The Google Chromecast Ultra (opens in new tab) is a small, powerful 4K HDR player designed for anyone who wants to stream on a budget.
Although it normally costs $69, B&H Photo Video is currently offering the hockey puck-shaped player for $59.
The circular dongle attaches to your TV via its own HDMI connector. It requires a constant connection to an outlet, so you'll want to make sure you have a spare outlet nearby. We found that it's a bit of an awkward setup, but given how much power a 4K machine needs to draw, it's somewhat understandable.
The way it works is simple. Just download the Google Home app on your iOS or Android device and the app will provide you with a list of compatible apps, which you can then download from iTunes or the Google Play Store.
Each app then gets a "cast" button, which you press from your device whenever you want to "cast" something to your HDTV. Your handheld isn't doing any work, it just sends a signal to the Chromecast, so you're free to use your phone or tablet while your shows play. App compatibility ranges from Netflix to Spotify.
If you can live with the awkward setup, the Google Chromecast Ultra (opens in new tab) is one of the least expensive ways to give your HDTV a smart upgrade, especially if you're not on the Amazon bandwagon.