In January, Protocol revealed that Google was working on a cheaper Chromecast video streaming dongle that would reach 1080p resolution, which could eventually be sold as “Chromecast HD with Google TV”.
Now, a new filing by Google with the Federal Communications Commission (via Droid-Life) suggests that the device is indeed on its way.
Note that the FCC filing does not directly confirm a Chromecast. For now, it’s just the “Google G454V”. There are no juicy leaked images; the filings simply describe it as a “wireless device” with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth LE.
But if you allow me to draw your attention to this diagram for a moment, my friends, I think everything will become clear:
The “EUT” is the gadget we’re talking about, and this diagram is supposed to be a map of all of its connections. Notice how it sits behind the LCD screen? Notice how it’s not connected to the LCD with cables? Notice how the only the cable plugged into it is a power cable, and that power cable is USB?
Also notice how it has a remote control and – in a related part of the dossier below – it has been tested streaming video at 1080p?
Now I guess there might be other kind of gadget you’d place behind a screen instead of a Chromecast… but it seems pretty likely we’re not talking about a Nest wireless speaker. And while you could possibly direct the streaming video to a wireless soundbar or something that could transmit the video to the TV and have a remote, there’s no HDMI cable connected to the device in the test setup. Additionally, Google has always favored barrel plugs for powering its line of Nest smart devices.
But Google has a gadget with a remote control and USB power that plugs directly into a display with no other cables involved. So I’ll be very surprised if it’s not exactly Janko’s Chromecast Protocol discovered.
Not every device that hits the FCC is released, but manufacturers typically don’t submit them until they’re relatively close. I’d bet the price of a cheap Chromecast we’ll see it this fall. I wonder how low Google will go though: the current Chromecast with Google TV already does 4K HDR for $50 (currently $40 on sale).