Nowadays, people are searching for ways to watch media content on their TVs. If they had a Smart TV, they could easily view all kinds of movies and TV shows by downloading the appropriate apps directly on the TV. If they had non-smart TV, they have to rely on other methods. To help them, Google has developed a streaming dongle called Chromecast. It lets you cast the media contents from the compatible apps on your smartphones or tablets to the TV. Apart from this, Android users can also watch their locally stored files on Chromecast connected TV by using the Google Home app. Windows users can use the Chrome browser to cast their contents from their desktops or laptops. On July 24, 2013, Google launched the first version of Chromecast. In the consecutive years, Google has released four more versions to maintain its standard. In this article, we will discuss the features of all types of Chromecast in detail.
Chromecast Types – Comparison Table
Before jumping into the guide, let’s have a look at this comparison table to find the differences between each versions:
|Specs||Chromecast (1st gen) – Discontinued||Chromecast (2nd gen) – Discontinued||Chromecast Audio – Discontinued||Chromecast Ultra||Chromecast (3rd gen)|
|Price at Launch||$35||$35||$35||$69||$29|
|Memory||512 MB RAM||512 MB RAM||256 MB RAM||1 GB RAM||–|
|Storage||2 GB||256 MB||256 MB||–||–|
|Maximum Video Resolution||1080p||1080p||–||4K Ultra HD||1080p|
|Dimensions||72 mm × 35 mm × 12 mm||51.9 mm × 51.9 mm × 13.49 mm||51.9 mm × 51.9 mm × 13.49 mm||58.2 mm × 58.2 mm × 13.70 mm||51.81 mm × 51.81 mm × 13.8 mm|
|Weight||34 g||39.1 g||30.7 g||47 g||40 g|
Chromecast 1st Generation (Discontinued)
The 1st gen of Chromecast was launched in July 2013 and discontinued in September 2015. Users who have already purchased the 1st Generation can continue using the device. However, they will not receive any updates to their device from Google. The pen drive sized device connects to the HDMI port on your TV. In fact, all the versions connect to the HDMI port on your TV. The device has 512 MB RAM and 2 GB of flash storage. You can cast the videos up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. You can connect the device only to Wi-Fi networks which operates at 2.4 GHz frequency.
Chromecast 2nd Generation (Discontinued)
The second generation of Chromecast was launched along with Chromecast Audio. It can be connected to both 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. Like the first version, you can stream videos up to 1080p @30sps or 720p @60fps. Unlike the first version, the 2nd generation has a disc-shaped body with a flexible HDMI cable attached to it. When it comes to storage, it has the same 512 MB RAM but lesser storage of 256 MB. Launched in September 2015, the second version was discontinued in October 2018.
Chromecast Audio (Discontinued)
Chromecast Audio (launched in September 2015) is a dedicated device developed for audio streaming apps. It features a 3.5-mm audio jack that you can connect to the speakers and sound systems on your home. In December 2015, Google introduced high-resolution audio support for Chromecast Audio. Along with that they also released support for multi-room playback, which means users can play audio in different Chromecast audio devices at once. For that, you need to connect all the Chromecast audio devices on your smartphone with the help of the Google Home app. Chromecast Audio was discontinued in January 2019 as Google started to launch smart home speakers. Users who have already bought the Chromecast audio can continue using the device.
Until now, Chromecast Ultra is the expensive dongle launched by Google. In terms of design, it looks similar to the second generation. But, it has several advanced features like streaming videos 1.8 times faster than the earlier version, supports 4K videos as well as HDR and Dolby formats. Unlike the second generation, you need to use the provided power supply to use the device. This Chromecast Ultra is still available in the market for the purchase, and it costs USD 69.
Chromecast 3rd Generation
The 3rd Generation is the latest and compressed version in the Chromecast family. It has all the features that you can expect in Chromecast Ultra. But, it streams videos only up to 1080p. Launched in October 2018, Chromecast Ultra supports streaming 1080p videos at 60 frames-per-second. According to a statement released by Google, Chromecast 3rd gen streams videos slightly (15%) faster than the 2nr generation. Chromecast 3rd Gen is also available to purchase, and it costs $29.
The above are the different types of Chromecast. Until now, Google has released five Chromecast devices, and three of them have been discontinued due to low streaming features. If you want to stream 4K videos on your TV, then you should go for Ultra. However, if you need a streaming device to stream the videos without worrying about 4K support, then you can go ahead for Chromecast 3rd gen.