It may not be the cheapest model, but the Chromecast Ultra is the best option if you want to cover all your bases. Want a Chromecast that's going to last you for years, will support 4K TV, and has an Ethernet adapter just in case your internet is lackluster? Then go for the Ultra.
For whatever you want to stream.
The Chromecast Ultra is the only Chromecast with enough guts to handle 4K streams, so if you're watching high-res movies this is the one for you. Even if you don't care about 4K content, the included Ethernet adapter will make streaming easier than relying on your Wi-Fi.
Who should buy this Chromecast?
If you want to unwind with your favorite shows after a long day, a Chromecast is for you. There's nothing to troubleshoot or configure, so you don't need to waste any time before hitting the couch. Just open the Hulu app on your phone, press the Cast icon, and watch away! In addition, the Ultra will support just about every device you try to connect it to.
Is it a good time to buy this?
Yes. The Chromecast line has been around for years, so other services besides Hulu will have certainly integrated Casting into their apps. The Chromecast Ultra was released in 2016, and there's no reason to believe a new version is on its way.
Reasons to buy
- The only Chromecast that streams 4K content
- Includes an Ethernet adapter
Reasons not to buy
- Twice the price of the 1080p Chromecast
- If you don't need 4K streaming
Why you should spring for the Chromecast Ultra
While you can get by with a less-expensive Chromecast model, the Ultra is the best to get if you want something future-proofed. We're seeing more content support 4K and HDR and it's only going to become more prevalent with Hulu and other services. The Chromecast hardware is completely mature, so there's not going to be a new model every year like with smartphones and laptops. The Ultra should then support your streaming throughout many of the predicted upcoming trends.
The included Ethernet adapter is a great bonus, too. That normally goes for $15 on its own, and it isn't included with the 1080p Chromecast. If you have spotty Wi-Fi, the Ethernet adapter is almost crucial. The Chromecast Ultra ends up being just $10 to $20 more than the 1080p Chromecast and Ethernet adapter purchased separately, which makes for an easy upgrade.
Finally, 4K TVs are becoming more and more affordable. These TVs often have their own operating system to get to Netflix and Hulu, so you may not need a Chromecast Ultra right away. However, sometimes those operating systems aren't updated as often as we'd like. A good Chromecast can bypass that.
Alternatives to the Chromecast Ultra
If you're not sure about spending so much for a Chromecast, there are alternatives from Google and others.
Half the price of the Ultra.
Your favorite shows may not be in 4K, or you may still be using a 1080p TV. If you don't want to spend the extra money for the Chromecast Ultra, the standard Chromecast is still a great option.
The standard Chromecast may not be able to handle high-resolution content, but it's still just as easy to install and use as the more expensive model. Just plug it in, connect it to your wireless network, and Cast away.
The bottom line
Whether you're watching Hulu or another streaming service, the Chromecast Ultra is a great streaming stick to use. More and more movies and TV shows will be coming out in 4K, and the Ultra is the only Chromecast that handles that resolution.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Tom Westrick spends way too much time binge watching old shows on Hulu and Netflix. When he's not writing about technology, he's drooling over projectors or playing guitar. You'll mainly find him on Android Central and CordCutters, or you can follow him on Twitter.
Phil Nickinson is the editor of CordCutters.com , the Head Dad behind Modern Dad and Editor Emeritus of AndroidCentral.com. He's been a journalist since starting at his hometown newspaper in 1998, and with Mobile Nations since 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @Mdrndad .
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