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Google TV is the latest smart TV platform that wants to change the way you watch the box.
A fresher, more fashionable version of Android TV, which has been widely available on screens from Sony, Philips and others for years, it’s a mix of streaming TV services and Google interaction.
Google TV isn’t available built-in to any smart TVs just yet (Sony is launching the first TVs with it integrated in a month or so), but you can experience Google TV today with this easy to use plug-in gadget. Just slot Chromecast with Google TV into a spare HDMI socket on your TV.
I’ve been trying out Chromecast with Google TV for a few days now, and think it’s probably the slickest connected TV solution you can buy right now.
I’ve seen Chromecast dongles before, but they’ve lacked the functionality of rival streaming sticks. This is a big step forward.
Why we love it
Chromecast with Google TV is home to all the top streaming services, plus catch-up TV, and works with Google Assistant voice control, via a smart remote control with a built-in microphone. You can use voice for programme searches, volume and channel control, and general Google Assistant chit chat.
The interface looks great. The home page is bright and breezy, a top banner offering quick access to movies, shows and apps. There’s also a Search bar and ‘For You’ filter.
Programme recommendations are driven by your viewing habits and Google searches. Over time, it should really begin to nail your preferences.
Streaming app choice is comprehensive. Download the services you’d like from the Play store - there’s Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube, Apple TV+, Spotify, BT Sport, Twitch, BBC iPlayer, ITV hub and My5, to name just a few.
If you stumble across something you want to watch, add it to your Watchlist. There are also casual games to pass the time.
Of course, with Chromecast you can also stream any online content from your smartphone to the TV, as long as it’s compatible.
Chromecast with Google TV is 4K HDR capable, and has support for cinematic Dolby Atmos sound. Don’t be daunted by the tech. I just left most of the settings on Auto.
If you want a smarter TV, but don’t feel the need to invest in a new flatscreen, we rate Chromecast with Google TV a brilliant upgrade.
It's also currently included in Currys PC World’s Epic Deals event, so you can purchase the device for £5 cheaper than usual.
Buy it: Google Chromecast with Google TV | £54.99 (Was £59.99)
Also available from John Lewis
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