Part of the charm of the Chromecast with Google TV is the simplicity of the dongle form factor, but demand has been rising for a higher-end device to compete with the Nvidia Shield TV series. In that vein, perhaps Boreal could be a more premium Google TV box. Google has pursued this model in the past with the $69 Chromecast Ultra and $99 Nexus Player.
But now, it appears the new Chromecast will be a low-end device, if the report from Protocol is correct.
The new low-end Chromecast is said to be based on an Amlogic S805X2 CPU with a Mali-G31 GPU. This would allow it to support decoding of the AV1 video codec — something Google has been pushing other hardware makers to adopt. The dongle will have 2GB of RAM at most, and support 1080p streaming with a maximum frame rate of 60fps.
Google’s most recent streaming dongle, called Chromecast with Google TV, sports a more powerful chipset capable of 4K streaming, but doesn’t currently support AV1 hardware decoding. The device retails for $50, making it likely that the new HD-only Chromecast will sell for $40 or less.
I hope that it's simply a mixup, with two devices coming. To me, the best thing would be to replace the low-end Chromecast with a low-end Chromecast with Google TV, and to replace the current 4K Chromecast with Google TV with an upgraded 4K that had more on-board storage.
There's no evidence that this is what will be happening, but if it did happen, then both stories could be true, and the discrepancy could be simply confusing the code names of the new devices.
I so want to like the Chromecast with Google TV. If they fix the storage issue, that would be a huge step in the right direction. Chromecast with Google TV is a part of my Streaming Life, just a small part. An upgraded device would make it much easier to use it more. I really hope that's what happens.