Google Chromecast Ultra news, release date: newer, cheaper version compatible with 4K and HDR video

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A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, Canada. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

This year saw the substantial increase in popularity and sales of 4K TVs and the fact that several major brands started unveiling and selling them, they’ve become surprisingly very affordable that practically everyone can get them. As a sort of response to this ever-growing niche, tech companies have also started building devices that can be connected to 4K TVs. The leading name in this segment of 4K-capable products is Google’s very own Chromecast.

The American software and tech giant recently made a move to tighten its grip of dominance in this industry, unveiling the new iteration to the old Chromecast device called Chromecast Ultra. What is its difference to that of the original device?

Although the name suggests it’s supposed to be bigger, it actually is a smaller version of the first-generation Chromecast. But mind you, it is designed to provide a much better image quality than that of its older sibling since it is not just capable of streaming in 4K, but also in HDR (high dynamic range) video. Hence, it can be the perfect buddy when a user is subscribed to HDR video content from providers like YouTube and Netflix.

But more importantly, the real intention of unveiling a new Chromecast device is, reportedly, to prepare for the release of Google’s Play TV and Movies store, according to CNET. The report likewise said that the addition of HDR compatibility is a great one considering that this kind of video resolution provides a significantly improved and more dramatic appearance due to the enhanced color and contrast.

Finally, the Chromecast Ultra is said to be the very first streaming device connected externally that can handle two existing HDR formats in the form of Dolby Vision and HDR10. Its main competitors, namely the Roku Premiere+, Xiaomi Mi Box, and NVIDIA Shield aren’t just doubly expensive; they are also merely capable of handling HDR10.

According to The Verge, the Google Chromecast Ultra is expected to be released in November for the U.S. market.