The Chromecast with Google TV HD is official and it is cheaper than expected – in the US you can pick one up for just $30. This replaces the basic Chromecast from 2018 that launched at $35 and was much less capable (it lacked the Google TV part).
We should note that while this device has “HD” in its name, it actually outputs 1080p. Sure, that’s less resolution the 4K model offers – that one is $50 – but it still supports HDR output. On a smaller TV the difference between 1080p and 4K may not be all that visible.
If you’re interested, you can pick one up from the Google online store, Best Buy and (soon) from Amazon. In Germany the HD version is €40, the 4K one is €70. The HD Chromecast comes only in “Snow” white.
You can use this Chromecast with the popular streaming services, for live TV if you subscribe to YouTube TV as well as streaming games with Stadia (you’ll need a controller, though, as the included remote won’t cut it).
The Chromecast with Google TV HD is powered by an Amlogic S805X2 chipset with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. This can be used to install some of the thousands of Android TV apps that this supports (this runs Android 12).
This one (unlike the 4K model) supports AV1, which is gaining traction with video streaming sites (YouTube included), but is not well supported on smartphone chipsets (Qualcomm and Apple being the main culprits).
By the way, if you have a Chromecast with Google TV 4K or plan to buy one, you should know that the Android 12 update is almost ready, though exact timing of the release is still to be determined.