With the new Chromecast with Google TV, Google has finally caught up to its rivals by adding an interface and remote to its streaming stick offering. The new stick has simplicity at its forefront and is one of the best you can get.
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What we love – Packed with support for latest standards, ideal simple remote and easy-to-use UI
While the Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra were never bad products, they always felt like they had something missing – with no UI, and casting the only option. Now, Google’s streaming stick has joined the likes of Roku Streaming Stick Plus, Amazon Fire Stick and Apple TV 4K and it’s exactly what we’d hoped for.
The new Google interface offers a home screen similar to the Apple TV app, letting you see your favourite shows and suggestions across a range of apps all in one place. While also letting you dive into the apps as well. When combined with Google Assistant and a delightfully simplistic remote, it really is a joy to navigate. With its simplicity, the remote gets right so much of what the Apple TV Siri remote gets wrong, and the dedicated Netflix and YouTube.
Chromecast with Google TV won’t let you down when it comes to taking advantage of the latest stands either. This streaming stick offers full support for up to 4K HDR at 60fps as well as HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
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What we don’t like – Missing some apps and could be faster
There are a few missing apps that UK users won’t be happy to see but let’s start with the worldwide biggy: Chromecast with Google TV does not currently support Google Stadia. Google has indicated it will be coming in the first half of 2021 but to not have your flagship streaming stick supporting your flagship game streaming service at launch is an extraordinarily strange move.
Aside from Stadia, UK users won’t find the popular Now TV app on the new Chromecast, meaning no place to get your fill of Sky Sports or Sky Box Sets. There’s no room for All 4 either, which recently got the whole series of The West Wing for completely free. Fans of Channel 4’s app will have to look elsewhere for now.
While the UI is simple and easy to understand, Chromecast with Google TV certainly doesn’t have top drawer performance. The Google stick is by no means slow but, even with the help of a neat UI, you’ll still wish you could get around a tad quicker.
Chromecast with Google TV offers much of what you would have hoped for while you’ve been longing for a fully-fledged Google streaming stick – from support for a range of standards to a pleasant user experience. There are some strange hiccups that prevent Google from completely nailing this first time but it’s a stellar effort.
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