Thanks to a series of comprehensive leaks about the upcoming Chromecast with Google TV, there isn’t much left for Google to actually reveal at today’s launch. The dongle going on sale prematurely also helped us peek at the real thing and what’s inside its retail box. While playing around with the new Chromecast, one buyer just found out that the device supports USB hubs, which could unlock its full potential.
The Chromecast with Google TV isn’t all that different from older Chromecasts physically, but unlike current offerings, the 2020 model uses a USB Type-C port for power. A Redditor hooked up a USB-C hub to the Google dongle, making it compatible with a host of USB peripherals, including input devices like a mouse and a keyboard, webcams, external storage, and even ethernet for wired internet. You just need to make sure that the hub you’re planning to use supports pass-through charging, and you’ll be sorted.
While it’s certainly not new for Android TV boxes to support external accessories over hubs, today’s revelation sure gives us a confirmation that the 2020 Chromecast’s compact form factor won’t limit its capabilities. The support for USB hubs makes it much more versatile than any of its direct predecessors in the Chromecast line-up, and opens it up to a whole new world of possible applications.
The new Chromecast with Google TV is set to debut later today at Google’s Launch Night In event alongside two new Pixels and a Nest Audio speaker. It’s expected to be priced at $50.