Roku or Google – Which One is Better?
One of the hardest parts about cutting the cord is the convenience of cable. You don’t have to go around to different websites, download patches and plug-ins, or switch between devices; all you have to do is sit down and turn on the TV. That’s a huge sticking point for a lot of people out there; and in spite of poor customer service and expensive packages, many people stick with the cable companies because of that convenience.
Out with the Old – In with the New
However in recent years it has become a lot easier to access content online, and even easier to consolidate all of your media devices. When Roku (What is Roku?) came on the scene in 2010, it was a huge relief for people who wanted to watch Netflix and Hulu but didn’t have a gaming console or a computer to hook up to their television. Four years later, it seems that every tech company wants to get in on the home-streaming market; especially tech-giant Google. In recent years, Google has been looking to diversify its portfolio and the home-streaming market seems like a perfect fit.
Roku Streaming Stick vs Chromecast
This year both Google and Roku released similar streaming devices: The Roku Streaming Stick and Google Chromecast. Both are only slightly smaller than a USB Stick, both offer hundreds of supported apps, and both are reasonably priced. So which one is better? Well that depends on who you ask.
Which one is Right for You?
You see, even though both Roku and Chromecast are technically streaming devices; they couldn’t be more different in how they accomplish that task. In order to use Roku, all you have to do is plug it into your TV and wait for it to load. Chromecast, on the other hand, requires a computer, smart phone, or tablet in order to work.
The reason for the difference is that while Roku acts as a proprietary streaming device; Chromecast acts more as an extension to the current devices that you own.
- Looking for a one stop, instant, experience; then Roku is for you.
- Looking for better way to share the content on your electronic devices, Google Chrome is right up your alley.
When it comes to price, Chromecast and Roku are more or less in the same price range. Chromecast costs around $35, while Roku will run you around $50 (amazon link).
Picture-wise both Roku and Chromecast are capable of delivering 1080p HD resolution. Although Chromecast’s video can suffer a bit when streaming from the Google Chrome extension, but we’ll get to that in a second. The interface for both devices has some positive and some negative points. While Roku’s interface is clean and easily navigable, it can run frustratingly slow sometimes. Chromecast doesn’t have that problem, but it lacks a native interface for the television. That’s not a problem if it’s just you watching television; but if you have a group of people it can get a little cramped when everyone crowds around your phone to decide what to watch.
Video Streaming Apps
When it comes to app support, Roku has Chromecast beat hands down. Chromecast may support hundreds of apps but they are still missing support for some of the more popular applications like Amazon Prime. Roku, on the other hand, supports over 1,400 apps; including Amazon Prime. Google has release a patch that will allow developers to make their applications Chromecast supported; but it will be some time until Chromecast catches up with Roku.
Chromecast does have an awesome feature where you can stream directly from your Google Chrome browser. Theoretically you can watch or do anything that you can do in a web browser with Chromecast. Unfortunately because you’re streaming directly from your phone, tablet or computer; the picture quality can be a bit rough at times. There is also delay between what you see on your device and what you see on the television. This feature doesn’t work too well now, but expect its performance to improve in the future as Google continues to tinker with Chromecast.
Wrapping it Up
If you want a no-hassle, ready-to-go out of box experience, then Roku is the device for you. If you want an open-platform device that effortlessly integrates all your content spread on your multiple devices, then it’s Chromecast all the way. At the end of the day, you honestly can’t go wrong with either one; what really matter is what you’re looking for in a streaming device. So the true winner of Roku Streaming Stick vs Chromecast, is you!