Chromecast is a scaled-down streaming device or dongle that’s used to play various forms of your media on your home theatre or television. The methodology is simple and truly up to speed. You have to plug in the device into your TV’s HDMI port, gaining access to several streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play.
Chromecast works by forming a connection with your home’s network, giving you options to seamlessly control the device through your Android or iOS, along with PC and Mac as well. You can then use the gadget at hand to stream a great many things on your television, delivering outstanding quality and unparalleled comfort.
Chromecast uses the protocol of Google Cast for its functioning. This means that the service you’re using must be compatible with the latter for Chromecast to work efficiently. Fortunately, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Chrome browser, and many other apps easily support Google Cast.
Chromecast was launched in 2013 with a significant overhaul in 2015, that produced Chromecast 2. It later received an upgrade that led to the formation of Chromecast third-gen but among that birthed Chromecast Ultra. Let’s see how the Ultra edition differs from the basic Chromecast, and whether you should get it or not.
One Major Difference
The first key difference between the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra is the 4K resolution display. One of the best selling points for Chromecast Ultra is how it outputs streaming videos at a massive 3,840 by 2,160-pixel ratio, while Chromecast can only go up to 1,920 by 1,080 ratio of pixels (Full HD), highlighting the Ultra as an obvious class above with more than four times the pixel number.
This new standard maintained by Chromecast Ultra has become the latest fashion for original shows on several streaming giants such as Netflix and Hulu. You can painlessly watch your favorite shows at the comfort of your own home in ultra high definition (UHD) or 4K resolution.
That’s not all that the Chromecast Ultra stands for visually. It also supports High Dynamic Range video (HDR), a fascination to witness in the world of today. HDR has insanely more pixels than basic 1080p videos, and each pixel is better equipped to handle more diversity in color and light, amounting to a mesmerizing viewing experience that’s sure to leave you dazzled. However, not all televisions support HDR, but if you’re fortunate enough to have one, Chromecast Ultra is going to treat you nicely.
Ethernet Cable Support
Another quality trait that’s beyond Chromecast is the addition of an Ethernet adapter with Chromecast Ultra. An ethernet adapter makes it possible for you to connect the device with a router or modem, ensuring the best possible internet connection. This paves the way for reliable, more robust streaming with the Chromecast Ultra, delivering top-grade resolution to its viewers.
A Wi-Fi connection is relatively decent as well, with little to none hassles if you have a praiseworthy router. Still, a wired connection provides you that extra layer of assurity, ultimately becoming the main reason why Netflix will refer a 4K print to your television upon strong feedback from the internet. Otherwise, it doesn’t take long in coming down to 1080p when it observes inconsistent latency- a commonplace over wireless connections.
Moreover, ethernet compatibility comes especially handy to maintain a 4K stream when you’re holed up somewhere the Wi-Fi signals don’t reach well. This could be a basement or any other far-flung corner of your home. In this aspect, the Chromecast Ultra truly shines.
Game With Ultra
Enter Google Stadia, a cloud-based gaming initiative by the industry leaders themselves. It opens up a world of opportunities to play your best-loved games on the go with any device such as a phone, computer, or a tablet, and with any controller, you’d like. Frequent gamers are going to love the fact that Chromecast Ultra is workable with Stadia as well.
It might be in the best of your interests to opt for the Google Stadia’s Premiere Edition, which includes the Stadia controller, and Chromecast Ultra at a great price of $99. The game streaming service packs some impressive features, such as 4K gaming with zero lagging and delays.
Chromecast Ultra takes pride in immensely better speeds while using it. It’s much faster than the regular Chromecast, and boasts “ultra-fast load times.” There is indeed a notable difference that makes the Chromecast Ultra come out on top with this convenient practicality.
The Chromecast Ultra operates with 802.11ac 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi but is also equipped with a 2×1 MISO antenna, which stands for Multi-Input Single Output. This powers the streaming device with unparalleled speeds while providing low latency, minimizing buffering, and loading times while presenting a stunning 4K display.
The Added Power Supply
Chromecast Ultra is also different from Chromecast in this regard that it requires an external power source to operate. It comes built-in alongside the ethernet port and demands a stable power supply for it to run effectively. Beware, though, only a wall socket for the Chromecast Ultra will suffice. Other measures to connect the device will only result in the provision of insufficient power, which fails to ensure the proper functioning of Chromecast Ultra.
Price is another crucial factor that differs between the two. Chromecast will set you back at $35 if you shop from Amazon, while the Chromecast Ultra can be bought for $69. Again, if you’re a gaming enthusiast who happens to own a 4K television, we surefire recommend the Google Stadia Premiere Edition, which allows you to get two great gadgets at a very reasonable price.
As a matter of fact, 2K and 4K streaming are generally high consumers of processing power than the 1080p output. This is similar to why the Pro edition of the PlayStation 4 costs more along with the Xbox One X. Chromecast Ultra can easily stream 4K videos at the comfort of your home, and this explains the added cost.
The Chromecast Ultra is a highly capable and proficient streaming device that’s worth the money at times. However, if you don’t have a 4K TV, you might be better off with the regular Chromecast, which might be a cut below the Ultra edition, but still offers a decent experience.
But, consider Chromecast Ultra the best available option for you if you do have a 4K device. It might be merely obvious to utilize the full potential of your expensive television and watch your favorite shows and even plays games in 4K resolution with Chromecast Ultra. It’s fast, smooth, and super capable when it comes to functionality, and we genuinely recommend this dongle from Google if it comes down to it.