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Google’s New Chromecast 2 vs Other Media Streaming Players

Posted by on October 6, 2015 at 8:27 AM

On the 29th September 2015, Google unveiled its new design for their popular online media streaming device, the Chromecast. Despite the obvious outward pimping of its design, I was curious as to how much they’d changed things under the hood? Google claims it plays faster, connectivity has been enhanced and that the new tech within brings the device closer to the family of Google’s smart home devices.

Google’s New Chromecast 2 vs Other Media Streaming Players

The Chromecast 2 was launched alongside the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones, which are Google’s latest handsets that come pre-installed with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This is a big move from Google, because it allows the company to not only push its popular products into people’s hands via a handset, but also helps get itself into people’s living rooms amidst competitors like Amazon, Apple and Samsung. Many of you though will be wondering how cost effective it is compared to the competition…

 

The most obvious change to anyone will be the design of the new Chromecast. Instead of simply looking like a USB dongle, it now is in the shape of the Google Chrome desktop icon (the Pokémon ball type shape). The original shape proved very popular, “selling more than 20 million devices around the world” said Mario Queiroz, Google’s vice president of product management.

Briefly: If you still don’t know what a Chromecast does, it plugs directly into your HDMI port on your television and streams services like Netflix, YouTube and Google Play games directly from your phone/tablet/computer onto your TV screen with very minimal fuss.

Google’s New Chromecast 2 vs Other Media Streaming Players

We’ve redesigned the Chromecast to bring a modern new look. The small size of the new Chromecast allows for it to hide behind the TV”, Queiroz said on launch day.

So, what else have the guys over at Google actually improved upon with this latest version? Firstly the new hardware significantly improves the device’s Wi-Fi performance, due to a new adaptive antenna system. In layman’s terms, this basically means that when you approach the end of an episode on Netflix, for example, the Chromecast 2 will automatically start streaming the next episode so you can jump straight back into the action without any interruptions.

“How does it stack up against its competitors?” I hear you ask. Well, the following table should help identify its strengths.

Name

Roku Stick (HDMI)

Apple TV

Nexus Play

Chromecast (2015)

Price

$76.00*

$99.00

129.00

 $49.00**

Internal Storage

0GB

32GB

8GB

0GB

Online Services

Roku Channel Store

iTunes

Android TV

 Android TV
Web Browser

No

No

Yes

Yes

Resolution

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

Smartphone / Tablet Control

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

* Price found on Amazon.com and includes shipping to Australia.

** The Chromecast 2 wont be available immediately in Australia, as the list of 17 countries it will launch in include Europe and the USA only. So this is the “expected price”.

 

There is no doubt that the Chromecast 2 is the most affordable option compared to its competitors. However, if you’re wanting to pick one up from your local DSE, HN or JB Hifi immediately, then I’m afraid you’ll need to be a bit patient. Google have stated the device will not be available in Australia immediately. Its initial launch is within Europe and America only.

In terms of other improvements to this latest model, it will also include all of Showtime’s shows, more music and sports. There will also be additional games available along with new features that enable users to use their mobile device as a games controller. The new Chromecast will now support Facebook, Google Photos and Flickr, meaning owners can project photos onto their TV screens seamlessly.

Google’s New Chromecast 2 vs Other Media Streaming Players

The beautiful concept of the Chromecast means that you don’t need to fork out hundreds of dollars for smart devices to achieve your online streaming objectives. All you simply need is a smartphone and a TV with an HDMI port and voila(!), your TV instantly becomes a smart one. For me personally, the Chromecast makes a lot of sense due to its very low price point, not to mention that I’m already deeply embedded in the Android ecosystem, so it suits my setup at home.

It should be interesting to see how long it takes for prices to come down on these once they launch in Australia. Our deal hunters monitored the pricing of the original version very closely online, and it didn’t take more than a few months for prices to drop from the launch price of $49 down to the mid-$30′s. Undoubtedly, our deal hunters will be doing the same this time round, so keep a close eye on our Deals board if you’re patient enough to hang on until the retailers start competing on price with these.

Google’s New Chromecast 2 vs Other Media Streaming Players


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