The Google Chromecast with Google TV is the top pick in our guide to the best streaming devices, as it provides an attractive, detailed interface for navigating apps at an affordable price. If you find the smart platform built into your TV slow or unwieldy and are looking to make a switch, Google has kicked off a new sale that brings the 4K streamer back down to $40.
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Google has run this discount several times in the past: It’s a few bucks more than the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s still $10 off the device’s typical going rate. It’s also the first major discount the Chromecast has received in the new year. The offer is available at several retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and the Google Store. According to Google’s listing, it’ll last through February 11.
The 4K Chromecast was released way back in 2020 and doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6 (or 6E), so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a refresh at some point. That said, the existing model is still snappy enough to navigate apps and load up content. It supports all the major streaming services and the most-used HDR formats (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+), as well as Dolby Atmos audio via HDMI passthrough. The dongle itself plugs directly to a TV’s HDMI port, and it comes with a simple remote that can also control volume and power for your TV (though it lacks a dedicated play/pause button).
But you’d mainly buy the Chromecast for its UI. Instead of presenting a grid of apps like a Roku device, Google TV takes a more content-centric approach, proactively recommending shows and movies you may like based on your viewing history. This works well: Recommendations are pulled from a wide range of services, and series you’ve been watching recently are usually placed toward the top, so it’s easy to jump into the next episode. It can also integrate with certain live TV services like YouTube TV and Sling TV to show what’s on right from the menu. You can create separate personalized profiles for different people, and contextual searches through the Google Assistant typically work great. You’ll still see sponsored content, as with most streamers, but the advertising here generally isn’t egregious as it is on, say, Amazon’s Fire TV Sticks.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is another affordable option that we recommend in our buying guide; it’s currently available for $39 as well, though that deal has been around for most of the last two months. Its app-based interface is more basic than Google TV, and it’s generally not as precise as the Chromecast when searching for content. But if you want a streamer that just shows you apps and gets out of the way, it might be a better fit. Roku’s streamer also supports Apple AirPlay, so you can beam content to it right from an iPhone. If you’ve got much more cash to burn, meanwhile, the $129 Apple TV 4K is faster and less ad-filled than either device, but that one isn’t significantly discounted right now.
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