The Chromecast with Google TV can now receive an update to Android 12, which adds a collection of new features, including an option that movie lovers will particularly appreciate.
The upgrade is now being rolled out (via FlatpanelsHD (opens in new tab)) and includes more privacy features, security upgrades, options to control HDR and surround sound format settings, and frame rate adjustment.
The last of these is the big one – we’ll explain the technical details below, but it means the Chromecast can switch from its standard 60fps video output to 24fps (proper for movies) on the fly if you have one Start movie. That means you can have smooth, cinematic motion on your TV without the need for motion processing… as long as you have a 120Hz TV.
If you don’t have a 120Hz TV it doesn’t make a difference (again, we’ll get to why in a moment), but most new mid-range or premium TVs these days have a 120Hz screen.
The Apple TV 4K has had this feature for a while, and that’s one of the reasons we rate it as the best streaming device overall – so this update helps the Chromecast catch up despite the much cheaper price point.
Additionally, the Android 12 update promises to fix bugs and improve the performance of the 4K Chromecast with Google TV if you update. (The newer, cheaper HD Chromecast with Google TV already came with Android 12.)
Analysis: 24fps and 120Hz explained
Getting the perfect cinematic motion on a TV is all about timing. Movies are made at 24 frames per second. Older or cheaper LCD/OLED TVs refresh their screen (ie display a new picture) 60 times per second.
Quick mathematicians will immediately see the problem here: 60 cannot be divided cleanly by 24. This means that the timing of the film’s frames may not be perfectly synchronized with the frequency at which a new image is displayed on the television, so some film frames will be shown longer than 1/24th of a second, and some will be shown shorter.
You can really notice this with any slow, steady movement, e.g. B. when a camera pans across a landscape – instead of looking smooth, it will stutter slightly because the timing isn’t the same from frame to frame.
For this reason, you shouldn’t generally turn off motion processing on these TVs entirely – at low levels it should help minimize this judder.
However, the advent of 120Hz TVs has given us a way to end this. 120Hz TVs refresh their screens 120 times per second, which means they’re compatible with anything that used to work at 60 frames per second (as that’s a decent doubling of the refresh rate), but they can Also sync perfectly with 24fps movies as 120 can be divided cleanly by 24.
So in theory you can watch 24fps movies with a 120Hz TV and turn off motion processing to get natural cinematic motion.
However, that only works if you’re actually getting 24fps from your streamer – but many send the video over HDMI at 60fps because that makes life with 60Hz TVs easier. This means that even if you have a 120Hz TV, you quiet don’t benefit from natural film motion – although some TVs had a feature designed to recreate the original 24fps motion as best as possible (on LG TVs, for example, this is called “Real Cinema”).
So the point of Chromecast’s Match Content Frame Rate feature is to get the streamer to switch its output from 60 fps to 24 fps over HDMI when it detects you’re watching a movie, and to 60 for TV shows or anything else turn back fps.
Finally, with your 4K Chromecast, you can enjoy the movement of a movie the way it should be, on one of the best TVs or best 4K projectors.
https://www.techradar.com/news/chromecasts-free-android-12-update-will-make-films-look-better-with-the-right-tv Chromecast’s free Android 12 update will make films look better, with the right TV