The Chromecast Ultra includes advanced features like 4K, high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Vision support, faster speeds and WiFI improvements.
Announcing the device alongside a raft of other products at a launch event in San Francisco yesterday, Google said that Chromecast Ultra users will initially be able to stream 4K content from Netflix, YouTube and Vudu, with Google Play Movies and TV due to roll out 4K content later this year.
“Chromecast Ultra loads videos 1.8 times faster than other Chromecast devices and includes major WiFi improvements to support streams from full HD to Ultra HD without a hitch,” said Google in a blog post marking the launch.
The device looks similar to the current generation of Chromecast but also adds Ethernet support for a wired web connection.
Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra will also work with Google Home – the new Amazon Echo-rivalling voice-activated speaker that Google launched yesterday – to allow users to control their TV hands free by speaking commands.
Google last updated its Chromecast in September 2015 when it launched a a second generation Chromecast, along with a Chromecast Audio device for music and audio streaming.
Speaking at the Google event yesterday, Mario Queiroz, who leads Google’s product management group within hardware, said that since last year overall Chromecast watch-time has increased 160%. He also said that Google had now sold more than 30 million Chromecast devices.
Chromecast Ultra will be available in the US priced at US$69 and 15 other countries including the UK where it will cost £69, from next month.