At Google’s hardware launch event in San Francisco today, the company unveiled a new version of its Chromecast streaming dongle. Called the Chromecast Ultra, the newest variation of the gadget can stream 4K video—a very high resolution video that is becoming increasingly more mainstream. The product will be available in Nov. for U.S. consumers and will retail at almost double the price of the preceding model at $69.
For those who do not own a 4K TV, there’s a reason to buy the new streaming device: speed. According to Google, the Chromecast Ultra is 1.8 times faster than the company’s previous streaming devices due to improved Wi-Fi connectivity. This change is likely due to the fact that 4K material requires more bandwidth to stream. Consumers can also opt for Ethernet support.
“Chromecast Ultra includes everything you love about Chromecast,” wrote Suresh Kolla, an engineering director at Google, in a blog post. “Plus, it comes with advanced features like 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, faster speed and Wi-Fi improvements.”
At its launch, the device will be able to stream 4K content—it will also support HDR and Dolby Vision—from platforms like YouTube, Netflix and Vudu. Google Play Movies & TV will roll out 4K content later this year. According to Google, even TV sets that are not 4K-compatible will benefit as “Chromecast Ultra automatically optimizes your TV’s picture.”
Similar to previous models of the Chromecast, consumers can get content from their phone, laptop or tablet. Users can still mirror content to their TV from their Android smartphone or from their laptop’s Chrome browser.
Google also unveiled Google Home—a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant—which is the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo. Those who have Google Home and Chromecast can control their TV hands free.
“With Google Home, you can play music, get answers from Google, manage your everyday tasks, and control smart home devices, like Chromecast,” writes Kolla. “Combined with Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, use Google Home to control your TV—completely hands free. Simply say “Ok, Google, play the Jungle Book trailer on my TV” to watch the YouTube video on the big screen.”