The television set of today bears little resemblance to its older versions and we can expect that TV will continue to upgrade as technology advances. These days, consumers are looking for greater connectivity. How, for example, do you get all the media that lives on your handheld devices to the tube? Apple and Google present their respective casting devices: the Google Chromecast and the Apple TV. Sitting on opposite sides of the price spectrum (the Chromecast retails for $35 while you can get the Apple TV for $99), each device has its own pros and cons.


Google Chromecast
You might mistake Chromecast for a USB device; it’s small and lightweight, with a minimalist design. Chromecast can plug into the USB port and the HDMI port of your television. A USB power adapter comes with Chromecast, just in case your TV can’t supply the power it needs or it lacks a USB port. The gadget is compatible with mobile devices that run on Google software or operating systems from partners. As long as the software supports Chromecast then it’s good to go.

Casting from an app on your mobile device is possible as long as the app is supported by Chromecast. Google Apps, regardless of whether you’re streaming from an Android or iOS device, will work. Stream your favorite apps such as HBO Go, Showtime, and Netflix; Android devices running on the latest Android versions have the ability to screencast. You’ll also be able to view videos sent to the Chromecast as long as you viewed it first through the Chrome browser.

Apple TV
Unlike the Chromecaster, the Apple TV runs on its own processor and plug-in power supply. It’s a puck-shaped box that connects to your TV via its HDMI port and can stream from various apps such as Hulu and Netflix on its own. The thing about the Apple TV that differs greatly from the Chromecaster is that it has its own Airplay protocol. You can stream both audio and video from your mobile device as long as it’s compatible with AirPlay. If you use an Apple device then it’s no problem. Almost every app that you have in your Apple device can be casted via AirPlay to your television. The downside is, if you’re an Android device user, then getting an Apple TV might not be the best idea.

The Verdict
Both gadgets are promising and offer various quirks. The best way to decide on which device to get is to consider your mobile devices. Are you using a device that runs on Google software? Or are you a true-blue Apple loyalist? Chromecast works best with Android devices, and the Apple TV’s features are best enjoyed using an Apple device.

17 Comments
  1. People also need to understand that their internet connection needs to be very fast in order to get the streaming speed they want. I used to have 3 mbps and for the most part, I could always get Netflix to run. However, my Amazon Prime account had problems with such a slow connection. I ended up upgrading to 12 mbps and it is much better. It still isn’t perfect though. I was streaming the History channel the other day and it still had some stops and starts.

  2. I agree with your verdict. The only reason I chose the Apple TV was because most of my friends and myself have an iPhone. When my friends come over we only need to tap one button for photos and videos to show on my TV. Otherwise I would have gotten a Chromecast since it’s smaller and cheaper.

  3. I experience similar viewing interruptions due to a slower connection too. Being an Android user, I would go for the Chromecast, particularly at less than half the price of it’s Apple counterpart.

  4. Informative article. I love casting over Wifi with my chromecast, it saves me hooking my laptop to the TV. It works great with Youtube and Netflix, the only downside is casting from your HDD, maybe it’s because it’s mostly only possible through third party apps (not every format will play through chrome) but I find it clunky and unreliable. That being said, a lot of the time it works without issue. I haven’t tried apple TV so am unable to comment on that, but I imagine the price tag would be a bit more hefty than the Chromecast.

  5. I’m not a big fan of apple products to be honest; never have been, but Apple TV sounds like a better option for me. Chromecast sounds a bit more complicated, it sounds like a lot things can go wrong with it, specially regarding to compatibility issues. If I were to invest on this kind of gadgets in the near future, I’d surely go for the safest pick: Apple TV.

  6. This originates back to the Apple vs Microsoft debate. To be honest, I believe it is all a matter of personal preference. Enjoy a more simple user interface? Choose Apple. If you like a more customizable user interface, then obviously choose Microsoft. I myself chose Apple due to the fact that it was simple and easy to use.

  7. Right now the chrome cast needs a more functional mirroring ability before I would rate it above apple TV, but that’s up for personal interpretation, where I live the chrome cast is certainly cheaper

  8. I regret buying my AppleTV. Had I known that you can’t add channels to the device, I would have ran the other way. I haven’t tried the Chromecast, yet, but I’m hoping there is an option to create a stream from an external source.

    That said, there’s also a third device that hasn’t really been mentioned here – the Roku. I’m a huge fan of Rokus; they’re inexpensive and you can even develop your own private channels for whatever internet streams you’d like!

    • Roku is always worth onsidering. They are a fraction of the price yet offer a great deal more functionality. I’d love to see a blog post dedicated to it – it has so much potential.

    • Omg, really? this is actually the first time that I read something negative about the Apple TV device, you should do your research on those devices, you’ll be more informed and hopefully you won’t receive an unpleasing surprise from the service.
      I haven’t heard about the Roky before, but it sounds like a really cool option, and the fact that you can choose your channels seems a really eye-catching feature.

  9. These 2 products are good in their own rights but just use a laptop to connect to your tv. With Google Chromecast or Apple TV, you only get so much content. They are great concepts but they should come out with a wireless keyboard to keep from getting up and down.

  10. Being an android user and all of our phones and tablets being android based we obviously went with the chromecast. It absolutely love it and its simple features. Its straight forward and easy to use. Not a bunch of menu’s to go through or screens to deal with. Its always on, and if an app is chromecast compatible it streams like butter. 🙂 It really just comes down to which side of the fence you’re on.

  11. Google Chromecast does have the disadvantage of not having a built in USB Port. Having to have equipment to plug into the T.V. can become a time consuming issue. Where with, Apple TV there seems to be alot less interference with accessing movies and applications thanks to its compatibility with Apple Phones, you can download content from your phone. I like apps that I can reuse. It saves me from worrying about having to constantly download content and using up my data.

  12. I’m a big fan of the Chromecast, only because I like how simple it looks, and I’ve had experience with hardware similar to it.

  13. I’ve been going through that phase where I just had to fill in surveys for extra, extra, extra income. Some of these surveys appear to be available to be taken on a TV. This rather brilliant, but surprising discovery, led me to wonder who between these two wonderful products were created with surveys in mind? Most people have probably heard of doing surveys for a chance to win an Apple TV or something as confusing as the Google Chromecast. Now imagine doing surveys on your idle TV sets, making money out of your TV watching experience. Wouldn’t that be something?

  14. I don’t really spend much time streaming as I find it quite costly, but I do find the Chromecast to be my type of service if I would ever consider buying a streaming stick. However, it is good to know exactly which devices are available to us if we find that we need them. These are quite amazing and they make technology a lot simpler as they become smaller.

  15. I’m not really an Apple Stan but if I had to pick between those two options, I would probably choose the Apple tv one, because when it comes to google chrome cast features I actually have them already on my regular cable service, and I really loved the Airplay feature on the Apple TV, and I also have heard that it actually comes with some tv channels included on it. When it comes to me, Apple TV wins this time.

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