without searching out the YouTube app first, saving you time.
Set-up for the Chromecast with Google TV can be done via the TV screen or the Google Home app. In both cases, the Chromecast with Google TV slots into the HDMI port in the back of your TV and you are prompted through the instructions. These include the usual of connecting to the Wi-Fi, signing into your Google account and choosing the apps you initially want at your disposal. More apps can be downloaded at any time from the App Store.
Everything you need for this initial set-up is included in the box. This includes the streaming device, remote, power cable and adaptor and two AAA batteries. The process from opening the box to watching TV took less than 15 minutes. However, a good chunk of this time was taken up by updates and installing apps. We suggest making yourself a cup of tea while it does its thing, and it should be done when you get back.
The Chromecast with Google TV is Google's newest streaming device and replaces their previous 4K device, the Chromecast Ultra. The brand now has just two TV streaming sticks, the Chromecast with Google TV and the original Google Chromecast.
The first difference you will likely notice is the price. At £59, the Chromecast with Google TV is a little more pricey than the £30 Chromecast. This price difference is reflected in the picture quality. While the Chromecast with Google TV streams in 4K, the Google Chromecast only offers HD streaming.
The more expensive streaming device is also supplied with a remote, which is not available with the original Chromecast. This is because the new device has its own interface that does not require you to cast from a smartphone or tablet like the Google Chromecast set-up. The Google TV interface can also provide one homepage for all your apps, channels and subscriptions.
To find out how this model compares to its older counterparts in more detail, head over to our Google Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra guide. Or, check out our Chromecast vs Fire TV Stick and Roku vs Fire TV Stick explainers to see how they compare.
The Chromecast with Google TV is by far the sleekest smart TV stick on offer. Its rounded design certainly looks the part and showcases itself as a more elevated version of older Chromecast devices.
The improvements don't end there, either. As the first Chromecast device to come with its own fully-formed interface, the streaming device does not require you to cast from a secondary device like a smartphone. The result? A more effortless experience that allows you to switch from Disney+ to YouTube in no time with the remote or via Google Assistant with voice control.
And because the Chromecast with Google TV offers 4K streaming, once you're watching a show, the picture is clear and crisp. We did find a couple of quirks with the voice control, but once we'd perfected Google Assistant's preferred commands or phrases, it worked without a hitch and was extremely responsive.
The Chromecast with Google TV is a brilliant option for anyone looking to upgrade from their old Google Chromecast. It can also be used to make a multi-room system by connecting to the likes of the new Google Nest Audio or smaller Google Nest Mini, making it the perfect purchase if you're looking to expand your smart home devices.
That doesn't mean we would rule it out for newbies to smart home devices, though. The Chromecast with Google TV is extremely user-friendly, making it a good choice for anyone looking to get 4K streaming for under £60.
Streaming quality: 5/5
Ease of set-up: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5
Chromecast with Google TV is available at several retailers.