What generation Chromecast do I have

In this post I will explain how you can identify which generation of Chromecast you have and how you tell the difference.

Google Chromecast explained

The Google Chromecast is a small electronic device that let you steam online video to your TV from your smartphone, tablet or laptop using wi-fi. You simply attach the device on the back of your TV, using a HDMI and a USB port. It was first released in 2013 and have been improved over the years. The smart thing about the Chromecast is that you only have to start the video from your phone/tablet and can then, turn off the screen, meaning that you will not drain your phone/tablet for power while watching a movie/video. You can use Google Chromecast to cast video from streaming services like, Netflix, YouTube, HBO, Plex, Spotify, Vevo etc. For more information about Chromecast click here.

Chromecast Generation Compare

Below you can see all the Chromecast generations and specifications. Be aware that the Chromecast Ultra is not named 3rd Generation despite the fact, it was released a year after the 2nd generation and 2 years before 3rd generation Chromecast.

Edition Chromecast 1st gen. Chromecast 2nd gen. Chromecast Audio Chromecast Ultra (4K) Chromecast 3rd gen.
Release date July 24, 2013 Sep. 29, 2015 Sep. 29, 2015 Nov. 6, 2016 Oct. 10, 2018
Launch price $35 $35 $35 $69 $35
Display 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps N/A (audio only) 4K Ultra HD 1080p @ 60fps
Connectivity HDMI (can use CEC) HDMI (can use CEC) Combined 3.5 mm audio jack and mini-TOSLINK socket HDMI (can use CEC) HDMI (can use CEC)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz
Weight 34 g 39.1 g 30.7 g 47 g 40 g
Colors Gray Yellow, Black or Red Black Black Gray
Model Number H2G2-42 NC2-6A5 RUX-J42 GA3A00403A14 GA00439

Chromecast Ultra

Chromecast Ultra is featured with upgraded hardware that supported streaming of 4K resolution content. Google has stated that the Chromecast Ultra loads video 1.8 times faster than previous models. Unlike previous models the Ultra version can’t be powered through a USB port. The Chromecast Ultra requires the use of the included power supply for connecting to a wall outlet. The power supply also offers an Ethernet port for a wired connection to accommodate the fast network speeds needed to stream 4K content. Be aware that the Chromecast Ultra cost almost double the price of the other models of Chromecast.

Chromecast 1st Generation

Chromecast 2nd Generation

Chromecast Audio

Chromecast Ultra 4K

Chromecast 3rd Generation

How to Identify Chromecast version

The easiest way to identify your model, is to look on the back of your Chromecast device. Here you can find your model and look in the table above to see what version you have. In the case below it is a Chromecast Audio (Model: RUX-J42).

Which Chromecast should you buy in 2020?

Well, that all depend on your needs. If you just want to listen to Music, it is obviously a Chromecast Audio. If you want to stream 4K, it is only the Chromecast Ultra that is up for the task. If you don’t have a 4K TV and don’t plan to buy one anytime soon, you can just go for the cheaper 3rd generation Chromecast. 1st and 2nd generation is no longer available for sale.

Chromecast in the future

Google has, as far as I know, not announced any plans for a new generation of Chromecast in the near future. With Google Chromecast 3rd release back in October 2018 you would think that it soon will be time for a new generation to keep up with technology of streaming trends. We will have to wait and see of Google will announce an update later this year.

Questions or Comments about Chromecast

If you have any questions or comment about Chromecast please drop me a comment below.

Thomas
About the author:
I am an IT Professional that has this blog as a hobby project in my spare time. I have been in the IT business since 1996 and want to share some of the thing I have picked up over the years, with people who visit this blog.

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