Google TV is the latest iteration of Google's smart TV software, having made its debut on the latest Chromecast a few months back. Sony's new Bravia XR TVs are among the first to arrive with Google TV built-in, and they have some other noteworthy features as well.
Google TV, the Android user's hub for searching out and tracking streaming content, recently dumped support for Netflix content. That means if the show you're looking for is on Netflix, you'd have to tap around more to find it. But if your show is on Comcast's Peacock service instead, that's not the case anymore.
YouTube TV isn't cheap. Subscribers do get a lot of channels for the money, at least, and now it looks like they might be getting even more than they bargained for. Google just started sending out emails to some current users inviting them to claim a free Chromecast with Google TV — but hurry, because the offer expires later this month.
Scanning through tens of streaming services and hundreds of shows and movies to find that one perfect title is not only time-consuming but also exhausting (TIL, it even has a word: Showverload). Google, being that one nice guy around, wants to fix that for you with its all-new Google TV interface. The highly personalized service is getting a new tool to better understand your likes and dislikes, which will help Google tune its content recommendations to match your preferences.
When it announced the new Chromecast, Google heralded its new Google TV interface layer as an excellent content discovery experience aimed at helping you find what to watch without worrying about the logistics of the 'where' and 'how.' In many ways, the promise is fulfilled and we think you won't be disappointed at all by your $50 purchase. But if you don't live alone and have kids, a roommate, or a partner with a different taste, the experience is far from ideal. Google TV is clearly built for a single user, from the homescreen to Assistant and various other apps.
Google TV is meant to act as a starting point for your watching experience by letting you look up titles and see where you're able to watch them including through your current streaming memberships. One of the participating services was Netflix, but it appears that the behemoth has dropped from the Android app.
Google introduced dynamic audio grouping on the Nest Hub and other Assistant-enabled smart displays earlier this year. The feature allows devices to be added and removed from audio groups on the fly without needing to edit groups beforehand. This ability started rolling out in the Google Home app last week — and it enables a workaround that lets you cast videos to Chromecast devices while the audio plays on Nest speakers.
The Chromecast with Google TV isn't like your old Chromecast — it's the first to come with proper Android TV and a remote that even works with your TV or soundbar. However, that's where some problems are introduced. Depending on how you've set up the Chromecast remote, you might notice that it's become impossible to control the volume via Google Assistant or your handset when you cast from your phone. Here's what you need to know if you want to enable that functionality.
Google has announced a new streaming dongle, and it comes with perhaps the best evidence yet that time is cyclical: the new Chromecast runs "Google TV." No, not that Google TV—a new thing that's based on Android but designed for TVs. No, not that Android TV. I know, it's confusing. What's not confusing is that the dongle is essentially a better version of the Chromecast Ultra. It streams 4K video, has a remote, and there are some new features in Google TV. Granted, the new Google TV isn't perfect, but at $50, it's hard to complain.