Radios

Google Chromecast Ultra

Price (RRP) £69.00

Unlike its older sibling, Chromecast Ultra arrives in sparkly 4K Ultra HD and HDR for those wanting a little more bang for their buck.

Ultra operates much like the original ‘puck’ device, essentially a ‘middle man’ device that allows users to stream content from several other devices such as phones, tablets, PCs and laptops directly to a television.

The sleeker media streaming puck works by directly plugging into an HDMI port on a TV. This allows viewers to stream their favourite TV shows, music, movies and sports from iPhone, iPad, Android phone/tablet, Mac and Windows laptops and Google’s own Chromebook.

This device effectively lets users use their phones and tablets like a TV remote, sending a signal to the puck, which is then broadcast, or ‘cast’ directly to the big screen.

While streaming is underway, users can carry about their business on their respective devices without draining battery or interrupting the stream.

With Chromecast, users can access over 200,000 TV shows and movies, 30 million songs, radio, sport and games via third party apps such as Netflix, NOW TV, Spotify, Plex and Google Play.

This means that while there’s free content on Chromecast, users can opt to use paid and subscription services too via apps.

Media is not isolated to just the moving image, however. Users can cast their desktops, internet browser and photos directly to the TV screen, effectively using it as a ‘mirror’ of their chosen casting device’s screen. This makes Chromecast TV a viable option for those not only wanting to stream from services like Netflix, but also have the option of casting content live from their devices.

All that is required on the user’s part is a TV with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi network and a compatible computer or mobile device.

Ultra HD features

The main difference between Chromecast and Ultra is in its 4K streaming capability. Ultra also has a built-in ethernet adapter, enabling users to opt for a wired connection if their wireless is not ready for the demands of 4K streaming.

It is worth noting that even if users do not have a 4K TV, Ultra compensates and automatically optimises content for the best picture quality one’s TV can muster.

With greater processing power, Chromecast Ultra ensures fast, smooth and reliable streaming. Ultra comes exclusively in black, however, unlike the original Chromecast TV which has 3 colours.

Packed with nothing more than a power cable, power adapter (with ethernet port) and the puck itself, Chromecast is a light and affordable option for those on the move; a unique and reliable device for delivering presentations at meetings during the day, and an attractive alternative to hotel TV viewing in the evening.

Chromecast has a helpful guide online showing users how to cast from several devices, as well as customise their experience.

Due to the functionality and purpose of Chromecast, it does not need nor provide a remote control, but does stream at 802.11ac over Wi-Fi and broadcast up to 4K HD with 5.1 surround sound – a slightly more expensive version of the streaming device for viewers wanting greater picture quality and overall speed.

Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast Ultra

Verdict: The Chromecast Ultra treads a different path to most streaming devices, using smartphones and tablets to browse and select TV shows, films and music. This is much less fiddly than using a remote for searching, but does require a suitable device at hand to start streaming.

Features

  • Network Port
  • Wireless
  • Resolution up to 4K Ultra HD