There’s no shortage of streaming devices in the market. The options are unlimited. The same could be said for internet service providers offering great plans like Spectrum internet prices are affordable, to enjoy smooth streaming.
Out of all the options, Chromecast and Roku are two widely popular media streaming devices. Both come with excellent features that let you stream entertainment channels and apps. But which one’s the better option? This is exactly what this article is all about.
Is Roku a Direct Competitor to Chromecast?
Yes. And it’s not just a single Roku device. The company has been developing and selling digital media players since 2008. It has launched multiple products over the years. This diverse lineup consists of six devices, each considered a competitor. These devices are Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku Express+, and Roku Express.
That said, we’ll be comparing different aspects of the two media playing devices. They will include cost, user interface, connections, picture quality, controls, and content. We won’t, however, be comparing Roku Ultra to the Chromecast. The reason is that rather than a dongle, Roku Ultra is more of a set-top box.
Price Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
Roku Express is the cheapest among the six Roku players. You can buy Roku Express for just under $30 ($29 to be exact). Roku Streaming Stick+, on the other hand, costs $59. That means you can upgrade to Roku Streaming Stick+ with an additional payment of $30.
When it comes to Chromecast, the standard version costs $35. Roku Express+ also costs the same. Moreover, it is cheaper than Roku Premiere, which costs $39. The 4K streaming quality-supported Chromecast Ultra, on the other hand, is priced at $69.
Most people do not consider price as a yardstick when it comes to choosing between the two devices. After all, both streaming services allow you to cut the cord. It is worth mentioning here that cable bill on average exceeds $100 a month. So, you’ll still end up saving money no matter what device you choose.
User Interface Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
The user interface is perhaps the biggest difference-maker between Roku and Chromecast. Roku products are powered by the Roku operating system (OS). All Roku devices feature an on-screen interface. This allows you to navigate channels and access the Roku store as well as the settings menu.
Chromecast, however, does not run an on-screen interface. They are designed to project your smart device onto the TV screen. In simple terms, it can function as a second computer monitor. But you’ll have to use the Google Home App to run your Chromecast device. The app is available for download on both iOS and Android platforms.
Connectivity Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
Roku Express+ is the only exception when it comes to connectivity. You will need an HDMI port to connect the devices to your TV. However, only Roku Express+ is compatible with composite A/V ports. That means it will work with older TV sets.
Picture Quality Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
Out of the six Roku devices, only three play 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) videos. They are Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, and Roku Streaming Stick+. The other three devices, on the other hand, stream videos in 1080p quality.
When it comes to the picture quality of Chromecast, only the Chromecast Ultra offers 4K support. Moreover, before rushing to purchase a 4K device, you should consider several factors. Number one, does your TV screen support 4K video? Number two, do you even want to stream in 4K.
Remember, you will have to pay extra cost for 4K streams. After all, 4K quality is yet to achieve mainstream status in the streaming market. Moreover, you won’t be able to watch all movies and TV shows in 4K.
Remote Control Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
All Roku products come equipped with a remote-control device. Roku Express, Roku Express+, and Roku Premiere come with a standard remote. The Premiere+, Streaming Stick, and Streaming Stick+ come packed with a voice remote. The latter provides added convenience to navigate apps and access other functionalities.
Content Comparison of Roku and Chromecast
Roku features a vast library of content. It provides you with access to 500,000+ channels and apps. They include streaming giants like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Video, etc. Moreover, you can install exclusive channels with Roku.
Chromecast products greatly differ from Roku devices when it comes to content. After all, not every app comes with Chromecast support. Moreover, it isn’t a convenient app to use with your smartphone.
You will need to take into account the products that are already in your use. For more exciting features and content, you should go with Roku. If you aren’t that keen on details, you should buy the Chromecast.