It’s been a busy few weeks in the world of streaming media devices. First came the new Apple TV, then the new Amazon Fire TV, and now Google has announced their next generation streaming device. The new Chromecast is here with a great lineup of new features from Fast Play for quicker streaming to gaming and better universal search.
There is also a new Chromecast app with improved content discovery across multiple apps like Netflix, Twitch, WatchESPN, and YouTube.
The Chromecast is now a gaming box but a very different game box from the Apple TV or the Fire TV. The Chromecast acts as a second display for your phone, leaving your phone as the true gaming system and controller.
This could bring some new and interesting games to the Chromecast because any Android game could easily be ported to the new Chromecast.
Fast Play preloads content from popular services like Netflix for 80% faster streaming from when you ask it to appear on your TV to when it starts playing. If you are watching a series on Netflix it will start preloading the next episode as soon as you start Netflix.
Google brings a new, more powerful search to the Chromecast app. Not only will it show Google Play as a place to buy new content but also shows other content stores like Vudu. This could help Chromecast stand out from the Apple TV.
A lot of new apps have been announced for the new Chromecast. It was announced that Chromecast has hit 20 million units sold, which should attract even more apps to the Chromecast.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch announced the upcoming Sling TV compatibility with Chromecast, saying:
Chromecast has been one of our most requested devices since we first launched Sling TV in February. And today, I’m happy to officially announce that we plan to add Chromecast to Sling TV’s supported device lineup in the coming weeks.
The new Chromecast is a round disc that comes in black, lemonade (yellow), and coral (red). There is an attached HDMI cable that addresses one of the big annoyances that stick style media players suffer from. The HDMI cable allows you to plug into your TV without worrying what is around it.
The new Chromecast also supports the 802.11ac standard and three Wi-Fi antennas for great Wi-Fi performance.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.