The Google Chromecast with Google TV is one of the best streaming devices out there, and it’s not particularly expensive — especially if you can get it on sale. But there have been rumors that a cheaper version is on the way, and it looks like it just popped up at the FCC (opens in new tab) (via Droid Life (opens in new tab)).
The filing doesn’t confirm that this is a new Chromecast directly, instead referring to the device as Google G454V. However, it’s not too difficult to read between the lines and see what else is going on, especially since one of the diagrams shows the device (EUT) connecting to the back of an LCD monitor.
There aren’t many things you’d want to attach to the back of your TV, certainly not coming with a remote control. Plus, the only wire detailed on the diagram is the USB power cable, suggesting the EUT plugs directly into the TV’s HDMI port.
It’s fairly obvious that this is some kind of streaming gizmo, and a budget Chromecast with Google TV is the most likely candidate. Not just because it’s already been rumored, but also because Google has fallen behind in the budget streaming device business.
A regular Chromecast is $30, but it lacks all of the great features you get from a Google TV-equipped model. Least of all a dedicated remote.
The real smoking gun is the fact the specs mention the device will stream video at 1080p resolution. That’s not the kind of thing you’d get from a soundbar, or some other device Google could feasibly make. 4K would be nicer, especially since the Roku Express 4K Plus is available for less than $40, but we’ll take what we can get.
The listing also confirms that this is a “wireless device” with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi alongside Bluetooth LE. So the connectivity should be fairly strong for this gadget.
It’s still not clear when a cheaper Chromecast could launch, if that is indeed what this listing is for. But FCC testing typically doesn’t take place until a device is almost ready to launch, so we probably don’t have to wait very long.