Chromecast with Google TV frame rate switching needs some work

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Android 12 is finally available for Chromecast with Google TV (4K) and available out of the box on the HD model too. But it’s an update that doesn’t bring a ton of user-facing features. One addition in Android 12 for Chromecast with Google TV is frame rate matching, but in its current state, it’s not all that useful.

As mentioned, there’s not a whole lot new in Android 12 for Google TV devices such as the company’s own Chromecast dongle. That’s mainly because most Google TV features tend to arrive via app updates and updates to the homescreen launcher. But still, system updates can sometimes deliver on bigger changes.

One of the additions with the biggest potential in Android 12 for Google TV is frame rate matching. This isn’t a new feature for the industry as a whole – Apple added support for the feature to Apple TV back in 2017 – but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless. Frame rate matching, when done properly, can eliminate some visual issues and stuttering when the video’s frame rate and the display’s output do not match.

But as it turns out, frame rate matching in Android 12 for Chromecast with Google TV is off to a pretty rough start.

The folks over at FlatPanelsHD did some digging and testing with the feature, and came away with some disappointing results. First off, it’s pointed out that “Seamless” frame rate matching on Chromecast is HDMI 2.1’s “Quick Media Switching,” which isn’t actually supported on any TVs currently for sale, and the Chromecast itself doesn’t even support the HDMI 2.1 standard. The goal of that setting is to change the frame rate without the screen going blank during the switch. Non-seamless, though, should still work.

chromecast google tv android 12 update match content frame rate

However, Google’s support for this feature is not enabled by default. While the operating system itself supports frame rate switching, apps on Chromecast and other Android TV OS devices need to be updated to support it, as Google itself details.

In FlatPanelsHD‘s testing, most apps don’t appear to support the feature, including Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and others. Not even Google TV’s native video player for purchased films and TV shows supports frame rate switching on Chromecast at this time.

The only apps that do appear to have limited support are Plex and Kodi, but the latter at least seems to be using an older API. Worse yet, users on Reddit have been experiencing problems with the refresh rate not switching, and others having said switching is a bit janky. With Plex, many have found that the app wouldn’t properly load content with frame rate switching enabled.

Google definitely seems to have an uphill battle ahead with frame rate switching on Chromecast with Google TV, but at least the foundation has finally arrived.

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