Update: The Google TV platform is set to get more features as it matures.
Chromecast with Google TV is already one of the best streaming devices, but it just got even better. A new update has added support for one very important feature: Dolby Vision. And there's some other upgrades, too.
While Dolby Vision is only available on select apps, this is a very big deal for anyone that has a TV capable of supporting this kind of HDR. And the updates to security and storage are going to be pretty useful as well.
Adding Dolby Vision support for the Chromecast with Google TV is a big deal. Not only does this mean Chromecast offers Dolby’s premium HDR-technology, it also means there’s support for just about every HDR standard there is. After all, the dongle did get HDR10+ certification earlier this year, and has supported both HDR10 and HLG for some time now.
As you'll see in our guide to all the HDR standards, Dolby Vision has become the leading licensed HDR format. The biggest draw for Dolby Vision is that it offers an end-to-end solution for film production, letting directors and video editors set the HDR conditions that match their intent, instead of adding metadata on top of existing material.
Unlike HDR10, Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata, offering scene-by-scene and frame-by-frame adjustment to bring out the best visuals in every shot. It also boasts the most expansive standards, allowing for higher resolutions, higher peak brightness, deeper black levels and color gamut with 12-bit color that exceeds the commonly used Rec. 2020 color space.
This Chromecast with Google TV update also means Google can better compete with other streaming devices, including the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Apple TV 4K. And for a more affordable price to boot.
According to Android Community, this new update takes an extra 158MB of the Chromecast’s existing storage space. However, because the new patch actually optimizes the storage, users report they have an extra 200-300MB after the fact.
Also included is better DRM video encoding, a dedicated uninstall apps menu, and the latest security update. Sadly, the device still runs a version of Android 10, which first launched in 2019, and this is the October 2021 version. Still, better security is always a bonus.
You can update your Chromecast by heading into the Settings menu > System > About > System Update. Just make sure you have enough space, otherwise you’re going to miss out on all these upgrades.
Unless you watch your television in a completely dark, cinema-like room, many/most Dolby Vision titles are unwatchable. Take a show like Ozark, on Netflix. This show's cinematography as a "style" is already shot very dark. If you switch on the Dolby Vision, the dark areas can't be seen. It's a complete waste of time. In many cases, people not only turn "OFF" the Dolby Vision, but turn on the enhanced brightness on the TV's in order to see what's going on.
Dolby Vision is worthless for home viewing, and Dolby Atmos is useless for home listening.