In January, Protocol revealed that Google was working on a cheaper Chromecast video streaming dongle that would top out at 1080p resolution, which could possibly be sold as the “Chromecast HD with Google TV.”
Now, a new Google filing with the Federal Communications Commission (via Droid-Life) suggests that device is indeed on the way.
Mind you, the FCC filing doesn’t straight-up confirm a Chromecast. For now, it’s simply designated the “Google G454V.” There aren’t any juicy leaked pictures; the filings simply describe as a “wireless device” with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth LE.
But if you’ll let me direct your attention for a moment to this diagram, friends, I think it will all become clear:
The “EUT” is the gadget we’re talking about, and this diagram is supposed to be a map of all its connections. Notice how it’s behind the LCD display? Notice how it is not connected to the LCD display with any cables? Notice how the only cable plugged into it is a power cable, and that power cable is USB?
Also notice how it has a remote controller, and — in a related part of the filing below — it was tested streaming video at 1080p?
Now, I suppose there could be some other kind of gadget you’d put behind a screen instead of a Chromecast… but it seems pretty likely we’re not talking about a Nest wireless speaker. And while you might possibly pipe streaming video to a wireless soundbar or something of the sort which could pass video to the TV and have a remote control, there’s no HDMI cable connected to the device in the test setup. Plus, Google has consistently favored barrel jacks for power across its Nest smart device lineup.
But Google does have a gadget with a remote controller and USB power that gets directly plugged into a screen with no other cables involved. So I’ll be very surprised if this isn’t exactly the Chromecast that Janko at Protocol uncovered.
Not every device that hits the FCC gets released, but typically manufacturers don’t submit them until they’re relatively close. I’d bet the price of a cheap Chromecast we see it this fall. I do wonder how low Google will go, though: the current Chromecast with Google TV already does 4K HDR for $50 (currently $40 on sale).