I've only owned one smart TV all my life, and it's a Vizio something-or-other from 2019. It's not a bad television, especially for the price, but the built-in OS leaves a lot to be desired, often feeling super sluggish and overall unusable. Fortunately, that's no longer a problem ever since I bought the Chromecast with Google TV, and I feel like it's a great solution for anyone looking to upgrade their smart TV experience.
For years, I would default to whatever console I was using at the time, going from the PlayStation 4 Pro to the PS5, which was nice because I could easily switch from gaming to watching a YouTube video with just a few clicks. But to be honest, I don't game very much (I'm a casual gamer), so one day I decided to buy a Chromecast with Google TV, and I couldn't be happier.
I'm a big fan of my devices knowing what I want before I do, and the Chromecast with Google TV seems to nail that. Turning it on, I'm met with a home page with the apps I love and recommendations from those apps on what Google's algorithm thinks I'd be interested in watching next. Sometimes, it's a YouTube video similar to one I've watched before; other times, it'll surface the latest episode of the series I was watching.
It's super easy to navigate, and in my experience, it's pretty snappy too. I've never had to deal with any significant lag, which is a constant pain when it comes to Vizio's Smartcast, which is pretty trash if you ask me. I also love the quick access to Google Assistant if I'm too lazy to use the on-screen keyboard and the easy connectivity to the Google TV app on my Android phone, which syncs my content recommendations and also acts as a remote.
There's also a Live tab with a more linear TV experience and tons of free content. I love using this when I leave the house and need something to keep the cat occupied (I usually put on some animal show, which he seems to enjoy). And thanks to a recent update, you can even stream your PS5 to the device, which is pretty handy.
The best part is that the Chromecast with Google TV is fairly inexpensive, meaning you can forget dropping $1000 or more during Black Friday on a new television with Google TV built-in and give your current setup an upgrade with one of the best streaming devices. And if you wanna go even cheaper, you can opt for the HD version of the Chromecast with Google TV.
The newer and cheaper Chromecast with Google TV (HD) has all the same features that you'd expect with the 4K version, but it drops the resolution to Full HD, which is ideal for users who don't have or need the extra pixels. You also get the same great remote and HDR support, so you'll still have a great-looking picture.
So while Black Friday is bound to have some nice deals on TV, consider picking up one of these instead. And don't forget to check out some of the other Black Friday deals that are already going on.