Chromecast with Google TV is the new Stick that we present today his review. A device with Google TV OS, ideal for 4K HDR streaming.
In this small TV-Stick we find the SoC Amlogic S905D3 with support for several multi-channel audio codecs and which has four CPU cores of low power consuption ARM Cortex-A55. As a novelty we have a bluetooth remote control with IR functions and a microphone for Google Assistant with which we can control this Chromecast 4K. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves and what this new Chromecast with Google TV offers to us.
Unboxing Chromecast with Google TV
The small Android TV-Stick Chromecast with Google TV comes in a cardboard box with a image of the device in the top, inside we found the TV-Stick, Bluetooth + IR remote, Manual and a DC 5V 1.5A adapter.
The design of the new Chromecast with Google TV as we can see is minimalist and has light weight. The design is oval and only has the Google logo at the top as a differentiating mark. On the front we have the HDMI cable to connect to our TV and on the back we have a status LED and a reset button.
- Reset: leave the back button pressed for a few seconds until the LED flashes.
The Chromecast with Google TV surprises us with the inclusion of a bluetooth remote control that also has an IR emitter to control our TV with the volume, off and signal output keys. On the remote we have a crosshead, OK button, home, mute, Youtube, Netflix, the controls mentioned for our TV and on the back two volume buttons. At the bottom we have the hole of the integrated microphone for Google Assistant and a white status led.
- Remote Control: Basic BT + IR Remote with mic / We combine it with other alternatives.
- Alternate control: Have its own control app for Android TV.
The new Chromecast with Google TV has a USB 3.0 Type-C OTG port that allows us to connect a USB + Ethernet HUB with a power connector, this allows us to connect peripherals and expand internal storage with a USB storage unit. The speed of this station allows us to reach up to 350 MB/s and the Android TV system perfectly detects this connector in the settings.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
We connect the Chromecast to Google TV and it starts automatically. We will go through a configuration wizard where we can connect it with the Google Home app to our home device network, we can adjust the Wi-Fi, configure the keys of the IR remote control with our TV and streaming apps that will be installed.
Once the configuration is complete, we arrive at the new Google TV launcher based on rows with content tabs or shortcuts to the installed apps. By default the system comes with many rows that cannot be deactivated, we have many recommendations and little of own content, you can change the launcher to avoid ads if you want. The overall performance is very good, we can move smoothly and quickly between menus.
- Launcher: We can change de the launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / Notifications in user icon.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android classics / Google Play for Android TV installed.
- Check our Android TV User Manual to install classic Android Apps, prevent screen rotation and much more.
If we like the system as the classic Android TV we have the option to activate the Application Only Mode that allows us to have only the row of our apps, so we will have a much cleaner desktop. Keep in mind that to install some extra apps we have to disable this mode and return to normal Google TV mode to install it. We can also block the change of settings to certain users in the profile settings.
- Activate Applications Only Mode: Go to User profile > Applications only mode > Activate
- Allow to install external APKs: Enable Developer Mode in Settings > System > Information > Click 5 times on Compilation
We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what ignition systems this device allows us. When we start the TV-Stick we receive an OTA update that corrects bugs.
- On/Off Controls: Only Sleep mode / Reset button.
- System version and root: Android TV 10 (32 bit) / NO rooted / NO root menu / Build QTS2.200917.005 / Model sabrina.
- Support: Chromecast with Google TV with Google Support / NO firmware available, just OTA updates.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
The small Chromecast with Google TV has 2 GB RAM and for its storage we have only 8 GB eMMC which fortunately we can expand with a USB memory. It has a USB Type-C 3.0 port where we can connect an external HUB. In the network section it has a wireless adapter Wifi ac Dual + Bluetooth 4.2 and we can connect an external USB Ethernet adapter that reaches USB 3.0 speeds. As we can see in the tests the results give correct figures and the wifi reaches a sufficient speed for streaming and moving through apps.
- Storage: Total 8GB – Free 4.4GB / Expandable with a USB external memory.
- RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR.
- Network: Good speed with internal wifi antenna / Range 42dBm, low. / Bluetooth YES.
