ChromeCast vs Chromecast Ultra – What’s the Difference?

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Chrome Cast and Chromecast Ultra What’s the Difference

Google made viewing your favorite online shows and movies easier by using Chromecast. As long as your TV has an HDMI port and a stable internet connection, you can access a wealth of content online with your desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

Chromecast is a blessing for people who do not have televisions with “smart” features yet or don’t plan on getting one but need more variety in content.

However, the original Chromecast does not accommodate 4K resolution. And here is where the Chromecast Ultra enters the picture. 

For buyers who aren’t sure what to get, it is time to dig deep into the units’ differences. This article discusses the difference between the OG Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra

What is Chromecast?

cast with google chromecast

Chromecast is a device designed to plug into the HDMI port of your TV. It operates with some help from a USB cable and works jointly with your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Your smartphone or any choice device serves as its remote control. 

Chromecast is used to access video content from apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, the Google Play Store, and other similar services. Users can also use the Chrome browser on their PCs or laptops to score content. 

Users can now control the device through vocal commands by using Google Assistant. Setting up the Chromecast for this is easy since Google already presents comprehensive instructions.

Just link the device to your smartphone, PC, or tablet to a similar network, and you can get your preferred content using your voice. 

Chromecast is portable and compact. This may seem like it’s travel-friendly. But think again; it only works well with Wi-Fi networks that do not have a captive portal. This means Wi-Fi networks with one need browser-based logins, which is something Chromecast does not support. 

What is the Chromecast Ultra?

chromecast ultra hdr 4k streaming

The Chromecast Ultra supports current 4K and HDR content, which is the device’s vital point. Pair the device with an HDR/4K TV plus matching content, and it can provide excellent 4K content with vivid colors, effortless streaming, and crystal-clear images. 

The device already comes with the latest Wi-Fi and Ethernet adapter, so you can get smooth streaming using either connection. The Ultra, like its predecessor, is portable and compact as well. It fits nicely on all entertainment systems. 

The Ultra operates well with popular devices like the Chromebook Pixel, iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets, plus laptops from Windows and Mac. The device of your choice for the Ultra, whether your phone or laptop, will serve as its remote control. 

The Chromecast Ultra can be used on standard HDTVs; however, it requires such TVs to accommodate 4K resolution. It must have an HDMI port as well to plug the device in. Like Chromecast, it requires a broadband internet connection. 

The Differences Between the Original Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra

comparison of chromecast

The differences between the two devices are on the minimal side. However, they have one glaring difference—Chromecast only supports content up to 1080p. At the same time, the Ultra model can play up to 4K resolution videos, complete with HDR color technologies. 

The latter refers to high-dynamic-range videos. HDR videos have many pixels covered compared to regular 1080p, and every pixel tackles a broader range of light output and color selection. Thus, it translates to crisper pictures with vivid, precise details. 

The devices also differ when it comes to price. The Ultra, of course, is more expensive at $70. Standard Chromecasts typically sell at $35. 

In addition, instead of a USB connection, the Ultra presents a port for an Ethernet cable and an external power source. 

Lastly, the Ultra model operates with Google’s Stadia, the company’s contribution to cloud-based gaming. Then again, to make this work, you need to have a Stadia controller so you can play Stadia games using the Ultra. 

Which Chromecast Model Should You Choose?

chromecasting differences

It’s not that difficult choosing between the two. Because as explained earlier, the only sizable difference between the original Chromecast and the Ultra model is the video resolution they accommodate. 

Predictably, those without 4K-supportive televisions should opt for the Chromecast instead. If you do not have immediate plans to watch 4K content and are pretty satisfied with 1080p videos, the Chromecast will suit your needs. 

However, if you can’t wait to try out 4K videos and already have a TV that matches such specifications, have a beefed-up internet connection at home that’s capable of taking in higher bandwidths, and have the budget for it, you are more than ready for the Chromecast Ultra. 

The Chromecast Ultra is also an advantage for users who want to play games on Google Stadia.

You can save a bit if you splurge on the Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra package. 

Remember, even if you own a television that supports 4K content, you must check if your streaming services have 4k and HDR videos available.

You also need to consider the speed of your internet connection at home, whether it’s dependable or not. Up until then, your needs will be taken care of by the original Chromecast. 

Google is up to date when it comes to streaming media adapters. Their latest is the Chromecast Ultra, which allows users to view stunning 4K and HDR content.

It is also compatible with Google’s cloud-based gaming system – the Stadia. 

Such devices have made lots of different content available, and at times, keeping up with the influx of shows and movies can be challenging. 

This is good news though, for avid TV and movie buffs. There’s no need for cable or Pay Per View; all you have to do is go to your favorite streaming services, and you can get new and old content.

View old favorites and watch new ones online; that’s the beauty of these latest crops of streaming media devices. 

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