Which Chromecast to buy? I have tested them all

The Chromecast is a handy device with which you can make practically any TV smarter. Tens of millions of Chromecast have now been sold worldwide. After years of using Chromecast, I have gained a lot of experience with it. In this article I answer the question: Buy Chromecast, which one should you take? Which Chromecast to buy? The best Chromecast to buy right now by price is the Chromecast V3. However, if you want to stream in 4K and also use a remote control, it is better to choose the Chromecast with Google TV.

Chromecast: small but brilliant

I remember it well: the launch of the Chromecast in 2013, when Google revealed all the details about this tiny streaming device. What we didn’t know at the time was that tens of millions would be sold worldwide. The Chromecast basically makes any TV (or other device) with an HDMI connection smart. This makes it possible to stream all kinds of content via, for example, Netflix, YouTube, Video country, Twitch, Spotify and many other services. But gaming is also possible on (and via) the Chromecast, for example with Stadia. A lot has changed and improved in recent years and this article will help you answer the question: which Chromecast to buy? Of course you don’t have to believe my blue eyes, but I’ve extensively tested and used all Chromecasts (even the Chromecast Audio) since 2013, so read on.
Chromecast V1
The very first Chromecast from 2013

The very first Chromecast…

This is the very first Chromecast that was launched in 2013. The basics are still the same: you open an app and press the cast icon and the Chromecast does the rest. This was the beginning of a revolution that eventually resulted in some new version of the Chromecast.

Buy Chromecast: an overview of the different models

Let’s start with an overview of the different Chromecasts that are currently for sale in the Netherlands and Belgium. Of course there are more Chromecast, but in this overview I have limited myself to the Chromecast 4 (with Google TV), Chromecast Ultra and the ‘regular’ Chromecast (V3).

How exactly does a Chromecast work?

The Chromecast is a small device that needs to be connected to the HDMI port of your TV (or monitor) and needs power via USB/wall socket. This is also one of the reasons why the Chromecast is so successful: it can be used in an enormous number of places, because HDMI is a frequently used connection. Then you get started with installing the Chromecast and you can get started. The Chromecast makes it possible to send videos or photos to the big screen, for example. Think, for example, of Netflix, YouTube, Videoland, Spotify and Prime. But many less well-known services now have support for the Chromecast.
Chromecast V3
Chromecast with Google TV
Because the device is made by Google, many tools are offered to developers to get started with this, so that the cast icon is often seen. The operation of a Chromecast is simple: for example, open Netflix (or another supported app) on your smartphone, tablet or PC and click on the casticon. Then select the Chromecast and you can stream! A remote control was only added with the latest version, the Chromecast with Google TV, but you do not need this in principle. In summary, the Chromecast is a device for quickly and easily streaming from your smartphone, tablet or laptop/PC to the TV or other large screen. And that for a few bucks. Learn more about how a Chromecast works in our article on: What is casting?
đź’ˇ You can not only use the Chromecast to stream Netflix, YouTube or Videoland, for example, but also to play games. You do this with Google Stadia, Google’s gaming service!
Chromecast not working
Via: Chrome fans

Buy Chromecast: which one to choose

But the reason you’ve come here is because you want to know which version of the Chromecast to buy right now. As you have seen, at the time of writing there are three different versions available in the Netherlands and Belgium. Below is an overview for your convenience. The Chromecast Ultra is a bit of an odd one out: it is slowly being phased out and actually offers no added value compared to the other two models. That is why I have also left these out of consideration when making a choice. Below is an overview of the most suitable model in different situations.

Chromecast (V3)

Best Buy
Chromecast V3
The Chromecast (V3) is the most popular Chromecast at the moment and offers a very good price-quality ratio. With this version you can effortlessly stream all content from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to the big screen. This one is especially suitable if you…
  • Streaming in full HD is enough
  • You don’t want to pay too much
  • Power supply via USB on TV
  • Only want to operate via apps and Google Home

Compare Prices Chromecast (V3)

€39.00 no stock
Pros
  • Particularly good value for money
  • Control via app
  • Connect via USB to TV or mains

