With the initiation of Google Chromecast vs Apple TV, you don’t even require a computer to watch your favorite TV series or movies; all you require is your smartphone, television, and an app.
Maybe you are split between the Chromecast set-up and Apple TV; which between these popular IPTV options will meet your requirements? No worries, for this article will set the record right. Read and then you choose.
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Google Chromecast Vs. Apple TV
Devices running iOS, like the iPhone and iPad, and systems running iTunes, can control an Apple TV. Both iOS devices and iTunes have AirPlay (Apple’s wireless streaming media technology) made into them, so there’s no need to install additional software to use them with the Apple TV. However, if you utilize an Android device, you must install software to make it communicate with the Apple TV.
Chromecast, on the other hand, claims that you install software on your computer to set up the device and send content to your TV. There’s no built-in Chromecast support in the operating system for smartphone apps, so you have to wait for each app you require to use to be updated with Chromecast-compatible features. Apple TV is more tightly combined with its compatible devices than the Chromecast.
1. Compatibility with Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows
Apple makes Apple TV while Google executes the Chromecast. You’ll get the most satisfying experience with the Apple TV if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. That said, Windows computers and Android devices can run with the Apple TV too.
Chromecast is more platform-agnostic, meaning you’ll have the same experience with it on most devices and computers. However, iOS devices can’t mirror their displays; only Android and desktop computers can (see below for more data about display mirroring).
This is a separation between two devices from each company, as well — what you’ll need depends on whether or not you have a TV that can display 4K video (and a fast sufficient broadband connection to stream it). Apple’s 4th-generation Apple TV, limited to 1080p video, is still a modern product, now priced at $209. The newer Apple TV 4K, meanwhile, starts at $249.
Google, meanwhile, now manages three versions of its Chromecast. The standard 1080p-capable model can be had for as little as $59, while the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra spikes the price up to $99 – now destined to be discounted heavily following the release of the 2020 Chromecast, with all of its latest features coming in at that same $99 price point. As you can observe, in price terms, Google’s got the upper hand by a long way. Does the Apple TV offer quiet to make the vast price gap worth it?
3. Install Your Apps
While Apple TV has lots of apps pre-installed, users can’t add their applications to it. Therefore, you’re limited to whatever Apple gives you. With Chromecast, you have to expect apps to be updated to include compatibility with the device. Many, but certainly not all, applications work on both devices.
4. Display Mirroring
One cool workaround for apps that aren’t Apple TV or Chromecast compatible is to use a feature called display mirroring. This tool helps you broadcast everything is on your device or computer screen directly to your TV.
The Apple TV involves built-in support for a feature called AirPlay Mirroring from iOS devices and Macs, but it doesn’t support mirroring from Android or Windows devices. Chromecast helps display mirroring from Android devices and desktop computers running its software, but not from iOS devices.
In short, both devices carry mirroring, but they favor the products from their parent companies.
5. Music, Radio, & Photos
Both the Apple TV and the Chromecast can produce non-video content like music, radio, and photos to your home entertainment system. The Apple TV gives built-in apps and features for streaming music from iTunes (either your computer’s iTunes library or songs in your iCloud account), iTunes Radio, internet radio, and podcasts. It can display photos if they’re saved in your computer’s photo library or your iCloud Photo Stream.
Chromecast doesn’t recommend these features out of the box. Like Pandora and SoundCloud, some well-known music apps support Chromecast, with more being added all the time.
Which Offers Best Value for the Money?
Eventually, it’s a tough call — because these are devices that set out to do a comparable thing but end up giving you completely different experiences. There’s no denying the great value that Google’s Chromecast represents.
It works with just about every app under the sun, and it’s a set-and-forget something that sits behind your TV but can be taken with you quickly if you go on a journey, and its standard version is one of the lowest streaming devices on the market.
Apple TV, meanwhile, is more of a luxury choice. Most (but not all) of what it does can be done by more affordable devices, but none of them does it quite well or with such a precise focus on technical quality.
Everything from interface to app design feels relaxed and friendly, and it’s supported by more streaming services and TV networks than any comparable device. If you need to, you can cast to it from an iOS device using AirPlay, allowing for social video and photo sharing.
They’re both excellent choices, but if you can bear the not-insignificant cost, Apple TV remains the best streaming device on the demand, hands down. However, with its new 2020 Chromecast at less than half the cost, Google’s stepped up the fight massively.