- Read/Write Ports: USB 3.0 135/40 MB/s
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
Power and performance
In terms of performance the mini TV-Stick Chromecast with Google TV has the new SoC Amlogic S905D3 Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A55 processors and in the graphics section a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU which is in the mid-range. This SoC is a variant of the classic S905X3 that only changes for including installed multichannel audio licenses. In performance we have slightly better figures than those we have seen in the classic S905X3.
- CPU performance: Min 500 MHz / Working 1.2 GHz / Max 1.9 GHz
- Check our Amlogic S905X3 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
This SoC is manufactured in 12nm, has a fairly low power consumption and although the cooling system is basic low temperatures in normal use. The processor manages the speeds correctly so as not to heat up excessively.
- Thermals: Min. 40ºC / Working 48 ºC / Max.68ºC / Maintains performance up to 87% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.9W / Min 1.2W / Working 2.1W / Max. 3.8W
- Games and emulators: NOT possible to play titles such as PUBG / Emulators up to Wii / YES Vulkan support.
- Controls: Compatible with Bluetooth Gamepads.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
We tested this TV-Stick in its video playback aspect, the Chromecast with Google TV supports most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9 with native 4K HDR resolution support and even supports 8K@60fps, although it does not have a video quality adjustment app. We can use players like KODI or PLEX without the slightest problem by installing them directly from the Android TV store.
As for audio we can play DD sound up to 7.1 and DTS sound up to 5.1 through its unique HDMI port. The system integrates Chromecast 4K functionality that works with supported apps. This Stick also have HDMI 2.0 with ALLM, you can active it in the Game Mode menu, is better for the games lag.
- Video Settings: NO image quality settings / RGB, SDR / HDMI-CEC available, see manual / Automatic refresh rate don’t work.
- Audio Settings: HDMI 7.1 / Stereo Jack.
- Color and HDR: 10Bit / RGB / HDR 10+, Dolby Vision
- Media sharing: GoogleCast Yes / Miracast No / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay No.
- LibreELEC: This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC or CoreELEC.
- Tutorials: Install add-on in KODI / Judder effect, how to fix it / Multi-channel audio guide / Correct dark video playback in Android.
- We recommend reading the Setup Guide of our TV to get the best picture quality.
Video and audio results
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK (Only with Kodi)|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.|
- The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.
|Dolby||5.1 / Plus / True HD/ Atmos = OK|
|DTS||5.1 / MA / HR / X = Core|
- PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
- Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby or DTS base system / More info
We perform several tests on streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The Chromecast with Google TV offers us maximum compatibility with all current streaming services. We have all the video and audio certificates, as well as the necessary agreements with all the companies in the sector.
- DRM: Google Widevine L1 / Playready
- Audio certification: Dolby
- Tutorials: Change the size of the captions and the mouse pointer on Android / Install Addons in KODI in a simple way
|Streaming service||Calidad / Audio|
|Youtube||4K (2160p) / 5.1|
|Google Play Movies||4K (2160p) / 5.1|
|Netflix||4K (2160p) / 7.1 / Installing the apk with mouse / Netflix Guide|
|HBO||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo / HBO Guide|
|Disney+||4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Disney+ Guide|
|Apple TV+||4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Apple TV+ Guide|
|Prime Video||4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Prime Video Guide|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080i) / Stereo|
CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS
Once we have analyzed the Chromecast with Google TV, our feeling of use is very positive, has a powerful hardware and all the options to playback streaming at maximum quality.
As we have verified, it is compatible with all the streaming apps up to 4K HDR that we have tested such as Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Disney+ and all the other apps with their own version on Android TV. The new included Bluetooth remote control offers us a direct and uncomplicated control, we can even control our TV and it also integrates to Google Home and all the compatible devices that we have at home.
As for the connectivity the Chromecast with Google TV we have a Wifi aC Dual Band adapter with good speeds, we can also use a USB HUB and connect through a USB Gigabit Ethernet adapter to win stability. This small Stick as we have checked does not overheat when playing video or in normal use. As a system we have Android TV 10, which is very stable, moves very smoothly and we can run any game or emulator compatible with Android TV. The use of other apps such as IPTV, PLEX or KODI players to watch local content in 4K HDR quality is not a problem.
As a conclusion we can say that the new Chromecast with Google TV is a completely autonomous TV-Stick with very good performance, fluid environment and perfect to connect to any TV and enjoy Android TV without complications.
Where to buy