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Google Developing Budget HD-only Version of 'Chromecast with Google TV'

Chromecast with Google TV
(Image credit: Google)

Google is reportedly developing a lower-priced HD-only version of its popular "Chromecast with Google TV" connected TV dongle.

The device will be priced significantly below the $50 MSRP of the 4K-capable Chromecast with Google TV. And it will compete with HD-only streaming gadgets priced at under $30 from Roku and Amazon. 

It was first reported last week by 9to5 Google that Google is developing a budget iteration of its Google TV dongle. This week, Protocol published a report fleshing out some details. (Google so far hasn't officially commented.)

The device will have 2 gigabytes of RAM at most, Protocol said, and will support 1080p streaming with a maximum frame rate of 60 frames per second. 

According to a subsequent report from Android Police, the device -- being developed by Google under the code name "Boreal" -- will run Android TV version 12 and not Google TV. 

Google introduced a souped up version of its popular Android TV operating system, Google TV, in October 2020, using it power the newest iteration of its Chromecast OTT dongle. Previous iterations of Chromecast don't include an OS -- they rely on a smart phone "casting" video signal to an HDMI dongle. 

The earlier iterations of Chromecast have provided the primary mechanism for Google to compete in the low-priced segment of the streaming gadget market against Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Google will now refresh that older Chromecast product line with a version that includes the Google TV OS and remote control components of its newer premium gadget, but at the traditionally lower Chromecast price. 

As Protocol noted, this will help not only on the competitive shelves of Walmart here in the U.S., but also abroad in markets like India. 

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!