After a decade of service, the first Chromecast is heading out to pasture, with Google quietly ending updates and support for its original streaming stick.
Google announced the news on its Chromecast support page (as spotted by 9to5Google), which was last updated in late April:
Support for Chromecast (1st gen) has ended, which means these devices no longer receive software or security updates, and Google does not provide technical support for them. Users may notice a degradation in performance.
Given the lack of future updates, those with the original Chromecast should probably consider upgrading to newer hardware, such as the Chromecast with Google TV 4K or the cheaper, 1080p-only Chromecast with Google TV HD.
The original Chromecast received its last update (“bug fixes and improvements”) in November 2022, as 9to5Google notes.
First unveiled back in 2013, the first Chromecast had an impressively long run.
The only Chromecast model to arrive in a streaming-stick design, the original Chromecast plugged directly into a TV’s HDMI port, with a micro-USB port providing the power.
Rather than an elaborate on-screen interface, the first Chromecast (along with several subsequent models) simply displayed a screensaver when it wasn’t actively streaming video. And instead of a remote control, you used your phone or tablet to control the video stream.
The clever design made it easy to add Chromecast capabilities to any HDMI-equipped TV set, and it was mimicked by the Chromecast Audio, a dongle with a 3.5mm jack that lets you add Chromecast audio streaming to practically any speaker or audio system. (Discontinued in 2019, the Chromecast Audio has become something of a collector’s item.)
Google abandoned the first Chromecast’s stick design with the second-gen version, which arrived in the now familiar puck shape.
Following the third-generation Chromecast, Google finally released a model with a remote: 2020’s Chromecast with Google TV, which (as its name implies) also packed an on-screen interface.
Despite all the revisions, the first Chromecast remains a remarkable device (I still have a working model in a box somewhere), and deserving of a curtain call before it heads off the stage.