It appears that “Chromecast HD” will come with Google TV 12, a degraded CPU, and 1.5GB RAM.
The cheaper Chromecast with Google TV has been rumoured for months, and now a new leak is disclosing additional software information, specifications, and even the apparent “Chromecast HD” branding.
A developer on Twitter named Kuba Wojciechowski claims to have received a complete software build for Google’s new Chromecast, which provides a number of information about the gadget. Wojciechowski has a history of probing into Google’s software.
The gadget is referred to as “Chromecast HD” directly in the code, which is the first major takeaway. Although it isn’t a 100% guarantee, it seems reasonable to assume that this is how Google would promote the product.
We also get a better look at the spec sheet after that. The smartphone will reportedly come with an Amlogic S805X2 chipset. The chip is still a significant decrease from the 4K variant but does enable AV1 decoding, something the current Chromecast does not. It obviously has a 1080p video output restriction, but it also lacks the S905X3’s sheer power in the Chromecast with Google TV. The device’s 1.5GB of RAM, a 25% decrease from the 4K variant, only serves to reinforce the notion of lower performance.
The software will be built on Android 12, making this the first Google TV 12 streamer, which is the other significant aspect of this. Android 10 is still the software foundation for the first Chromecast.
While it will undoubtedly be less expensive, it appears that Google has learned from some of the shortcomings of the “premium” 4K model.
The fact that this gadget will launch with capability for smooth virtual A/B updates with compression is the key takeaway. Updates will likely be made more frequently for customers as a result, as this method does away with the storage restrictions of the original Chromecast with Google TV. Updates can travel directly to partitions instead of having to first reach the user storage. Theoretically, there ought to be a significant boost in terms of updates, however big upgrades might not be affected. Future Android versions will undoubtedly see a bottleneck with 1.5GB of RAM because Android 13 increases the minimum memory requirement for many devices to 2GB.
Could Google use the same approach with the current Chromecast? Unfortunately, probably not, since new hardware would be needed.
In related news, our Kyle Bradshaw noticed that the “Google Chromecast” device has now been approved by the Bluetooth SIG.
A $30 price tag is anticipated for “Chromecast HD.”