Chromecast with Google TV review: Easy viewing
Now I think a good affordable flat screen TV without smart features could be a good business proposition. This is because there are so many plug-and-play smart streaming devices out there that make the intelligence in the TV itself somewhat useless.
From Amazon Fire Sticks to Apple TV, the options are many and the experience is very good. Now Google is bringing its latest Chromecast device with 4K streaming to India. Here’s what I thought of the Chromecast device with Google TV.
Chromecast with Google TV
The Chromecast device I received for review was an all-white compact disc that connects to your TV or projector with an HDMI cable. It also has a USB-C power point that needs to be plugged into a power source. No, it doesn’t work if you power it from a USB port on your TV like with the Fire Stick.
Setup is really simple, like with most Google devices nowadays. I used my iPhone to find the device via the Google Home app. A few minutes later, it was up and running. And it helped that apps that were signed in on the phone didn’t need an additional registration process to start working on the Chromecast.
The remote control is small and very handy. It comes with a control ring that helps you navigate and select. There are dedicated buttons for back, Google Assistant, home, mute YouTube and Netflix. The volume buttons are on the side and took some getting used to. But using the remote is easy and intuitive, and with the OnePlus TV, the HDMI connection ensured me that I only needed one remote for the television and the Chromecast.
Once you turn on the device, you will realize that the picture quality is very different from the native one of your TV, at least mine. This is because 4K HDR has a different contrast ratio and runs smoothly at 60fps. I loved the color setup here which was softer than I’m used to but much more soothing to the eyes.
The interface is very easy to use without any kind of learning. It’s nice to see that the search has so much prominence here, pointing out that you don’t really need to browse apps all the time and simple voice commands will get you Netflix or the latest Malayalam comic clips. Trust Google to do it, though.
A tab filters content based on what Google knows about your viewing behavior, and we all know Google knows too much. Plus, you have separate tabs for movies and TV shows, another just for apps, and a library for content you’ve purchased like movies.
The account button offers smartphone-like settings that let you see notifications, change Wi-Fi and add accessories, or just change wallpapers.
One thing that struck me about the Google TV experience is that the interface is so relaxing on the eyes.
The advantage of Google TV is the way you have access to literally any app on the Play Store and its contents. And once installed, whether it’s a Disney + or a Sun Next, you can simply use voice search to view a specific movie or movie genre. You can also easily run gaming apps, although you may need a gamepad to play most of them since Google’s remote isn’t exactly game material. This is actually the only drawback of the device.
Many older TVs, although capable of downloading apps, often freeze when you run many, such as a Puffin Browser. There are no such processing issues with the Chromecast and this will be one of the main reasons why maybe I’ll use it on one of my TV’s many HDMI ports.
Chromecast with Google TV: Should You Buy It?
At Rs 6,399, the Chromecast with Google TV is a good addition to the living room, especially if your TV is a little old or not that smart, or strong enough to let you download and run any app you want. This has one of the best TV interfaces around and that could also be a reason to pick up this new accessory.