Chromecast with Google TV will get a groundbreaking new trick

Google is using its next-generation streaming box, the Chromecast with Google TV, to trick viewers into subscribing to its video game streaming platform, Google Stadia. Owners of the latest Chromecast have started with the Netflix for Games service showing up in the For You tab.

The latter is one of the biggest differences between Chromecast with Google TV and previous set-top boxes under the Chromecast brand. While previous iterations were entirely smartphone-controlled, with users selecting an episode or movie on their phone and then casting the video on the Chromecast, the recently redesigned model has its own menu and streaming apps.

As you watch the video, Chromecast uses Google TV to make suggestions that suit your tastes. These recommended movies and box sets appear on the For You tab. It’s unclear whether Google is targeting its Google Stadia recommendation to specific viewers based on their interests, or whether it believes everyone will enjoy its latest subscription service.

If you’re subscribed to Google Stadia, all the games you play are treated like box sets and movies in the Google TV interface. So you can jump directly to your newest title under the heading “Last played game” on the homepage. Stadia can also be added to the Your Services page from the Settings menu.

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Google Stadia launched in November 2019, with the free tier to follow in April 2020. Stadia lets you play blockbuster video games on a variety of devices, from smartphones to tablets and Chromecasts. While none of these gadgets have the processing power of a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, Google makes it possible to play top-notch games by doing all of the processing on their server farms.

While Google does all of the complex rendering required, all your device needs to do is stream the resulting footage.

Hence, devices designed just for a box set binge on Netflix can play some of the biggest video game franchises. That’s because they only stream footage – just like they do when watching Netflix. Google Stadia supports resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD at 60 frames per second and supports high dynamic range (HDR) images.

This is similar to what we see from the latest generation of game consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

With a deeper integration into Chromecast with Google TV, it will be interesting to see if more people swap their consoles for streaming dongles to play the latest tracks. If Stadia isn’t your thing at all, keep your fingers crossed that Google will soon stop populating your Chromecast homepage with recommendations for it.

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