Google is rounding out its Chromecast family with Chromecast Ultra, a new puck shaped dongle designed for streaming 4K content. In addition to supporting Ultra HD video from apps including Netflix and YouTube, Chromecast Ultra is compatible with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range video content.
Much like past Chromecast devices, the Chromecast Ultra is still predominantly designed for beaming video content from a smartphone to a TV. Rather than acting as a mirroring solution, Chromecast's secret sauce is that content is streamed directly to the dongle (at least after a smartphone or tablet is used to select what you want to watch). This frees up your smartphone or tablet, and should result in lower latency viewing experience.
Notably, Google says Chromecast Ultra features major Wi-Fi, performance, and reliability improvements; as a result, it's almost twice as fast when loading content. The Chromecast Ultra is also the first Chromecast to feature an Ethernet port, just in case your Wi-Fi isn't fast enough for 4K streaming. The Ethernet port is built into the Chromecast Ultra's power adapter.
While Chromecast Ultra will still work with a non-4K TV, you'll want a 4K TV to justify the premium. Locally, Chromecast Ultra will retail for $99, $40 more than the standard Chromecast.
Chromecast Ultra will hit Australian stores before the end of the year. Google is also planning to offer 4K content through Google Play Movies to coincide with the launch.
Chromecast devices are compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone, and iPad.