We now know more about the hardware specs for Google’s next video streaming device – either a cut-down Android TV dongle or an upgraded Chromecast, however you prefer to think about it – thanks to the early firmware code that’s leaked out.
Details spilled by XDA Developers show the dongle will come with a Amlogic S905X2 chipset and 2GB of RAM, which is fairly standard for other Android TV devices currently on the market. That will enable 4K and 60 frames per second output, with support for HDR and Dolby Vision.
The code also reveals that the device – codenamed Sabrina – will have an “auto low latency mode”, part of the HDMI 2.1 spec, designed to get video up on your TV more quickly when needed – no doubt useful for reducing lag if you’re thinking of a Google Stadia gaming session.
Another interesting nugget of info shows that the special ‘star’ button we saw in previous leaks is going to be user-programmable – so you’ll be able to set it to go straight to Netflix, or YouTube, or whatever your favorite streaming service happens to be.
It would appear this combines the two ideas: a dongle as small as a Chromecast, that slots into the back of your television set, but which also has its own software interface and storage. In other words, you wouldn’t have to control it with your phone.
Rumors about such a device have actually been floating around for years – it seems exactly the sort of device Google would be interested in making. In March we heard from inside sources that an Android TV+Chromecast dongle was on the way, and then earlier this month we got a host of leaked images as well.
With tech launch schedules all up in the air at the moment, it’s more difficult than it would usually be to predict when such a device would arrive, but it seems a good bet that it’s going to land this year – and we’ll let you know as soon as it does.