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Google has launched a new device under its Chromecast lineup with the release of the Chromecast with Google TV. The new Chromecast device comes with useful features like a personalized home screen with recommended content from all your streaming subscriptions, an app store to download new apps and services, Google Voice assistant, and many more.
In this post, we’ll be discussing everything that’s new with the Chromecast with Google TV, what it offers, how it compares with previous Chromecast devices, how and where to buy it, and should you buy it or not. Let’s get started.
What is Google TV Stick aka Chromecast with Google TV?
The Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s latest Chromecast device that moves beyond just screen-casting and welcomes a new way to interact with your television using an Android-TV like experience that the Mountain View company calls Google TV. What this means is Google TV is Google’s version of an Android TV but with a dedicated user interface that is fully-equipped with media streaming features.
Think of Google TV as Google’s version of Android TV. If Android TV is the stock UI for all TVs running on Android like stock Android on smartphones, Google TV is like the Android UI running on Google’s Pixel phones. Just like other Android TVs, Google TV also supports access to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Hulu, and Disney Plus. You can access content from other sources by installing apps like you would on your Android phone.
Google’s new Chromecast device also comes with its own remote control that has a dedicated Google Assistant button to call up the Assistant at any time or screen. There are also quick access buttons that let you open the YouTube and Netflix apps. Other features include 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, a live channel guide, browsing movies and TV using Google Play.
Chromecast with Google TV is available for an asking price of $49.99 in three colors – Snow, Sunrise, and Sky.
How does it compare with older Chromecast devices?
If you wish to know what’s different between the new Chromecast with Google TV and the previous generation of Chromecast devices, then the following table should explain it to you.
Feature Chromecast with Google TV Previous-generation Chromecast
Video Resolution Supports up to 4K HDR Supports up to 1080p HD
Voice Remote Yes, with a dedicated Google Assistant button No
Content Streaming Uses Google TV to let you browse content from the home screen, install apps and search within them, get personalized recommendations Not available
Manage smart home devices Yes Not supported
Ability to pair with Nest devices Compatible with Nest displays and speakers Compatible with Nest displays and speakers
Cast from Android/iOS Yes Yes
Play games via streaming Supported with Google Stadia (coming in 2023) Not supported
What do you get with Chromecast with Google TV out of the box?
When you buy the Chromecast with Google TV, you get the following accessories inside the box.
Chromecast with Google TV: Plugs directly into the TV using an HDMI port; comes with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity; supports 4K HDR, 60 FPS, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos.
Voice Remote: Comes with Integrated microphone for Google Assistant; Bluetooth connectivity; IR to control TV, soundbar, or receiver; has an Accelerometer sensor
2x AAA batteries
What can you bundle along with Chromecast with Google TV?
While you can buy it individually for $49.99, Google is offering the Chromecast with Google TV with different bundles. You can take a look at all the bundles below:
Double the Entertainment Package for $129.98: 2x Chromecasts with Google TV + Netflix for 6 months
Around the House Package for $243.99 or $10.17 monthly: Includes Chromecast with Google TV + Nest Hub Max
Home of Entertainment Package for $423.97 or $17.67 monthly: Comes with 1x Chromecast with Google TV + 2x Nest Audio speakers + Nest Hub Max
Google is also offering a Nest Wifi router and point as an add-on for $239 where you might be able to save $30 when adding it to one of these bundles.
Where can I get the new Chromecast with Google TV?
The all-new Chromecast with Google TV and Voice Remote can be purchased on the Google Store in the US and is currently on pre-order for users in the UK, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe.
What do you need to use Chromecast with Google TV?
Before you can start using the new Chromecast with Google TV, you need to make sure that you have the following things:
Chromecast with Google TV, of course!
A TV with an HDMI port
A Wi-Fi network
An Android or iOS smartphone
A Google account that you actively use
Google Home app installed on your phone
How to use Chromecast with Google TV
If you have already bought the new Chromecast with Google TV and are finding it hard to understand the basics of using it, the guides below will help you use the new streaming device and make the most of it.
