The rate of new streaming player launches has slowed significantly over the last couple of years but it seems like Google is working on a new version of its popular Chromecast Ultra which will come running Android TV and a remote control.
We love the Chromecast range but there’s always been something appealing about rivals such as Amazon’s Fire TV devices and Roku streamers with their good old fashioned user interface and remote control combination.
So far, Google’s method requires users to find content on another device – usually a smartphone – and then send it to the Chromecast. But that might be about to change.
According to a report by 9to5google, the firm is planning to launch a 2nd-generation Chromecast Ultra which will be based on Android TV. This is the operating system used by various TV makers including Philips and Sony.
The Chromecast Ultra 2, assuming the name for now, will still be a similar design but will also come with a remote control. We expect this will work over Bluetooth since the main unit is designed to be hidden behind your TV set.
This remote control (via an FFC listing) will be similar to the Daydream View VR headset’s and the Apple TV. Like some rivals, it will have a microphone and a dedicated button so you can use the Google Assistant to control the Chromecast Ultra 2 with your voice.
Google will be filling a gap in the market by launching an affordable mass market device running Android TV, giving users access to the likes of Netflix, YouTube TV, Disney+ and more. The Chromecast Ultra 2 will support 4K HDR content and look more like the 3rd-gen Chromecast that Google launched in 2018 when in comes to design.
As for when the new streaming player will arrive, Google I/O in May alongside the Pixel 4a would have been the best bet but the event has been cancelled. The firm may well still announce products online but we’ll have to wait and see.
There could also be a new regular Chromecast coming – check out the rumours about the Chromecast 4.