Google prepares Chromecast HD, a cheaper version of the Google TV version

Google is preparing to launch a new Chromecast device with Google TV software. Unlike the existing model, the new model will be called Chromecast HD and will not allow 4K playback. Thus, it will be dedicated to devices with Full HD screens. Even despite these limitations, the new device might have some advantages over its bigger “brother”, launched a few years ago. Being produced more recently, it benefits from newer software.

Chromecast HD could launch directly with Android 12

Chromecast HD has not yet been officially announced, but software packages to be installed on the device have already reached the hands of some software developers. Kuba Wojciechowski posted screenshots of these software packages on Twitter, which mention the new device under the name Chromecast HD and confirm that it runs Android 12 out of the box. In comparison, Chromecast with Google TV (4K model) even now benefits from Android 10 and there’s little chance of it getting a newer version anytime soon.

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The reason is that it benefits from only 8 GB of internal storage, which is too little to download and install a newer version of Android. Also, that device can’t install “streaming” updates, what Google calls A/B updates, which install packages directly without downloading them first. The new Chromecast HD has another drawback, however, which could lock the device onto Android 12.

Google’s new requirements for Android require a minimum of 2 GB RAM to update to Android 13. While Chromecast with Google TV (4K) has 2 GB RAM, it doesn’t have enough storage to install a new update. Chromecast HD won’t have enough RAM for Android 13, however, as it only gets 1.5 GB. Android for TVs may not have the same limitations as phones, though.

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The price should be lower

Software-wise, the new Chromecast HD’s remote is reportedly identical to the one on the previous model, so we don’t expect any new upgrades or design changes, while connectivity remains Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2.

The Chromecast HD should be officially announced in the next few weeks, as it has already gone through the regulatory approval process. It will probably be introduced at a lower price than the existing model.

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