How to set up ‘Chromecast with Google TV’ and pair Chromecast remote
So you’ve brought home the new Chromecast with Google TV and you’re looking to pair your remote and Chromecast to set it up for the very first time. Worry not! The guide below should help you get your new Chromecast device up and running.
▶ How to set up ‘Chromecast with Google TV’ and pair Chromecast remote
How to Cast to Google TV Chromecast From Your Android, iPhone, and Windows PC
In case you didn’t know, while the new Chromecast offers to be able to stream content, it still offers you easy casting from your smartphone to your TV like all previous Chromecast devices. You can take a look at how you can cast to the all-new Google TV from your mobile device by going through the guide below.
▶ How to Cast to Google TV Chromecast From Your Android, iPhone, and Windows PC
How To Add a Movie or TV Show to Watchlist
Chromecast with Google TV streamlines your home screen with personalized recommendations and content from the services you’re subscribed to but also lets you add items to your watchlist on your own.
▶ How To Add a Movie or TV Show to Watchlist on Google TV Chromecast
How to remove the lock icon on Google TV Chromecast
If you’re already using the new Google TV Chromecast, then you might have noticed a lock icon that appears below certain movies and TV show thumbnails. What this lock essentially means is that you aren’t subscribed to a particular service yet and will have to pay to watch that content on your TV. Follow the guide below to remove the lock icon on the Chromecast with Google TV device.
▶ How to remove the lock icon on Google TV Chromecast
How to fix Voice Remote pairing with Google TV Chromecast
Some users have been reporting problems while pairing the Voice Remote with the new Chromecast with Google TV. If you are having this problem too, then fear not as we have a fix for it in the guide we’ve prepared below.
▶ Can’t pair Voice Remote with Google TV Chromecast? Here’s how to fix the issue
Can’t Cast to Google TV Chromecast? Here’s How to Fix It
The new iteration of Google Chromecast brings with it a new remote, a new UI, and a bunch of new features to use but like any new electronic device comes with its own set of issues, bugs, and caveats. If you’re having trouble while casting your videos and shows, then take a look at the guide below to get your new Chromecast with Google TV running like it’s meant to be.
▶ Can’t Cast to Google TV Chromecast? Here’s How to Fix It
Why should you buy the Chromecast with Google TV?
The following are some reasons that make the Chromecast with Google TV something that you should buy:
It’s cheap at just $49.99
Supports 4K HDR streaming
Can play HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision video formats
Watch live TV with YouTube TV
Comes with a remote offering dedicated Netflix and YouTube buttons
Offers Google Assistant
Screen-cast from iOS or Android phone
Shows you recommended content based on your watch history
Can be paired with Nest displays and speakers
Can manage other smart home devices
Why should you NOT buy the Chromecast with Google TV?
With the extent of its options, Google’s new Chromecast device still fails to impress for a few reasons like:
Doesn’t come with Google Stadia support out of the box
Doesn’t feature buttons for play/pause, forward, or rewind
Support for 4K upscaling not available like the Nvidia Shield TV
8GB of inbuilt storage is quite low in this day and age
Don’t expect to watch Apple TV+
Can’t remap the Netflix button
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Without a VPN app installed, you can only watch videos that are available in your region. You’ll either see an error when you try to watch something that’s only for other regions, or you simply won’t see shows and movies that are only present in other countries.
But go to the app store and install a VPN and you can change your location (virtually, of course) and watch shows as if you were in those regions or countries.
It’s the same if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from the US: you’ll need to connect to a server in London.
The good news is that it’s very easy to use a VPN on an Amazon Fire TV Stick, and we’ll recommend six services that all work well to unblock content from various streaming services.
There’s another benefit of a VPN: it encrypts all the information between your device and the server, so no-one can see which videos you’re watching, whereas a proxy won’t.What do I need to look for in a VPN?
