People always love to watch movies and TV shows on the big screen. Google had made this come true by developing Chromecast, a popular streaming device. It allows you to stream the media contents from smartphone, tablet, and computer to your TV’s screen. It costs less than a smart TV, so Chromecast can be the best option for those who want to cut the cord and cable bills. However, the initial version of Chromecast models doesn’t support 4K and HDR. Thus Google has come with another device called Chromecast Ultra, which supports 4K and HDR. However, it is a little expensive model than the original Chromecast. In this article, let’s discuss Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra to find out which one is the best streaming device.
Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, both devices, allow you to stream the contents on your TV’s screen. And both are small devices that need to be connected through the TV’s HDMI port. Though the setup is the same, both vary with their features. Now let’s discuss the key differences between Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra.
Chromecast is a round black disc with a black matte finish and weighs about 40g. It is 2.29 inches or 58mm. There is only a single MicroUSB port on the back of the disc that you will need to connect to either your TV’s USB port or the wall using the wall adapter so you can use the Chromecast on older TVs. Chromecast is available in 3 generation models. The second-generation model is available in bright red, blue, and yellow, while the third-generation model comes with dark charcoal and off-white chalk. Inside the Chromecast, you will find an upgraded 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi antenna.
Chromecast Ultra is a glossy round black disc and weighs about 47g. And we can connect through HDMI, Micro, and Ethernet port. It doesn’t have a big change in terms of design-wise when compared to its immediate predecessor. Also, it looks more or less the same puck-like shape as Chromecast. Unlike the original Chromecast, the Ultra can’t be powered by a USB port on your TV. Chromecast Ultra is 2.29 inches. And it doesn’t have much difference in terms of appearance when compared to the Chromecast. The Ultra model still hides behind the TV, and you can use the USB connection to power it to operate. For this, you will have an extra cable that measures 2m.
Related: Chromecast with Google TV – Review, Setup & App Installation
Chromecast streams the contents in 1080p resolution. And it supports 802.11 b/g/n/ac at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz to set up and stream videos. It recommends 5.0 Mbps internet speed to stream the videos. Setting up Chromecast is very easy. Besides streaming, you can use Chromecast to view the pictures and videos that you have stored locally on your device. The one major drawback is it doesn’t support 4k or HDR videos.
In Chromecast Ultra, you get 4K Ultra HD streaming without any buffering. And it supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz WIFI connections. Ultra device comes with the 1×2 Multi-Input Single Output antenna for better speed and lower latency. The minimum recommended speed is 20 Mbps, and to stream Netflix, you need 25 Mbps. On Chromecast Ultra, you can stream content in 4K HDR quality as long as you have an HDR-compatible TV. Further, it offers 2160p UHD streaming.
Apps and Services
There is a wide range of apps available on Google Play Store and App Store with Chromecast support. So you can easily cast and stream all your favorites media content on your Chromecast-connected TV. Both Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra support the same apps. Some of the popular streaming apps that support Chromecast are Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu +Live TV, Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and many more. Moreover, you can also stream music apps like Google Play Music, Pandora, and Spotify. Further, games like Deer Hunter, Alien Invade, Risk-Big screen edition, Tricky Titans, etc., have cast support. You can also play games, view photos, slideshow, and live stream sports and sports apps like Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NHL, NHL Sunday Cricket, MLS Live, NBC Sports, WWE, FPB TV, and more.
Price is the main difference between Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra. Chromecast Ultra costs $69, which is double the price of Chromecast. You can buy Ultra on any sale between $64 to $49. However, Chromecast costs $35, which is a very affordable and budget-friendly price. Further, Ultra has a built-in Ethernet port which costs $16 on the power supply to maintain 4K contents. You can also purchase Google Stadia Premier Edition, which costs $125. It also includes Chromecast Ultra for 3 months of Stadia Pro. However, you can go for Chromecast Ultra if you are interested in Stadia. In case if you want to save money, the best option is Chromecast.
Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra – Specifications
|Dimension||51.9x 51.9 x 13.8 mm||58.20 x 58.20 x 13.70 mm|
|Max. Output video Resolution||1080P||4K UHD|
|Color||Charcoal & Chalk||Black|
|Ports and connectors||HDMI & Micro-USB||HDMI, Micro-USB & Ethernet port|
|Wireless Standards||802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz)||802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) 1×2 MISO|
|Power||5V, 1A power supply||5 Volt DC, 1amp|
Related: Best Chromecast Apps for Android & iOS in 2021
Which One is Best? Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra
When we compare both devices, we could find two major differences. The first one is cost, Chromecast Ultra costs double the amount of Chromecast, and the second one is streaming quality Ultra device streams the video in 4K resolution. Other key features are mostly the same. If you don’t want or are not interested in 4K streaming, then you can go with a Chromecast device. If you need 4K streaming to go with Chromecast Ultra device, paying some extra than Chromecast device. And you can also play Google Stadia on Chromecast Ultra.
On the whole, both are best in one or another way. We leave the choice of choosing one among both to you as different users have different streaming requirements and needs. Hope this article clearly shows the differences between Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra. If you have any suggestions, you can tell us to improve in the comment section.