New Chromecast device leak hints at cheaper Google TV option

With Google juggling so many platforms, it's not easy to keep track of them, much less figure out which one will eventually get axed. This is even more uncertain on the entertainment and multimedia side, where Google has already retired a few services and platforms in the past years. Even the old Chromecast is not safe, with the advent of the Android-powered Google TV. Now it seems that Google might also be shifting away from the Chromecast's standard design, depending on which rumor you're willing to give credence to.

Yea: Chromecast "Boreal"

The "Boreal" name popped up a few days ago as the codename for what is believed to be an Android-powered device, specifically a Chromecast. 9to5Google traced its roots to the Google TV software running on the current "Sabrina" Chromecast dongle. This, in turn, would confirm that Google is really abandoning the old Chromecast software, which was based on Chrome OS, for Android TV on which its Google TV experience is built.

The revelation of a new Chromecast has sparked some excitement and speculation over what's coming. There are some that believe Boreal will be a new device rather than a simple upgrade since it has its own distinct codename. It might finally be the more powerful Chromecast device that fans have been wishing for, particularly one with more storage for content.

Nay: Chromecast HD

Not everyone, however, is convinced that Boreal will actually diverge that much from the standard Chromecast formula. In fact, Android Police reports that the next Chromecast will be more of a downgrade to hit a lower price point.

The device will reportedly be capped at 1080p resolutions, giving it a potential moniker of a Chromecast HD with Google TV. Google is reportedly trying to hit a $40 price tag, which isn't that much of a savings compared to the $50 Chromecast with 4K UHD support.

Whether Boreal will be a set-top box or a remain a dongle, there will be a few things that seem to be common among all rumors. For one, it will be running the latest Android TV based on Android 12 that was announced just a few months ago. The device will also be capable of AV1 decoding, a new format that Google has started to mandate for Android TV itself.

It will be a bit disappointing if Google does choose to release a budget version of its Chromecast rather than a much-requested upgrade, but that wouldn't be out of character for it either.