You’ll find a more in-depth guide in our roundup of the best VPN services, but here’s a summary of what you’ll want if you’re choosing a service primarily to use with your Fire TV.
App: It should offer an app in the Fire TV app store
Speed: Servers and connections need to be fast enough to stream video in HD
Choice of servers: There should be servers in the countries or regions where the content is available
Bandwidth: Video uses a lot of data, so you don’t want any cap on your data allowance
Price: You won’t get all of the above for free!
There are other considerations, too, such as the quality and availability of tech support, and whether or not the VPN service keeps logs.
A lot more VPN services now offer apps for Fire TV, and since it’s inconvenient if there isn’t an app, we’ve only recommended services that have one.Best VPNs for Amazon Fire TV NordVPN
NordVPN has a decent interface is tailored for TV use, which means it’s easy to use with your Fire TV remote control.
Performance is among the best of any VPN service and more than enough for streaming video. Speeds are quick enough for 4K video if your broadband connection can also handle that.
NordVPN isn’t only good for your Fire TV: you can use the service on your laptop, phone and other devices – up to six of them at the same time.Surfshark
Surfshark is another excellent VPN for your Fire TV. It isn’t quite as good as Nord at unblocking streaming services, but it’s there or thereabouts, and it’s crucial to remember that things change on a regular basis as the VPN companies play cat and mouse with the streaming services.
There’s 24/7 live chat support if you run into problems unblocking a specific service, and when we last tested Surfshark, it unblocked BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO and others.
The fact that Surfshark undercuts many rivals on price, and allows you to use its service on an unlimited number of devices at the same time makes it a great choice for many.ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is one of the absolute best services for unblocking video. It regularly ensures that around 200 streaming services are available to its users, including some of the more obscure ones that other VPN providers don’t necessarily support.
Services such as Kayo, which streams live sporting events as well as a good selection of Netflix regions (Japan, Australia and France, for example, in addition to Netflix US).
It also prides itself on its security and privacy, as well as its customer service. You do pay more for all this though: ExpressVPN certainly isn’t the cheapest option here.
Of course, there’s a Fire TV app, so it’s quick to install and get up and running on your FireStick, or whichever Fire TV model you have.
There’s even a router app so you can get ExpressVPN to unblock video on games consoles, Apple TV boxes and other devices that don’t support VPN connections.PureVPN
PureVPN is a great all-rounder, and another service that has a Fire TV app ready to install in the app store.
In fact, it has just updated its Fire TV and Android TV apps to increase the available locations from 25 to 96, and added support for 11 more languages. Also useful is the new in-app live chat support.
You shouldn’t choose a VPN service based only on its Fire TV app, but we’ve found PureVPN to reliably unblock videos from various streaming providers whenever we’ve tested it. As of May 2023, it unblocked iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub – all UK-based services – with no issues. Sometimes Netflix would spot we were using a VPN, but generally worked without hassle – the same with Amazon Prime US.
PureVPN allows you to use your subscription on up to 10 devices at once, too.Privado
Privado is one of the newest names in the world of VPN, and is unusual in that it offers a free plan that unblocks a few streaming services including Netflix US, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.
Those on the free tier can choose between servers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico and Argentina.
The only catch, which is fair enough considering it’s free, is that you’re limited to 10GB of streaming per month. Of course, if you want unlimited bandwidth, you can go for a paid subscription.Windscribe
Windscribe is another free VPN that’s worth checking out for streaming video on your Fire TV.
This service offers 10GB bandwidth per month for nothing (just like Privado), though it will only give you 2GB if you don’t enter an email address when you sign up.
The other reason it’s a good option is because the Windscribe app is right there in the app store on your Fire TV so it’s simple to install and set up.
Under Windscribe’s free plan you get to use its servers in US and UK plus Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Hong Kong. The catch here is that you don’t have access to Windflix servers – the ones optimised for streaming – so you’ve no guarantee of unblocking Netflix or other services.
