Google’s Chromecast, Roku 3 and Apple TV are the three most popular media streamers that are available to the consumers at present. Though there are plenty of other streaming boxes available in the market, these three could win over the heart of the majority of the consumers for obvious reasons i.e. advanced features at the most competitive price. However, among these three media streaming gadgets, the price variation is quite wide, therefore puzzling the buyers, i.e. which one they should invest one. This question brings us to the theme of discussion of this post i.e. which one amongst these three is best for the consumers. While Chromecast is my personal favorite, I cannot deny the fact that Roku 3 and Apple TV are also enthralling alternatives. Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of each one of them that will help you to make a better choice.
Chromecast became an instant hit when it was introduced in the mid of 2013 at the competitive price of 35$ only. To top that there were offers in the online shops, whereby the consumers were getting better offers. Though in the beginning, it supported only a few media website like Netflix, YouTube, and others, but with the course of time it kept adding and git better. At present, Chromecast is compatible with a wide range of media websites like HBO GO, Vevo, Hulu Plus, Google Music, Pandora and much more.
The modest price of Chromecast i.e. 35$ is quite responsible for making this product viral in the market. Even if there is no need of a media streamer at our home, the meager price of the gadget makes most of us fall for it impulsively. And just in case we end up not using it more than a couple of times, there are no guilt pangs to crush us as we justify by saying that we have already utilized its worth.
Chromecast Vs Apple TV vs Roku 3 Which is better?
Moreover, Chromecast is constantly updated since the time it was introduced, and at present, it supports a wide variety of online media channels. This factor makes this gadget perfectly suitable for those who are happy to stream the few popular media channels like YouTube, NetFlix, and others. Moreover, the rampant users should not worry as well because developers of different media sites have already undertaken the responsibility of modifying their site to become compatible with Chromecast.
Chromecast is just the size of a thumb drive, and that makes it a perfect travel companion if the place you are traveling to is equipped with a Wi-Fi connection. This gadget takes power either from the USB port of the TV set to which it is connected or the external adapter. Another important function supported by Chromecast is its ability to cast any video from the Google Chrome browser present in smartphone or PC. Though the quality of the casting is not flawless, it is quite good.
However, if we at the cons, the first thing that becomes evident is that though Chromecast is persistently adding to the list of apps supported by this gadget, yet there is a lot left if it wishes to compete with Roku 3 and Apple TV. Secondly, the users do not have the opportunity to search in different platforms at a given time. Thirdly, Chromecast needs to be fully controlled from the smartphone or tablet to which it is connected. There are no real buttons, and that implies that every time we want to pause, rewind or play, we have to activate our smartphone or tablet or PC.
If you are looking for a media streamer that supports more or less all media contents present on the web, then Roku 3 is the best option available to you as it supports more than 1000 apps. Once a media channel is released on the web, Roku gets access to it at first. Therefore, if you are avid users, then Roku is the device for you.
Roku gives the users the opportunity to plug in their headphone in the gadget so that no other person present in the room gets disturbed. Once the jack is plugged in, the TV is automatically muted. Roku 3 is powered by the most advanced processor that ensures lightning fast streaming of videos and audios on the television. Roku also supports cross-platform search, therefore while watching a video in NetFlix, users have the option of going to next platform and search for content.
However, there are some inherent defects of Roku as well, that it is working on at present. The foremost amongst them is the absence of an extension like Google Cast which helps in casting any content using your smartphone or tablet via Chromecast. Recently, some advancement has been made whereby it is possible to stream photos and music videos present on the user’s phone, but the quality of transmission is not that superior. Roku 3 is not at all ideal for casting personal media files. One of the biggest defects of Roku is that it does not support Plex Media server, which is primarily used for streaming personal media files. Last but not the least, Roku is almost three times the price ofChromecast, and most consumers are not ready to invest so much on a media streamer.
If you are iPhone or iPad or Mac user and have subscribed to iTunes, then Apple TV is the media streamer available for you. All the content of the iTunes starting from music to videos can be cast in your big screen TV. Lately, the iTune Radio app is being also made compatible with Apple TV so that the users can listen to the radio in their living room. AirPlay app is another magical app that allows the users to stream any video, audio, photo from any website on your television. Thus, by using AirPlay, the users have access to all the apps that are not compatible with Apple TV. Previous the number of apps supported by Apple TV was quite limited, but lately, a large number of popular apps like HBO GO and ESPN have been developed.
However, the fact remains that Apple TV is very iTune centric. All of the contents have to viewed through iTunes app. This is good for those who have already subscribed for iTune, but just in case you are not a part of the Apple ecosystem, it would imply added expense. Moreover, the number of apps supported by Apple TV is also quite limited, and there is no opportunity for cross-platform search. Apple TV is also available at99$, just like Roku 3, that too it does not have all the features of Roku 3. This factor has given Roku 3 an edge over Apple TV.
Looking back at the pros and cons of these three media streaming gadgets, it is quite evident that all three has its plus and minus points. But if you are looking for a good casting gadget at a competitive price, then Chromecast is the best option available for you. Moreover, the way Chromecast is adding on to the number of apps supported by it, in no time it will become equivalent to Roku 3 at one-third of the price.