Google's Chromecast, the $35 HDMI stick launched in 2013, has already become a top media streamer for people to cast movies and TV shows to TV screen. Now two year later, the Chromecast (2015) is back with an all-new look, a few new features, and a completely new app that promises to make finding what you want easier than ever before. Here in this review, let's take a look at the improvements introduced in this Chromecast refresh so that you can see whether it's worth upgrading or not over the original Chromecast.
What's New in Google Chromecast 2015
We are listing three of the biggest improvements and new features of the second-gen Chromecast as below for your reference.
1. Brand new look, better fit
The new Google Chromecast got a total redesign of the look by changing the shape of the device from original chunky stick to a small disk with a short, flexible HDMI cable extending from it. The reasoning behind this new design was to accommodate TVs with HDMI ports that are too narrow for the old Chromecast. The new design also adds a tiny magnet at the end of the device to make it more portable. Another big design improvement of Chromecast 2015 includes the addition of a small reset button located on the side that you can use to power-cycle the Chromecast in case it crashes or gets stuck.
2. New hardware
The new Chromecast is also improved with more stable connection and more user-friendly media streaming experience with a stronger hold on WiFi signal. However, aside from that, there's no real change or difference on media streaming quality between the old and new Chromecast. Both devices don't support the 4K UHD content as its competitors do, like Roku 4 or Amazone Fire TV.
3. New Chromecast app
Now here comes the most important part of the new features of Chromecast 2015. It's all about the new Chromecast app which is gained a good bit of usefulness. The updated app has been sectioned off into three parts: What's On, Devices and Get Apps, with which the new Chromecast app brings much-needed search and discovery to the party. It's currently available on Android and iOS and is fully compatible with both the old and new Chromecasts.
4. Improved performance
In terms of functionality, there seems no much changes. Like the original Chromecast, the new model also lets you cast video from any compatible app to your TV screen. And the setup is as easy as before. However, the biggest difference lies on the practical performance of those models. The new Chromecast, according to real tests, promises faster speeds than the original model.
Overview of Chromecast 2015 Specs
|Size||51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49mm|
|Power Cable||1.75 meters|
|Wi-Fi Connection||802.11 ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)|
|Connectors||HDMI (video/audio), microUSB (power)|
|Supported OS||Android 4.1+, iOS 7+, Mac OSX 10.7+, Windows 7+|
|Color||Black, yellow, coral|
Conclusion & Suggestion
The new Chromecast remains to be a great media streamer with low price as the old one does although boasts new design and features. If you already own a Chromecast, it's not necessary to trade in your old device for the new one since all of the best features are available on both versions of the hardware. But if you are new to Chromecast and haven't picked up a Chromecast yet, the new Chromecast could be the best accessory when it comes to making the most out of the Android ecosystem.
- * New design with better fits
- * Faster performing speeds
- * Impressive cross-platform search with new app
- * Inexpensive while supports most popular video streaming services
- * Only supports 1080p but not 4K videos
- * Can’t control playback from main app
- * Needs a separate device to act as a remote control
More Tips: How to Cast iTunes Media to TV via Chromecast
Chromecast allows you stream different kinds of media content to TV for watching. But among the video streaming services, there's no iTunes, one of the largest online media stores in the world. Because of Apple's FairPlay DRM policy, currently only Apple TV is authorised to stream the movies and TV shows downloaded from iTunes to TV screen. Is it possible to stream iTunes DRM videos to TV via Chromecast and other non-Apple TV streamers? The good news is that it's possible if you use some third-party iTunes DRM removal tools to remove the DRM lock from iTunes movies at the first place. Here we are talking about TunesKit iTunes DRM M4V Converter for Mac/Windows which will help you losslessly convert DRM-ed iTunes M4V videos to common MP4 with original AC3 5.1 audio tracks, subtitles and CC preserved. You can download the free trial version of this smart iTunes M4V Converter according to your computer systems and follow the tutorial below to test it by yourself.