New Chromecast with Google TV

Well the new “Sabrina” is out

It’s more properly called “Chromecast with Google TV”. It now runs Android TV… same as the Nvidia Shield does… but with a new front end user interface… that’s the Google TV bit.

@JasonHowell do you have one for review yet?

Mine is stuck in the mail, although I already have the USB-C Ethernet Dongle Power Adapter thingie for it. I’ve been reading about it, and there is one thing that it seems missing, that the Nvidia Shield is also missing.

All these devices seem to assume that merging everyone in the house’s activity and likes and apps into one UI is just fine. Am I the only person who doesn’t want the TV to assume who is watching? Plex and Netflix manage to throw up a choice to select the user… As does the Playstation 4. Is there an option to enable user profiles for Android TV?

Also, the first thing I am going to try is to sideload Stadia. My TV currently has the Stadia Founders Edition Chromecast Ultra, and I am not willing to give up Stadia accessibility on my TV. (Not that I play it that much, but the ENTIRE point of it is the simplicity of play when I want to.)

I got mine last week, I mainly bought it because, Roku still won’t let HBO on their platform, I was getting sick of having to use my phone to cast HBO, and I had $14 in Google store credit.

You can add extra Google accounts so that you can select which account to use for YouTube. To add additional accounts select the user icon and settings.

Currently only the primary account gets the cross service continue watching & recommendations features. However all the other services with multi-user setups still prompt you to select the user when you start their app (e.g. Netflix, Prime Video, HBO). So it is at least useable for multiple people in the household.

The pulling together of continue watching and recommendations across services on the home screen is nice but it doesn’t work for all services (e.g. PBS). Hopefully over time they’ll add full multi-user capability for the home screen and get more services feeding into the system.

One user interface quirk I had was that, unlike every other TV connected device I’ve used, this device uses long press functions on the remote to get to some features/options.

My remote has already received a firmware update and the inclusion of an IR blaster is very helpful. It’s nice not having to use the TV remote for volume, power, and input selection like I have to do with my Roku’s.