Both Chromecast and Roku popular streaming video device , which have consistently added features and software updates to improve functionality. They are simple, reliable, convenient and reliable devices that stream entertainment directly to your TV. We’ve looked at both technologies to help you make a confident decision about which is right for you.

Chromecast vs. Roku

General conclusions

Chromecast
  • Streaming HD video.

  • Offers basic and advanced models.

  • Has apps for iOS and Android.

  • Content from hundreds of premium and free streaming providers.

  • Easy setup.

  • Watching from Chromecast requires an app for that channel or an app on your phone.

  • Doesn’t have a remote control.

  • Works with Google Assistant.

  • Transfer content from individual applications to a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Roku
  • Streaming HD video.

  • Offers basic and advanced models.

  • Has apps for iOS and Android.

  • Content from hundreds of premium and free streaming providers.

  • Easy setup.

  • The remote control is easy to use and intuitive.

  • The use of the app is optional.

  • No native voice control.

  • Delivers content across channels and apps.

Roku and Chromecast are similar devices with rich media streaming capabilities. Both transmit streaming HD video through an available HDMI port on your TV, and then connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network for crisp, clear digital picture and sound.

Both Roku and Chromecast have base models that support standard HD streaming, as well as more advanced models. Both are highly customizable and have intuitive mobile apps for iOS and Android. Content options for Roku and Chromecast are plentiful.

However, the devices have some significant differences. Roku delivers content via channels and apps while Chromecast takes a less centralized approach where you use individual apps on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Chromecast also offers more voice features.

Content Delivery: Roku Edges Out Chromecast

Roku
  • The Roku remote is easy to use, intuitive, and anyone can control what happens.

  • The use of the app is optional.

Chromecast
  • Chromecast is controlled via a smartphone or tablet.

  • Watching from Chromecast requires an app for that channel or an app on your phone.

Easily navigate the folded screen of Roku channels and apps to deliver streaming content. And roku remote, and the official app (downloadable from the iTunes App Store or Google Play) are intuitive, using the familiar D-pad and OK button.

Chromecast does not have a remote. Instead of one place where you choose what to watch, you use apps on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This is a less centralized approach, but may be more familiar to those who watch a lot of video on their phone or tablet.

Application Google Home offers basic controls for applications that are being converted, but in general, control occurs in the application that is currently being broadcast. As a result, if you have six video streaming sources, you will switch between six applications.

Voice Control Features: Chromecast Wins

Roku
  • There is no built-in voice communication.

  • Advanced features allow some voice control.

Chromecast
  • Control some video sources from the Google Home app.

  • Google Assistant can also control Roku.

Using either google assistant, or a properly configured Google Home division, say for example: «Hey Google, play The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on your living room TV,» and like magic, the Coen brothers’ revisionist love letter to westerns plays on your TV.

While Google Home only connects to a few content providers, the Chromecast’s awesome connectivity can overshadow the limited channels it’s integrated with.

Roku has some voice control capabilities. The Roku mobile app for iOS and Android, the enhanced voice remote, the Roku TV Voice Remote, and the Roku Touch desktop remote can perform content searches as well as process the playback commands needed for complete control.

Google Assistant can control Roku with a few quick setup steps.

Channels and apps: Roku has more options

Roku
  • Wide range of content.

  • Ignore the ISPs so no content fights like the show against Amazon and Google.

Chromecast
  • Chromecast cannot access Amazon Prime Video.

Cordcutting.com lists over 8,000 channels and apps that are available on Roku. From popular free-to-air TV channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC to high-quality cable streamers like HBO and everything in between, there’s something to watch on Roku.

The Chromecast website lists over 2,600 Chromecast-enabled apps covering a range of entertainment sources. While Chromecast and Roku offer YouTube, Netflix, HBO, ESPN, news networks, major sports broadcasters and more, Chromecast is missing a key provider: Amazon Prime Video .

Even though you can cast Prime Video from a laptop, the inability to stream Amazon Prime Video is a significant downside to Chromecast to begin with.

Setup and ease of use: intuitive and easy

Roku
  • Setting up Roku takes you step by step, letting you know what you’re doing and why.

  • Setting up Roku requires you to create a Roku account and then link it to PayPal or a credit card to purchase content.

Chromecast
  • Google’s simple product line makes shopping easy. If you have a 4K TV, buy an Ultra.

  • You are connected to the Google ecosystem.

Chromecast’s video product line is simple and aggressive. Google offers streaming video in two flavors. The Chromecast costs $35 and supports 1080p HD video and audio over HDMI as well as Wi-Fi networks. The Chromecast Ultra is $69 and supports 4K HD video and audio over HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet.

Setting up a Chromecast is easy. Connect your device to an available HDMI port, sign in to your Google account through the Google Home app, and connect your Chromecast to your home Wi-Fi network. To access pay TV and streaming TV channels, you need to sign in to your TV or cable TV provider account. You purchase subscriptions or content rentals through Google Play.

More and more TV manufacturers are including Chromecast in their TVs. However, with only two choices of dongle, you are really choosing a Chromecast that delivers the picture your TV is capable of.

Seven available Roku Options and all of them allow transmit least 1080p HD video connect to your home Wi-Fi network, and be controlled with compact and easy-to-use remote controls.

Pricing starts at $29.99 on the Roku website. Mid-range models add a voice-activated remote, while the top-of-the-line Roku Ultra adds dual-band MIMO and 802.11ac Ethernet networks, USB or microSD storage expansion, and a pair of JBL headphones. It will set you back $99.99.

Roku’s setup is a bit more complicated. You’ll need to open a Roku account, provide a credit card number, and sign in to your Roku TV or cable operator account to access pay TV and streaming channels. Providing a payment source allows you to purchase subscriptions to premium channels, buy or rent movies and TV shows, or make other purchases from the Roku Channel Store.

Roku walks you through every step of the setup, and in about 15 minutes you can watch a movie. While the setup is simple, entering passwords for Wi-Fi networks and subscriptions can be a bit of a hassle.

Download the Roku app and tap the keyboard icon for a real keyboard to download usernames and passwords. This saves time and frustration if you practice good password security.

Final verdict: both options are strong

Both Roku and Chromecast are great choices for streaming entertainment Chromecast offers a simple product line at reasonable prices and is easy to use. It integrates well with the connected home.

Roku is also easy to set up and use. While its rich content offering and dedicated remote control make Roku’s entire user experience intuitive and expansive, its ability to stream Amazon Prime Video natively makes Roku the choice for many users.

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