Google made a big announcement today, one that’s sure to please plenty of folks in time for the holidays.
The company’s popular and easy to use video streaming device has been updated and improved. (Among other announcements, including a new Google phone called Pixel. Check the blog for more details on other devices).
What is Chromecast Ultra?
Called Chromecast Ultra, the new TV streaming disc looks similar to the original Chromecast version, but comes with upgraded guts, more power and — the big one — the ability to cast in glorious 4K resolution with HDR colour support too. (Want a primer on 4K? Read the blog, All About 4K)
The new device, which will be available soon, allows you to stream TV and movies in up to 4K Ultra HD resolution and with HDR picture quality using your home (or office, or… anywhere) Wi-Fi network.
Similar to the previous device, the small disc comes with an HDMI cable that allows it to be plugged into the back of your TV, but there’s another notable difference with the Ultra; it will come with a built-in Ethernet adapter so that if your Wi-Fi can’t yet handle the demands of 4K streaming, you can still enjoy “rock solid streaming over a wired connection” if you prefer.
At today’s announcement, the Google folks said the new Chromecast Ultra “provides fast, reliable performance with minimal buffering and smooth streaming,” whether you use a iPhone, iPad, Android device or laptop.
Want to learn more about how Chromecast Ultra will work? Read my blog How to Stream with Chromecast.
Your phone is your remote
The Chromecast Ultra, like its predecessor will use your phone as at the remote control.
Via individual mobile apps, you search for content, play, stop and otherwise control it, all from anywhere your smartphone is. The Chromecast platform also lets you keep using your phone for other things while you’re casting TV, movies and shows.
Smart optimization & Speed
Let the Chromecast Ultra do the work for you; the device can automatically optimize content for the best picture quality possible, whether you have a TV that’s HD or 4K Ultra HD. The Google execs also promise faster load times for streaming 4K content to a 4K TV with Chromecast Ultra.
There are already several 4K-enabled apps out there; chief among them Netflix and YouTube. But the Ultra will also allow you to access 4K content from any number of other apps, or to surf over 200,000 TV shows & movies, 30 million songs, plus radio, sports, games and more.
The Chromecast Ultra will be available soon from Best Buy. Meantime, check out the Chromecast devices available now