To use those servers, get unlimited bandwidth and access to all of Windscribe’s servers you need to upgrade to one of the Pro plans.
Speeds aren’t wonderful, but as it’s free you can test it out and see if it’s quick enough to stream the videos you want to watch.
Earlier in 2023, Google proudly declared that Photos had crossed the sacred 1 billion users milestone, becoming its ninth product to do so. Most smartphone users already know all about the blessing that is Google Photos. But if you’re only finding out about the free app, there are a couple of things you must know.
First, it is one of the most versatile gallery apps out there, fully capable of whatever stock gallery app you’re using. And second, it offers unlimited free storage for your photos and videos, as long as your photos and videos don’t go above 16MP and 1080P, respectively.
The two aforementioned factors have already made Google Photos one of the most-used applications in the world, but Google still believes there’s room for improvement. In an attempt to make the Photos app more social, Google is introducing a new private messaging feature on all platforms — Android, iOS, and Web. And this piece is all about exploring whether this addition is making the already great Photos app even better.
RELATED: Why Google Photos is the Best Photo Editor App on Android
What is Chat in Google Photos
Google Photos automatically backs up all the photos in your stock gallery app, but there are still some photos, usually shared on instant messaging services, that don’t make their way into Google’s repository. So, in an attempt to remedy the situation, Google has introduced private messaging in the app, which would allow you to share your photos with any individual or group in a heartbeat.
RELATED: How to save photos online for free using Google Photos
How to use Chat in Google Photos
Follow these simple steps to start sharing your photos.
Step 1: Open the Google Photos app. Now, open any photo.
Step 2: Tap on the share icon at the bottom-left corner.
Step 3: Select recipients.
Step 4: Add a message (optional).
Step 5: Hit Send.
You can access an open thread by going into the Sharing tab.
RELATED: Best Google Photos tips you MUST know
What can you share in Chat
Everything you can store, you can share. Yes, that means both photos and videos. To share a video, simply follow the steps mentioned in the previous section.
What’s the quality of photos and videos
Google Photos will maintain the default backup quality. If you were backing up in High quality, your photos will be shared in high quality, as well. If you had opted for Express, your photos will have a lower resolution.
How it is different from live albums, shared albums and shared libraries
As Google clarifies, this new private messaging option is a lot more straightforward and social. Most of us like to have the option of sharing instantaneously, especially when we are considering a single snap. Creating a shared album or shared library, with pre-selected participants, can feel a lot more tedious on such occasions. Google has understood the need of the hour and wishes to rectify it with the help of this reworked messaging option. Select a photo, choose participants, open a thread — it’s that simple.
Can you group share in this?
Yes, group share has also been made simpler in Google Photos. At the time of sharing a photo/video, simply pick the participants, add an optional message, and start chatting. You can also add participants by tapping on the ‘+’ icon adjacent to the last group member’s name.
How to download photos and videos from chat?
Saving a photo/video from a private conversation is also pretty straightforward. Simply tap and hold a photo, go to the three-dot menu, and save to device. The photo will be ready for offline viewing in your gallery.
If you have any questions for Google Photos, let us know.
See also: The best media streaming devices you can buy
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max: $54.99 / £54.99 / €64.99
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a media streaming stick from Amazon that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. It slots in above the Fire TV Stick 4K in Amazon’s portfolio and costs just $5 more. You get some notable upgrades for that little extra cash. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is Amazon’s only streaming device to support Wi-Fi 6 right now. It also matches the Fire TV Cube with 2GB of RAM, and it carries a new quad-core 1.8GHz processor to get you streaming in a hurry and not stuck navigating menus. The stick itself is powered through a Micro-USB port (no USB-C here).
Amazon’s premium streaming stick supports all of the most popular video streaming services and music services like Spotify. It also offers Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support, and you can tap into HDR and 4K Ultra HD quality as well, provided you have a sharp enough TV.
