The third generation of Google’s Chromecast dongle launches this week for $69 dollars. It is the first standalone player to support 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Chromecast Ultra is here
Chromecast is a simple concept. It has no on-screen user interface. Instead, you control apps from the phone or tablet and push video wirelessly to the TV via the Chromecast dongle that connects to the TV with HDMI. The Chromecast takes over the streaming connection to the server.
The small dongle connects to the home network via WiFi. It supports up to “ac” WiFi and both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The new dongle also has an Ethernet port in the power supply.
The third-generation Chromecast comes three years after Google launched the original version. While the second-generation unit was mostly a refinement of the original, Chromecast Ultra is a major upgrade. It adds support for 4K Ultra HD resolution and two HDR formats; HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Google is doubling the price but Chromecast Ultra also offers some unique features. It is the only player that supports Dolby Vision, which is Dolby’s premium HDR format. The format requires dedicated hardware in both the playback device and the TV because Dolby Vision, unlike HDR10, can use dynamic metadata to optimize picture quality on a scene-by-scene basis.
Streaming in 4K Ultra HD
Google has confirmed that it will start adding movies in 4K Ultra HD quality to its Google Play Movies & TV streaming service this month.
Besides that, 4K and HDR is supported through Netflix and Vudu. YouTube will also be available in 4K quality. No word on 4K/HDR for Amazon Video. Other services that are already available on the previous Chromecasts are available on the new Chromecast Ultra in HD quality.
Google says that the new Chromecast Ultra is available from November 10 for $69.
Chromecast Ultra specifications
up to 4K Ultra HD
HDR: HDR10 and Dolby Vision
802.11ac WiFi – 2.4/5 GHz - SIMO
Ethernet port in power adaptor
Micro-USB for power
Included: 2m power cable, power adaptor
Lenght: 58.20 mm, width: 13.70 mm, heigh: 58.20 mm