Released to resounding success in 2013, Google’s Chromecast is about as simple as streaming devices get. Little more than a conduit that passes streaming video from the cloud to your TV — with your mobile device as the remote control — there’s little to add to Chromecast when it comes to updates. Aside from an app update, the biggest changes for 2015’s second-gen device were a design revamp from a dongle to a puck, and the addition of dual-band Wi-Fi. Really, the only place left for Chromecast to venture was into the world of 4K Ultra HD video. Enter the Ultra.
An inevitable move to mirror the latest in TV technology, the Chromecast Ultra may not look much different, but under the hood is the key to unlocking the best resolution available in streaming land, including support for High Dynamic Range to unleash the rich contrast and expanded color gamut of today’s most eye-popping movies and TV shows. While the upgrade pushes the Ultra’s price to double its predecessors ($69), for those eyeing a versatile way to stream in 4K Ultra HD with HDR, it’s one of the best bargains in town.
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