Chromecast with Google TV gets frame-rate matching with Android 12 update

Mike Wheatley

Google has said that its popular streaming dongle, Chromecast with Google TV, is now being updated to Android 12. It’s a key update that adds multiple new features, including one option that could result in noticeably improved movie quality for those with the right TV.


With the latest Chromecast with Google TV firmware, users will be treated to some new privacy features and security upgrades, as well as better options to control the HDR and surround sound format settings. However, the headline new feature is the addition of something called frame-rate matching.

With frame-rate matching, the Chromecast will be able to alter its standard 60 frames per second video output to 24 fps on the fly whenever a new film comes on. This is important because 24fps is more suitable for most movies, ensuring smooth cinematic motion without any processing, so long as you’re watching on a modern 120Hz TV.

Frame-rate matching has been available on the Apple TV 4K for some time already, so the latest update enables Google’s dongle to reach parity with that device.

For those who don’t have a 120Hz, the update won’t make any noticeable difference, but the good news is that most new mid-range and premium TVs are indeed equipped with a 120Hz display.

To understand the improved movie experience it’s necessary to get into the technical details. In order to achieve perfect cinematic motion on a TV, timing is everything. Most movies are shot at 24 fps, yet most older or low-end LCD TVs refresh their screens (in other words, show a new image) at a rate of 60 times per second. You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand that 60 does not divide neatly into 24, meaning that it’s impossible to correctly synchronise the movie frames with that of the TV’s refresh rate. As a result, some movie frames are shown on screen for longer than a 24th of a second, while others will be shown for a shorter duration.

The effects of this are noticeable during any consistent, slow moving scene in a movie, such as when the camera pans across a landscape. Rather than being smooth, the experience will be slightly juddery because the timing of the movement from frame-to-frame isn’t equal. Normally, this is where motion processing comes in handy on lower-end, 60Hz televisions, helping to smooth out such scenes.

However, 120Hz TVs have a better way. Because they refresh their screens 120 times per second, this enables them to sync perfectly with 24fps movies, as 120 divides neatly by 24. So, in other words, frame-rate matching on the Chromecast with Google TV will enable more natural cinematic motion, without motion processing being switched on. The new feature is designed to help the dongle detect any 24fps source and automatically switch its output to that slower frame rate, ensuring a much smoother viewing experience. Whenever it detects regular 60fps content, such as most TV shows, it’ll switch back to the higher frame rate.

So if you happen to own a 120Hz TV, the new Chromecast with Google TV update is one that’s well worth having.

To get the update on the Chromecast with Google TV, simply select your profile picture and go to: Settings -> System -> About -> System update.