Google is set to unveil the latest iteration of its digital media player Chromecast, called the Chromecast Ultra, at its Oct. 4 event where it's also set to unveil two new proprietary Pixel-branded smartphones, its VR headset called the Daydream VR, a rumored smart router tentatively named Google Wi-Fi and Google Home, its take on Amazon's Echo.
Ahead of the Oct. 4 launch, an event significantly advertised by Google, Evan Blass of VentureBeat leaked a photo of the Chromecast Ultra dongle, which strongly resembles its predecessor, Chromecast 2, with its disc-shaped form factor. It has a short HDMI cable that latches on the back of the Ultra using magnets.
Android Police first reported that the third-generation Chromecast will be marketed as "Chromecast Ultra," or "Chromecast Plus," but with the Chrome logo nowhere to be found in the leaked Ultra photo, instead showing a simple "G" logo culled from its rebranding scheme last year.
The Ultra is rumored to be loaded with a more powerful hardware than its predecessor and feature 4K Ultra HD streaming. It will run firmware version 1.21 and will cost $69, twice the cost of the Chromecast 2.
If Ultra does indeed come with 4K streaming functionality, Google is skipping past competitors like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku Stick and the fourth-generation Apple TV, all of which don't support 4K streaming.
Aside from 4K and claims of upgraded hardware, which are vague at best, other features of the Ultra have yet to be revealed on Google's Oct. 4 launch event. The company is set to unveil a host of products on different fronts.
Keep in mind that the event's theme is "Made by Google," which suggests that all products to be unveiled on Oct. 4 earns the company's own nametag, likely part of the bigger rebranding effort Google is toying with recently, across its apps and services.
As a corollary, note that Google also released firmware version 1.21 to developers part of the Chromecast Preview program, which surprisingly stripped away the Chrome branding altogether. If the Chromecast Ultra is unveiled under a different name than previously rumored, it'll be no surprise.
Google first released the Chromecast in 2013. It lets you "cast" content onto a television via the Chromecast dongle, even in non-smart television models. In 2015 Google launched the second iteration of Chromecast, the Chromecast 2, which featured beefed up hardware along with an updated Chromecast app that can be paired with the dongle to push content from a smartphone.