Virtually all new 4K TVs are smart TVs — that is, they feature built-in ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity for streaming digital content without the need for an external streaming device — but if you don’t have one of these TVs yet, they’re not exactly small purchases. However, the good news is that you’ve got some options: Streaming devices like the Google Chromecast are an easy way to turn virtually any reasonably modern television with an HDMI port into a smart TV, allowing you to stream popular services like Netflix and Hulu (and many others, including premium channels like HBO Go) right on your home internet network.
Today’s best Chromecast deals
- — $30
- — $69
- — $70, was $75
Chromecast vs. Chromecast Ultra
There are two Chromecast models on the market today, and which one you need will largely come down to what sort of TV you’re hooking it up to. The standard Chromecast, now in its third generation, can stream video content up to a resolution of 1080p; the Chromecast Ultra is capable of 4K HDR streaming, however, so if you have an Ultra HD TV (and one that doesn’t have built-in streaming capabilities as almost all modern 4K televisions do), then that’s the one you’ll want to spring for. The only requirement is that your TV must have an HDMI port as this is how the Chromecast dongle interfaces with the television.
What happened to Chromecast Audio?
Chromecast Audio was a unique little dongle that allowed you to stream content such as music and podcasts to any “dumb” speaker, similar to how the other Chromecast players allow you to use a “dumb” TV like a smart TV. Chromecast Audio never quite caught on, however, due to lack of demand for such a device as well as the huge popularity of audio streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. If you’re looking for something like Chromecast Audio, then we recommend the , which offers audio streaming along with Alexa A.I. and a built-in speaker for around the same price.
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