Very likely, Google will reveal the 4th Gen of Chromecast on September 30, 2020. But the details of the Chromecast 4th Gen (aka Chromecast with Google TV, or Chromecast 2020) were leaked. A few retailers have released the product inadvertently.
Google TV here simply means Google-branded Android TV (not the old Google TV). It is not a new platform. Instead, it is a new form factor (dongle) for Android TV.
This post will summarize the key features of the Chromecast 4th Gen (Chromecast with Google TV) compared to the 3rd Gen of Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra.
Chromecast 4th Gen converges Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra
The new Chromecast (4th gen, Chromecast 2020) is a natural successor for the 3rd Gen of Chromecast (Chromecast 2018).
But Google worked the extra mile. The Chromecast with Google TV also converges the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra.
The 4th Gen of Chromecast supports 4K and HDR, which were the exclusive features of Chromecast Ultra. So, the new Chromecast with Google TV surely will replace not only Chromecast 3rd Gen but also Chromecast Ultra.
In other words, Google simplifies the Chromecast product line into one.
Unfortunately, Google does not offer any successors for the discontinued Chromecast Audio. There are no audio output jacks in Chromecast 4th Gen. However, as explained in this guide, you can use old Chromecast as Chromecast Audio with an HDMI audio extractor.
Chromecast 4th Gen combines Chromecast and Android TV
The most interesting new feature of the new Chromecast dongle is “with Google TV”.
Google TV is actually running Android TV software stacks. It is similar to running Android on Chromebooks. So, this Google TV is not the old Google TV OS in some old smart TVs.
Android TV already has built-in Chromecast support. Almost all Android TV boxes and dongles in the market support Chromecast.
Apparently, Google does not want to use Android TV dongle to replace Chromecast. Instead, Android TV is running in a container within the simplified Chrome OS in this dongle. Chromecast support is provided from the Chrome OS software stacks.
Such a software choice makes it simple to update and secure the firmware of the dongle. Google can quickly push out firmware updates without any interventions from users.
For existing Chromecast users, the Chromecast with Google TV (Chromecast 2020) offers an additional Android TV. Of course, this is not a powerful Android TV box for gamers (you should look for Shield TV). But it is enough for more than 99% of Android TV users.
Essentially, Chromecast with Google TV converts your dumb TV to a real smart TV.
If you already have a smart TV (webOS, Tizen, Roku, Firefox OS), usually vendors stop updating the OS in 2 or 3 years. So, very likely, your old smart TV is a “security” hole in your home network. Now, with Chromecast 4th Gen (Chromecast with Google TV), you can disconnect your smart TV from the network and enjoy Android TV.
Chromecast 4th Gen has a remote control
As a streaming dongle, Google insisted you should control it from your devices.
But many users, especially many non-tech-savvy users, still prefer a remote, which is more efficient and intuitive in many scenarios.
The new Chromecast comes with a remote. It is essential to use it for the Google TV interface. Anyway, it is hard to use Android TV without a remote.
You may check this guide on how to use the voice remote for Chromecast with Google TV.
Chromecast 4th Gen offers better value for money
The $35 (now $30) Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, and the $69 Chromecast Ultra are one of the most affordable quality gadgets.
Now, the $50 Chromecast with Google TV (4th Gen Chromecast) offers an even better value for your money. It is one-third of the cheapest Nvidia Shield TV.
It is cheaper than Chromecast Ultra. What you get is Chromecast Ultra + Android TV.
If you swear you will never use Android TV, you still get a remote.
Of course, if your TV is only 1080p and you do not want to use Android TV, then it is time to get the 3rd Gen Chromecast.
If you are planning to get Chromecast for your 4K TV, you may hold on to get the Chromecast with Google TV (Chromecast 4th Gen).
Please note, in the Chromecast Ultra box, the power adapter also has an Ethernet port for you to use the wired network if the dongle is too far from the router or the wireless router is too old. But in the Chromecast 4th Gen box, there is only a regular USB power adapter. You may have to fork $19 for the adapter with an Ethernet port.
Anyway, Chromecast 4th Gen (Chromecast with Google TV; Chromecast 2020) offers better value for your money.
This Google TV is Android TV, not that Google TV!
Google TV used to refer to the smart TV system co-developers by Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech from 2010 to 2014. In June 2014, Google TV ended its life and was replaced by Android TV.
Chromecast with Google TV does not mean the rebirth of Google TV. Here Google TV simply means Android TV with Google experiences.
Do you have any questions on Chromecast 4th Gen (Chromecast with Google TV)?
If you have any questions on the new features of Chromecast 4th Gen (Chromecast with Google TV), please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will try to help you find the solution.
For Chromecast Audio guides, please visit the Chromecast Audio guide page.
If your question is on Chromecast including Chromecast Ultra, 1st generation Chromecast, and 2nd gen Chromecast (aka Chromecast 2015), and the 3rd gen Chromecast (Chromecast 2018), please visit the Chromecast how-to guides page.