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Polaroid Adopts Google Cast For Smart 4K TVs

Polaroid became the second TV brand to turn to Google Cast technology to offer 4K Ultra HD smart TVs at more affordable prices.

Empire Electronics, the Polaroid licensee for TVs in the U.S., plans summertime availability of Google Cast-equipped 4K TVs in the 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch at suggested retails from $499 to $999. In the fourth quarter, the company will add a 75-inch model at $1,899.

The TVs are not Polaroid’s first 4K TVs but are the company’s first connected 4K TVs. Like the Vizio P-series and M- and E-series TVs launched earlier this year, the Polaroid models use Google Cast in lieu of an embedded smart-TV platform to expand the number of audio- and video-streaming services that can be played on a TV via an Internet connection. With Google Cast, apps aren’t stored on a TV. Instead, the TVs stream content from the Cloud via Google Cast-enabled apps that can be downloaded to a smartphone, tablet, Mac or Windows laptop, or Chromebook, Google has said.

Because the Google Cast-equipped TVs pull content from the Cloud instead of from the mobile device, users reduce the drain on their mobile-device battery, get better audio and video quality, and get the opportunity to use the mobile device for other activities without interrupting TV playback, Google has said.

Google Cast offers more apps and frequent updates than many dedicated smart-TV systems, currently offering more than 1,000 Cast-enabled apps, 200,000-plus TV shows and movies, and more than 30 million songs, Polaroid added.

The new Polaroid connected 4K UHD TVs feature 120Hz refresh rates, HDMI 2.0 and a contemporary TV stand, the company said. They lack HDR capability. Additional details were unavailable.

The screen sizes differ slightly from those in a company announcement made at January’s CES, where Polaroid said it would offer its first connected versions of 4K TVs in 40-, 43-, 48-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes. At the time, Polaroid did not disclose the use of Google Cast in the TVs.

Vizio’s Google Cast-equipped 4K tuner-less “TVs” consist of the P series with 50- to 75-inch models priced from $999 to $3,799, the M-series 4K tuner-less TVs in 50- to 58-inch sizes at $849 to $3,999, and E-series 4K tuner-less TVs from 43 to 70 inches at $469 to $1,699. The E series also features 1080p TVs with tuners and with GoogleCast in 32 to 55-inch sizes at $229 to $569.