Need some Fire TV apps? Here are a few of our favorites
What’s not so good?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
There’s very little to complain about on Amazon’s latest streaming device. It offers speed, storage, and a great remote. However, the remote itself is starting to feel a little cluttered. Amazon has taken the button count to 17, yet the size and shape of the remote haven’t changed much over the previous generations. Likewise, some will find them useful, but I also didn’t find myself using the hotkeys very often. It’s a shame you can’t remap them.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: Should I buy it?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Amazon’s streaming stick is nearing its final form. If you’re in the market for a new streaming device and already invested in the Amazon ecosystem, it’s hard to put too many above the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Sure, the name is a mouthful, but it offers high-quality streaming options across the board. The powerful remote is all you’ll need if you’ve cut the cord, and the new processor and extra RAM are immediately noticeable.
Learn more: Roku vs Amazon Fire TV — which is right for you?
However, the Fire Stick 4K Max won’t be a perfect choice for everyone. If you’ve built your smart home on a Google foundation, you may want to look at the Chromecast with Google TV ($49.99) instead. It comes with Google’s first-ever Chromecast remote and pairs seamlessly with the Google TV platform and Google Cast. You can also check out Roku’s new Streaming Stick 4K ($49.99). It nearly matches the Fire TV Stick, with HDR and Dolby Vision, and it throws in AirPlay 2 support, though you miss out on Wi-Fi 6.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max includes a faster processor for better performance and WiFi-6 hardware.
See price at Amazon
Frequently asked questions
No, there are no fees directly attached to the Fire TV Stick. However, you’ll have to pay various streaming subscription fees if you plan to add apps like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max.
No, your streaming stick requires a stable Wi-Fi connection to pull content from your favorite services.
Yes, as long as you have a compatible app, you should have no problem playing live TV on your streaming stick.
Knowing the Difference Between Google TV And Android TV
At the outset, Google TV isn’t a replacement for Android TV. It is still Android TV but a revamped version. This means Google TV will still be running Android TV beneath the skin.
With Google TV, one thing is for sure going to happen, you won’t be overwhelmed with apps, instead, the Google TV home screen will be based around recommendations, TV shows and movies will be pulled from streaming services that you are subscribed to. The credit for this goes to Google Assistant and Knowledge Graph.Google TV Vs Android TV – Android Version “Watchlist” – An Exceptional Facet Google TV’s Home Screen
Here’s what we are talking about – Google Assistant has teamed with Knowledge Graph Search. It’ll help you find what to watch. Google Assistant + Knowledge Graph help you find a genre, e.g. romance or sci-fi movie/ TV shows on any of the streaming platforms (e.g. Netflix, Disney +, HBO Max and others)
Are you someone who forgets the name of series or movies? Well! It is not just you, it happens with all of us. But, here’s a great feature that Google TV will bring to you – the “Watchlist”. This feature will allow you to add all your favourite TV series and movies to your “Watchlist” by merely using Google Search on your Smartphone, tablet or another computer.
How cool will that be that after a conversation with a friend, you can instantly say the name of the show or movie, and the same will appear on the “Watchlist” on the big screen?Remote Control
Consider Google Chromecast with Google TV – it comes with its very own remote which first has buttons with which you can control the system. Taking a notch up, the remote also comes with an AI-powered Google Assistant as well. All you have to do to activate it is to press the button and speak and voila! Whichever TV show or movie you have asked for will pop up. The remote also has Netflix and YouTube hotkeys embedded right on the remote itself.Control Your Smart Home Devices
Google TV is well capable of controlling your smart home devices and that too directly from the TV itself. You can view what’s happening on your Nest doorbell or you can switch your Smart home lights on and off straight from your TV screen.What Devices Have Google TV?
As of now the Chromecast with Google TV comes with the goodness of Google TV. However, as mentioned above in the near future all Android TV boxes and Android TVs will have Google TV.Wrapping Up
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Google TV has revamped Android TV with its powerful machine learning and not to forget the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Assistant.
