When it comes to easy as well as affordable TV streaming, one of the best option is Chromecast. At the price of $35, it can allow you to stream videos from Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play as well as from Chrome and straight in your TV. It is definitely a must-have device for consumers out there who want to make entertainment as convenient as possible.
In the highly competitive market, Chromecast is rivaled by another similar device – Roku. If you are planning to make streaming part of your life, it is best to take a close look on the differences between the two so that you can decide which one is suitable for your needs.
With Chromecast, it is simple to use. All you have to do is to plug the device on your TV and access Chromecast through your Wi-Fi network. Take note that all the videos stored in the Google’s Chromecast cloud and streamed over the Internet. It simply means that you can easily watch your favorite movie or TV show and control it with any of your Wi-Fi enable devices such as your tablet, mobile phone or laptop. You even have the option to switch between different remotes without interfering with your viewing. Chromecast currently supports Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome. It is expected that more will be added in future updates. When it comes to mirroring, you can only sync or mirror what is present in your computer screen. This is possible as long as the Google Cast Chrome extension is installed in your Chrome browser. You can easily purchase Chromecast online at Amazon or in the Google Play Store. The device is compatible to iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Chrome OS and Windows.
Even though Chromecast has been the preferred choice by many consumers when it comes to streaming, Roku raised the competition to a higher level by releasing its own line of improved TV-streaming devices. We will now take a look at the Roku devices which are built with features that can provide improved video quality, better audio options and software changes that addresses the big problem with Chromecast – its incapacity to handle local streaming using mobile devices.
In terms of the hardware updates, Roku is fairly candid in its approach even though there are no changes on its retail prices. The Roku 1 is offered at the price of $60 with 1080p video quality. As for Roku 2, it is available at the price of $80 and includes improved dual-band Wi-Fi and radio frequency remote control with an integrated headphone jack.
On the software aspect, the Roku devices offer a new interface that allows premium placement to the fresh streaming service M-Go. With M-Go, it basically sells and rents TV shows and movies that are streamed to the viewers. Understandably, Roku handles the billing for M-Go. Roku also improved its Android and iOS apps by upgrading them so that users can send local video from their mobile devices to their Roku boxes. This feature provides Roku a step ahead of Chromecast. This is due to the fact that Chromecast is not capable of sending any kind of local media files from mobile devices to the connected TVs.
It is time to compare Chromecast and Roku on certain aspects. On the price, Chromecast is definitely the winner at the price of $35. The cheapest of the Roku devices is still $15 higher than the Google Chromecast. When it comes to YouTube streaming, Chromecast is considered the best. As for Roku, there is still no easy way to stream YouTube videos (Only if you own Roku 3). One aspect that makes Roku stand out is it allows you to stream your own local media. All you have to do is to sign up for the cloud-based media server Plex so that you can easily stream from your computer or mobile device to Roku. Lastly, when it comes to third-party apps, Roku allows them while none will work on Chromecast, except for Netflix. At the present, several companies are eager to develop apps for Chromecast, but none are supported yet. As for Roku, its Channel Store is packed with great selections such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant and many more.