Google has launched the upgraded version its media player Chromecast and Chromecast Audio in India. Both devices cost Rs 3,399 but offer certain distinct features targeted for either video, or audio consumption. The selling price approximately converts to $51, nearly 50% more than its release price of $35. Note that the original Chromecast launched in 2014 in India at the cost of Rs 2,999.
Both devices are available via Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Reliance Digital and Croma. As an introductory offer, the devices are currently offering a 6 month free subscription to Saavn and HOOQ.
The newer Chromecast was launched by Google at the Nexus event in October last year. The device now looks like a small circular medallion rather than its previous avatar of an oversized USB stick. The company claims that the new form factor will provide better WiFI coverage, and allow it to cast in 1080p whenever possible. The device also claims to provide higher picture quality.
The other version, the Chromecast Audio, features a 3.5mm jack instead of an HDMI port. Users can hook this up to their speakers and stream audio from their phones or other audio streaming apps. Both these devices are controlled via a new app as well, that according to reviews is significantly better than the old app. Other than the looks and a separate audio streaming version, the new and old Chromecasts have similar features. The newer version also supports dual-band wifi (2.4 & 5GHz), which can help cut down on buffering time.
Is Chromecast worth buying?
When the first Chromecast was launched in India, we said that the device is extremely easy to use and just start streaming content. On desktops, it works through a Chrome extension, allowing users to cast any specific Chrome tab. Media center apps like Plex also offer Chromecast support. That being said, you need to have an Internet connection with decent speeds (more than 2 Mbps) to stream online content.
There are some other options to Chromecast, for example a Raspberry Pi 3 loaded with Kodi is significantly more powerful than a Chromecast in functionality and at Rs 3,000, is slightly cheaper. However, it requires users to know how to install an operating system and deal with bugs as well as out of the box components to hook up to a TV. Other devices like Teewe, which raised Rs 11 crore in March last year, also provides features similar to Chromecast, at a lower price point.