The Google Chromecast has revolutionized the way you consume media as it has offered one of the cheapest solutions to get content from your portable device to your big screen TV. Earlier this year, Google announced the latest Chromecast device called the Chromecast Ultra, a $70 Chromecast variant that is able to cast contents to your TV in 4K high-definition. It’s certainly a lot of cash for Chromecast, roughly twice as much as a normal Chromecast. But until 4K becomes more widely adapted, it’s going to cost a premium to view 4K content.
One other neat perk with the Ultra is that it works with Google Home, Google’s voice-activated speaker. You’ll see the two work in harmony with one another at the end of this video. But first, we can start by unboxing the Chromecast Ultra by peeling off the tape holding this box together and then sliding off the top portion of the box. The Chromecast Ultra is a hockey puck-shape with a male HDMI cable sticking out on one end. It looks a bit beefier than the past Chromecast devices but still pretty small and small enough to stay out of sight behind a TV. Also in the box, we’ll find some Get Started information that is irrelevant to you because you have me. I’ll show you the way. There’s also a fairly beefy power cable, which means you won’t be able to power this hockey puck via a USB connection from your TV. You’ll need to plug it into a wall outlet, unfortunately.
As for the setup process, once you plug it into your TV and power the TV on, you just need to make your way to the Chromecast app; which has actually been re-branded to Google Home so if you’re searching the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, look for Google Home. Then just make your way to devices and you’ll see the Chromecast Ultra has been detected and is ready to be set up. There are just a few prompts that you need to endure before the setup is complete. It’s honestly a piece of cake. The most time-consuming process is just downloading the Chromecast or Google Home app if you don’t already have the app installed in your device.
If you flash forward a couple of days from my testing, I found the Chromecast Ultra to be lightning quick in casting my content. When used in conjunction with Google Home, as soon as the request was sent, the content appeared on my TV. It’s just a matter of seconds. The strength of the connection also appears to be very strong as well. I only noticed a couple minor skips here and there and they didn’t last very long. Also, the 4K content is beautiful; pretty much the only reason you would want to buy a Chromecast Ultra is if you have a 4K TV and want a relatively inexpensive way to stream content in 4K. I think for $70, the Chromecast Ultra is a pretty solid solution but there are going to be better options out there if you want a box or a UI to scroll through and what not. The Xiaomi Mi Box comes to mind actually as it costs about $70, the same as the Chromecast Ultra; and it can output HDR and 4K content as well. But you get a box that sits underneath your TV, you get a remote that lets you scroll through all of the apps that you have installed in the box. I would recommend you take that into consideration before you pull the trigger on the Chromecast Ultra.