Chromecast 4 with Google TV

Best Choice (4K)
Chromecast with Google TV
Image: Chrome fans
The Chromecast with Google TV (also known as Chromecast 4) is the latest Chromecast and offers some interesting capabilities, including streaming in 4K and remote control. If you want to buy the Chromecast with Google TV, keep the following in mind. This one is especially suitable if you…
  • Wants to stream in 4K (and HDR10+)
  • Want to play with Google Stadia
  • You want an ‘interface’ on the TV
  • Want to operate with a remote control

Compare prices Chromecast with Google TV

Pros
  • 4K and HDR10+
  • Android TV (and thus an interface on TV screen)
  • Suitable for Google Stadia (gaming)
Negatives
  • Power only via mains

Latest Chromecast: This is the latest model [2021]

If you are looking for the latest Chromecast, then of course you can only make one choice. The latest Chromecast (update 2021) is the Chromecast with Google TV, where you can not only stream to the big screen, but also get a remote control included. Keep in mind that – if you don’t have a 4K screen, the latest may not be the best choice. In addition to the Chromecast with Google TV, there is of course also the ‘normal’ Chromecast 3. Not necessarily new, but certainly no less interesting.
Chromecast with Google TV
Image: Chrome fans

Buying Chromecast from Action: is that possible?

If you are looking for a cheap chromecast, then you may soon think of the Action. This price fighter offers many products for a particularly low price, including the necessary electronics such as LSC Smart Connect, a smart home product line. However, if you want to buy a Chromecast from the Action, I have to disappoint you: that is not possible. The product simply does not fit the Action range. If you are looking for a cheap Chromecast, fortunately there are plenty of alternatives. If you want to use the possibilities of this small streaming dongle and do not pay too much, then this model is the best option.

Buy Chromecast: 5 tips

1

Bad Wi-Fi: There’s a Solution

Ethernet adapter is your rescue
Do you have poor Wi-Fi or do you expect to not have optimal range at the location of the Chromecast? Then it can be useful to purchase a so-called Ethernet adapter. This makes it possible to connect the Chromecast to the internet wired, so that you have a more stable (and usually faster) connection. There are several models available, both officially through Google and from other manufacturers. An example of such an Ethernet adapter can be found here (suitable for the ‘regular’ Chromecast, because a micro USB connection is used). A good connection is and remains essential for optimal streaming via a Chromecast.
2

Download the Google Home app

For Android and iOS
To get started with the Chromecast that you may be purchasing soon, you need an app. This will allow you to install the Chromecast. The app is available for both iOS and Android. In addition to setting up the Chromecast, you may have even more devices at home that can be connected to it. The app is actually the nerve center of all things Google Home.
Chromecast with Google TV
Image: Chrome fans
3

Turn on the TV with your Chromecast

Feature I use often
I personally find this a very handy feature and you should definitely check it out if you are going to buy a Chromecast. It is possible – provided your TV has support for this – to turn on the TV with the Chromecast. You do this by connecting the Chromecast to a suitable HDMI port. In addition, it is required to have the Chromecast connected to the mains. So if you have connected it to the USB port of your TV as a power supply, this function will unfortunately not work. In any case, it’s a very handy feature that I personally use quite a lot. for this
4

Gaming on the Chromecast

Google Stadiaaaaaaa
Gaming on the Chromecast does not immediately make sense. A device of a few tens on which you can play games and then also games with a lot of graphics. Yet Google has come up with something for this: Google Stadia. This cloud gaming service makes it possible to play (heavy) games on a Chromecast with Google TV or Chromecast Ultra in combination with a Stadia controller. These games are all streamed from Google’s servers and it’s actually unprecedented how smoothly and with little lag that goes. More about Google Stadia, the costs and the possibilities can be found at stadia.google.com.
Reset Chromecast
Image: Wesley Akkerman
5

Personalize your Chromecast

That’s much more fun…
You mainly use the Chromecast for streaming (or gaming), but you can also adjust the background when it is in standby, for example. For example, you can choose to have your own photos rotated. This so-called ‘backdrop’ of the Chromecast is easy to set up, for example by using Google Photos. The Chromecast may initially seem like a small, cheap streaming device, but it has grown into a great media player for a reason.

Buy Chromecast: Finally

If you decide to connect a Chromecast, you will undoubtedly have a lot of fun with it. Things can also go wrong, of course. Maybe you can’t get the Chromecast set up properly, or you want to reset a Chromecast. Because I’ve been using the Chromecast myself for years, I’ve made many handy guides with solutions to common problems. Below is a list: