With improved Wi-Fi and a flexible cable, the second-generation Chromecast is an even better choice for streaming the latest entertainment to your TV.
What is Chromecast 2?
Chromecast 2 (often simply called Chromecast) is the second generation of Google's Chromecast media player. Like its predecessor, Chromecast 2 takes the form of a small dongle that plugs into your TV through the HDMI port and acts as a receiver for audio and video content streamed through your home Wi-Fi network or over the Internet. Mobile apps and websites that support the Google Cast network protocol can be "cast" to Chromecast 2, letting you watch YouTube videos, Netflix shows, Twitch streams and more on the big screen.
What's the difference between Chromecast 2 and the original Chromecast?
Launched in September 2015, Chromecast 2 ditched the flash-drive appearance of the first-generation Chromecast for a sleeker disc-shaped design. Instead of plugging into the HDMI port directly, Chromecast 2 sports a flexible HDMI cable that takes up less space and fits more comfortably into crowded TV panels.
Internally, Chromecast 2 features a new network adaptor that improves Wi-Fi performance and adds support for 802.11ac as well as the 5GHz frequency band. It also includes three antennae that it'll switch between to achieve the best connection to your router. All this leads to a smoother streaming experience on Chromecast 2 over the original model.
What can Chromecast 2 do?
All the functionality of the original Chromecast remains intact in Chromecast 2. By connecting your mobile device to Chromecast 2 through supported apps like YouTube and Netflix, you can stream audio and video content over the Internet to your TV. Certain websites also feature Chromecast support, letting you connect to the device through Google Chrome using the Cast browser extension.
Alternatively, the Cast browser extension can be used to mirror entire web pages, even if they don't explicitly support Chromecast. While this allows you to display any website you want on your TV, the picture quality is typically a lot lower than when streaming through a supported app or website, and video playback is often choppy. The same goes for using the screen mirroring feature available on select Android 4.4+ devices.
What apps and services support Chromecast 2?
Hundreds of different apps feature support for Chromecast and Chromecast 2. Here are some of the most popular:
How much does Chromecast 2 cost?
Chromecast 2 has superseded the original Chromecast on store shelves, and as such you'll likely see it sold simply as "Chromecast". Retail price is $59, but you can often pick it up for as little as $39 on sale. Chromecast 2 comes in your choice of black, red or yellow, and you can find it for sale at retailers like Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Officeworks.
Chromecast 2 specs
- 52mm x 52mm x 13.5mm
- 39.1 grams
- Power cable length
- Max resolution
- 802.11ac @ 2.4GHz/5GHz
- Video out
- Micro USB