New Chromecast goes live featuring the all-new Google TV

Rebranded Android TV experience headlines the 2020 Chromecast dongle

New Chromecast goes live with Google TV
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The 4th-gen Chromecast has just been announced by Google at its big hardware event.

The much leaked device - codenamed Sabrina - costs $49.99 and was revealed alongside the newest member of the Pixel smartphone family and the Nest Audio smart speaker.

Google's previous Chromecast dongles were based around casting - i.e. devices that work over Wi-Fi to let you send or 'cast' media from your phone, tablet or computer to compatible speakers and TVs.

The new 2020 Chromecast model expands on that though by adding the revamped Google TV to the mix.

That's a different best entirely - it's a smart TV platform of its own, effectively a version of Android TV, with apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max and the Google Assistant all on offer.

Therefore the latest Chromecast isn't just a receiver, like a Chromecast-enabled speaker or TV; it's a smart streaming device in its own right.

That also makes the new 4th-gen Chromecast a genuine rival to the likes of the just-announced Amazon Fire TV Stick and the popular Roku range.

Especially given it's capable 4K HDR streaming (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+) as well as being Dolby Atmos compatible as well.

You will, of course, need a remote control to operate it and you'll get one in the box - a remote that has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant commands.

Now, if the Google TV branding sounds familiar that's because it is. Back in 2010 Google TV first went live but it was canned in favour of Android TV five years later. Another five years on and we're seemingly back to where we started... naming-wise at least; the Big G's smart TV platform is vastly superior to the hot mess it dumped back in 2015.

Google TV is actually a version of Android TV that, like the Fire TV UI, brings together shows and movies from a range of different apps for your perusal, depending on what you subscribe to.

Google says that Google TV will be hitting other devices in the future.

Cast it: The Chromecast tips and tricks you need to know

Android TV is/was growing massively. We're seeing more and more televisions with the platform built in, from the likes of Philips and Sony, while Nvidia has had big success with its popular Shield TV set-top box. Chinese behemoth Xiaomi also has a couple of Android TV devices out there as well.

The new Chromecast and Google TV, with its sub-$50 price-tag, will surely only expand Google's reach in the ever-growing streaming services market.

It goes on sale right now in the US, in three colors: snow, sky and sunrise. Other countries will get the new Chromecast by the end of the year.

Google is also bundling the new Chromecast with a 6-month Netflix subscription for $89.99.

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