Tested product: Google Chromecast (3rd generation)
Price: SEK 399 at Kjell and Company.
Chromecast Generation 3 (2018) was launched a bit like passing by a Google event earlier this year. This despite the fact that the last Chromecast (generation 2) was released three years ago. The fact that the company did not do a major feature of the Chromecast launch, which is still very popular, depends on one thing – the new generation does not contain much new. Although Chromecast (2018) has updated hardware, it's not much that distinguishes it from its predecessor.
Appearance, Chromecast 3 is also very similar to generation 2. It's a round puck with a Google login. Certainly, the new version may be a bit cleaner, but as this is something you learn to hang behind a TV or screen, the design honestly plays no role whatsoever.
Getting started is very easy. You only connect Chromecast to the TV (or other screen) with the HDMI output. Then plug the power cord into a USB cable and adapter. To use Chromecast, you need to connect it to the same wifi network as the device you want to cast from drives, and add Chromecast to the Google Home app for both Android and Iphone. Ready to drive.
New hardware under shell will, according to Google, make this Chromecast up to 15 percent faster than the predecessor. Certainly, it feels like a rapper, especially when it comes to starting movies. In addition, it is now able to stream 1080p video in 60hz, unlike the previous generation that managed 720p in 60hz, or 1080p in 30hz.
This now allows you to stream movies in this format without compromising on the "flow" of movies and Youtube clips.
In addition to streaming movies from services like Youtube and Netflix to your TV, there are many other uses. You can view photos from your mobile with Google Photos, an app you can also create live albums that appear as a popup when Chromecast is not in use.
You can also play some Android games, where you cast the game and the mobile is working as a control. And if you use Chrome as a browser, there's virtually no limit to what you can cast from the web, as you can dispose of entire Chrome, both from mobile and computer.
Voice commands with Google Home
Google's dongle is a great complement to your smart home to easily pick up everything you do on your mobile on a larger screen. Chromecast has also received enhanced support in Google Home, including the ability to add Chromecast to speaker groups for easier home audio tuning. However, it works with all versions of Chromecast, not just generation 3 tested here.
If you choose to connect your Chromecast to Google Home, many things are easier to control, even with the voice. To say "Hello Google, Orange is the new black on the tv", and getting Netflix to start playing is incredibly smooth. But there are still many services that do not have voice support.
The only thing you can voice voice is actually Google Apps and a handful of others, such as Netflix, Spotify, Youtube and Google Foto. For example, HBO Nordic has no support for this. This makes voice control somewhat limited. There are luckily many apps that support clean casting, that is, clicking on an icon in the app and everything is running on the screen – something works very well.
The Google Home app makes sense to serve as a focal point for all the services you have by linking up and displaying recommendations for movies, comics, and music from them. But unfortunately, it seems to be a handful of random tips, so in practice, you need to open the Netflix app, for example, if you want to find something sensible.
If you are using Google Home or do not want a computer connected to the TV to watch movies, then the Google Chromecast is really not recommended. Especially since it does not cost much in relation to other technology gadgets. And if you're buying a new Chromecast, then it's definitely this version you're buying.
But if you already have generation 2, there's really no need to upgrade, save you save a few seconds when you start a movie.
And are you looking for 4k streaming, check Chromecast Ultra.
Facts Chromecast Generation 3 (2018)
Tested: November 2018
Function: Streaming media player
connections: Ac adapter (usb), hdmi out
Format: 1080p 60hz
Communication: wlan 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (Wifi 5), bluetooth 4.0
Compatibility: Android, IOS, Windows, Mac OS
Measure: 52 × 13.8 × 52 millimeters
Weight: 40 g
Price: SEK 399 at Kjell and Company.
Many apps lack voice support
The Google Home app leaves a lot to be desired