We’ve already heard plenty of rumors about the possibility of a cheaper Chromecast with Google TV, complete with HD resolution rather than 4K. Now a developer claims to have got hold of a full build of the device’s software — revealing some new details about the device.
Kuba Wojciechowski is known for diving into Google software, though the blame is being put on the “Nest team’s incompetence” for allowing a full build from July to fall into the developer's hands. And while they confirmed the build will not be posted publicly, Wojciechowski is happy to share snippets on Twitter that seemingly confirm various details and features.
Google’s new Chromecast HD has leaked plenty of times over the past few months. From spec leaks in January to full device photos from regulatory reports this week and now, thanks to Nest team’s incompetence, I’ve now obtained its full software build. pic.twitter.com/rSZkpxA62rSeptember 12, 2022
The first is that the code seemingly confirms the “Chromecast HD” branding, and the fact that this device should be running Android 12 with Google TV. It also appears to have 1.5GB of RAM, half a gigabyte less than the 4K Chromecast with Google TV, which will likely prevent the new streamer from upgrading to Android 13 — which requires at least 2GB of RAM.
Wojciechowski notes that such an upgrade could be possible, had the RAM situation been different. Evidently the new device supports A/B updates, which allows updates to bypass storage and instead be streamed directly to partitions.
They note that storage issues are what prevented the 4K Chromecast with Google TV getting anything higher than Android 10. So while this new Chromecast will likely miss Android 13, it should help streamline future software updates and bug fixes.
Other notes include the fact that the firmware diagram suggests the remote is either similar or identical to that from the 4K model. Meanwhile, the device is said to run on an Amlogic S805X2 chip, a downgrade from the 4K’s S905X3, and to have AV1 encoding — something the 4K model actually lacks. Wireless duties are reportedly handled by a NXP 88W8987 with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2.
The code doesn’t reveal anything about potential price tags, design or even when the Chromecast HD will launch — which isn’t a huge surprise. However, a previous leak claimed that it would cost €40 in Germany, whereas the 4K model costs €70. Considering the 4K Chromecast is $50, we suspect that we’re looking at a price somewhere around $30.
Presumably the design will be close to that of the 4K Chromecast, though we still don’t know what sort of quality to expect. The 4K model is one of the best streaming devices, so there's a lot riding on the HD model's shoulders.
As for a potential launch date, our best guess is the October 6 ‘Made by Google’ event, which is where we’re expecting to see the launch of the Google Pixel 7 range and other Google-made devices. It’s as good a place as any to drop a new, cheaper Chromecast.