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About the author
Can’t stream HBO Max on your Amazon Firestick? Does the HBO Max app occasionally freeze or crash when watching movies or TV shows? Are videos constantly choppy, lagging, or buffering? Does HBO Max throw different error codes or messages when streaming content?
This tutorial explains why these things happen and covers solutions for HBO Max issues on Fire TV devices. The troubleshooting fixes in this tutorial apply to all Fire TV Stick generations and models.
Table of Contents1. Fix Your Internet Connection
Unstable or slow internet causes HBO Max to buffer videos on your Fire TV. If you’re streaming movies or TV shows in High Definition (HD), ensure your internet connection speed is at least 5Mbps. To stream 4K titles, HBO Max recommends a 25-50 Mbps internet speed.
Use the built-in Fire OS network test to verify your internet network’s connection status.
Use web-based tools like chúng tôi or chúng tôi to check your connection’s download speed.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) sometimes slows down your internet connection. Disconnecting your VPN app can improve network and streaming quality on your Fire TV. Contact your internet service provider for assistance if your connection remains unstable.2. Check HBO Max Server Status
HBO Max may not work on your devices if the servers powering the streaming service are experiencing an outage. Use third-party site-monitoring tools like DownDetector or ServicesDown to check if there’s a problem with HBO Max’s servers.
The tools provide real-time status reports for HBO Max’s video streaming service, app, and website. Contact HBO Max Support if these tools and other users report an incident with the streaming service.3. Update HBO Max
HBO Max may malfunction or display error codes if the app is bug-ridden or outdated. App updates often ship with bug fixes and performance improvements. Updating HBO Max could remove bugs causing the problems.
Open the Fire TV
menu, type “hbo max” in the search bar, and select
in the suggestions.
Navigate to the
app preview and press the
button on your Fire TV Remote.
in the bottom corner of the screen.
icon to update the HBO Max app on your Amazon Fire TV to the latest version. HBO Max is up-to-date if you only find an option to
We recommend configuring your Fire TV to update HBO Max and other outdated apps.4. Force Close and Reopen HBO Max
Does HBO Max freeze on your Fire TV Stick when watching movies or TV shows? Force-closing the HBO Max might get the app working correctly again.
to terminate the HBO Max app on your Fire TV device.
to reopen HBO Max and check if force-closing the app restored it to normalcy.
Using too many applications simultaneously can also cause HBO Max and your Fire TV Stick to freeze or crash. Force close apps you aren’t using if HBO Max continues to malfunction. That frees up system memory for HBO Max to run normally.5. Clear HBO Max App Cache & Data
Corrupt data and overaccumulation of cache files can cause Fire TV apps to malfunction. Force close HBO Max, delete its cache data and reopen the app.
Clear HBO Max’s storage data if the problem persists after clearing the app’s cache. Deleting the app’s data signs out your HBO Max account and erases all in-app settings.
Select Clear data and select Clear data again on the next page.
Open HBO Max, sign in to your account, and check if the app now works properly without any issues.6. Restart Your Fire TV
Power-cycling Fire TV devices often eliminate temporary system glitches responsible for app failures. Open the Fire TV Settings menu, select My Fire TV, and select Restart to initiate a system reboot.7. Update Your Fire TV Device
Select Install Updates to install a pre-downloaded update.
Don’t press any button on the Fire TV Remote during the update process—button presses can interrupt the firmware update. Launch HBO Max when your Fire TV comes back on, and check if the update resolves the problem.8. Uninstall and Reinstall HBO Max
Install HBO Max from scratch if the app still doesn’t work correctly after trying all the troubleshooting fixes above.
Select Confirm on the pop-up, restart your Fire TV when the uninstallation is complete, and reinstall HBO Max.Fire Up HBO Max
At least one of these solutions should fix HBO Max and get the app working correctly on your Fire TV. Contact HBO Max support or Amazon Device Support if the problem persists. While you seek technical support, watch HBO Max on the mobile app, web browser, and other compatible streaming devices.
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