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Google is working on an even cheaper Chromecast

The rumored Chromecast would cap out at 1080p.

google chromecast
Image: KnowTechie

In the streaming device market, any new device typically adds more of something. More pixels, increased frame rate, more color accuracy, more apps, or more HDMI features. That’s not the case here, with Google reportedly working on a cheaper, lower-resolution Chromecast to add to the range.

Protocol broke the news yesterday that Google is working on a cheaper Chromecast dongle. Powered by the new Google TV interface, it won’t support 4K streaming. Instead, it will cap out at 1080p. Protocol says that’s because it’s aimed at those who still own older TV sets.

What it will bring in terms of new features is the ability to decode the AV1 video codec. That’s an open, royalty-free codec standard, that has better compression than the currently used codecs. That means you get better image quality with lower data usage, perfect for those on metered internet connections.

The other main competitors in the 1080p streaming stick market are Roku and Amazon. Google’s only existing product in that space is the third-generation Chromecast for $30, which still requires you to cast content from a mobile device.

The upcoming Chromecast with Google TV will have native apps, giving Google a proper competing device at the bottom end of the market.

A cheaper Chromecast with native apps and a remote would also help Google compete in markets around the world. While Protocol didn’t want to guess when the new Chromecast would be released, 9to5Google heard that it will launch this year.

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