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Flagship Chromecast Needed by Google TV

The $50 Chromecast with Google TV was an excellent launch vehicle for Google’s latest attempt at creating a streaming platform, but as the year progresses, more people are becoming aware of the device’s faults. As we previously learned, Google is working on a new Chromecast gadget, but this one will be even more budget-friendly — here’s why we’d like to see a “flagship.” To summarise the previous several days, we reported on Friday that Google is developing a new Chromecast device codenamed “Boreal.” The device, which we’ve heard will be released this year, will be similar to the existing Chromecast, “Sabrina,” which runs Google TV.

Protocol has contributed to the picture today, stating that “Boreal” will be a less expensive Chromecast variant that does away with 4K capabilities in order to reduce the cost of entry. The Android TV OS, on which Google TV is based, has grown by over 30 million devices in just a year, and TCL claims to have sold over 10 million units last year alone. The Chromecast was the catalyst for this trend, and it certainly did so with a bang. The reasonable, but not extremely cheap technology was sufficient to demonstrate Google TV capabilities and serve as a reliable content conveyance for the majority of users.

However, it isn’t the best example of what other manufacturers should strive to match, if not better. The Chromecast has its flaws, and they aren’t easily remedied by a less expensive solution. The most serious problem, which we’ve discussed extensively, is the severely limited storage that can’t be easily expanded. For a home streamer that’s essentially built to consolidate streaming apps as more and more come to market, 8GB of storage isn’t enough. And this is a problem that a less expensive product will not be able to fix. It’s simply not possible to believe that a gadget with lower-end hardware and a lower price tag will have greater storage.

Another major issue with the current Chromecast with Google TV is performance, which has been a problem in a number of regions. The internal CPU and 2GB of RAM are plenty for streaming videos, however the homescreen frequently lags, and other slowdowns are not unusual. Again, this is a problem that a low-end device cannot tackle. According to the newest source, the “Boreal” will be powered by an Amlogic S805X2, rather than the current model’s Amlogic S905X3. Even if 4K output is gone, dropping from 1.9GHz to 1.2GHz with a less powerful GPU doesn’t sound like a winning combination.

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