Google’s Chromecast Ultra is now on sale in Australia

Alex Kidman 24 November 2016

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Google’s 4K-capable set top box can now be yours.

We’ve known of the existence of the Chromecast Ultra for some time now, and that when it launched in Australia, initially tipped for "November", it would cost $99. Google has now made it available to Australians via its online Google Store, as well as at retail from JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks.

$99 is a fair uptick from the asking price of previous Chromecast generations, so what are you getting for your money? The key upgrade for this generation of Chromecast is support for 4K HDR video, presuming you’ve got a broadband pipe that’s happy enough to stream 4K video in the first place. If not, you should drop your address into our NBN checker to find out when you will.

4K video is a data hungry application, so to support that, the Chromecast Ultra also provides Ethernet connectivity along with the Wi-Fi connectivity that has been a part of previous Chromecast generations. For most folks, Wi-Fi should be acceptable for up to 1080p streaming, but 4K would really be stretching matters.

The other key factor that plays into the Chromecast Ultra’s favour is that it is designed to be genuinely easy to set up. That’s largely because it really is just a simple receiver, with whatever content you want to throw at it (or, in Google’s terminology, "cast" at it) coming from an external source, be that a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

The Chromecast Ultra supports multiple streaming applications including Netflix, ABC iView and Stan, but again it doesn’t have the smarts to handle those itself; instead you launch them from an external device and send the video content stream to the Chromecast Ultra to handle from there.

For your $99, you’re also getting a power adaptor, which is new to the Chromecast range, as previous models relied on you using a standard micro USB charger to provide power to the device. The adaptor is also used to house the ethernet port for the Chromecast Ultra.

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