Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio Announced
This Tuesday Google announced two new versions of Chromecast. The internet giant’s CEO, Sundar Pichai claimed on stage yesterday, that one will be for streaming videos and photos to your tv and the other for streaming music to any audio system or standard speakers.
The new generation of Chromecast has undergone a transformation and now looks vaguely like a Yoyo with a HDMI cable sticking out instead of a string. I must admit that the thinking behind the minimalistic design is sound and should avoid cluttering of the USB’s.
Packed with three WiFi antennas supporting the newer dual-band WiFi 802.11ac that Google claim will provide a “more robust, high quality streaming experience for less buffering than you would have found previously with the Chromecast”. My only problem with this statement is that to take advantage of this a lot of customers would then need to upgrade their routers/hubs etc.
For the gamers out there, this device will also come with more games, these include Rovio’s Angry Birds and some racing games. I doubt this will draw serious gamers to buy the device but it does compete with Amazon’s FireTV and Apples new TV box.
Now for the Audio streamer. The new Chromecast Audio works in a similar fashion to its close, video streaming relative. The visual difference is that instead of an HDMI cable it has a 3.5mm LINE-OUT cable.
The Chromecast Audio supports high-quality audio, 2 watt RMS and an optional optical digital out that sits in the hybrid port. Google have stated that the device does not compress audio so fear not over the quality produced through your speakers. It works with Android and iOS devices.
“We’re trying to do for Hi-Fi what we’ve done with the TV; turn your Hi-Fi into a smart Hi-Fi,” said a Google spokesperson.
“If you’re used to using apps on your smartphone then using the Chromecast should be easy, as all the processing and control is done on the phone,” he added.
Google are also working on multi-room audio streaming via Chromecast Audio and have announced upgrades to the Chromecast app.
Both of the new Chromecasts are powered by microUSB cables and will be available in the following week costing approximately £23.