Chromecast vs. Roku: Which One Is Best for You?

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Chromecast vs. Roku: Which One Is Best for You?

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming media devices. There are plenty of gadgets competing for our attention, and in this post, we’ll compare Chromecast with Roku.

Chromecasts are always popular, but they are up against some of Roku’s offerings. Which product is best for you is determined by the qualities that are most essential to you.

Which Roku Device Should You Use?

Roku’s product portfolio is constantly evolving. Roku released new hardware in 2017 with the intention of streamlining its offering. However, the company’s product lineup has expanded once again with the reappearance and then re-cancellation of the Roku Premiere.

There are now four gadgets that may be considered direct competitors to the Chromecast. The Roku Express, Roku Express 4K +, Roku Streaming Stick 4K, and Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ are the models.

The Roku Ultra is the only Roku product that isn’t a Chromecast rival. This is a set-top box, not a dongle. As a result, it will not be included in this article.

So, let’s go through the four Roku models and compare them against the Chromecast in a few critical aspects. If you’re unfamiliar with Chromecast or Roku TV, we recommend starting with our introductions to each.

Chromecast vs. Roku: Cost

The Roku Express is the least expensive of the four Roku models, costing $29. The Streaming Stick 4K+ is the most costly gadget, costing $69. That implies the difference is just $40 for all four Roku dongle devices.

The basic Chromecast costs $30. That is the same as the Roku Express. The Chromecast Ultra, which supports 4K, costs $69.

If you want to purchase a Chromecast or a Roku to cut the cord, the small price range implies that pricing should not be a major concern. After all, the typical cable bill in the United States exceeds $100 per month; you could get any of the models and still save money.

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Chromecast vs. Roku: User Interface

The user interface is the most noticeable distinction between Chromecasts and Roku devices.

Roku devices are powered by Roku OS. An on-screen interface featuring channels, a shop, a settings menu, and search capability is available.

Chromecasts lack an on-screen interface. They will just reflect the screen of your phone, tablet, or computer on the TV. (This is why Chromecast may be used as a second computer display.)

The Google Home app is used to configure and manage your Chromecast. This app is available for both Android and iOS.

Chromecast vs. Roku: Connections

All the devices connect to your television via an HDMI port.

The lone exception is the Roku Express Plus from before 2018. It has HDMI connection as well as composite A/V connectors. If you have an older TV without HDMI connections, the older Express + is the only device that will function for you. It’s worth noting that the newer Roku Express lacks A/V hookups, so you’ll have to look for the older model on places like eBay.

Chromecast vs. Roku: Picture Quality

The basic Roku Express, one of the four Roku devices, no longer supports 4K.

Only the more costly Chromecast Ultra supports 4K, out of the two Chromecast models.

Stop and ponder before you go out and purchase a 4K model. First and foremost, does your TV support 4K? It is not yet prevalent in mid- and low-end items.

Second, do you truly consume 4K content? Keep in mind that many popular streaming services will charge you extra if you wish to stream in 4K resolution.

The lowest Netflix package, for example, is $10 per month, while the 4K plan is $20 per month. Even if you pay for 4K access, not all programs and movies are accessible in 4K resolution.

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Chromecast vs. Roku: Controls

All Roku devices come with their own remote control.

The voice remote, as expected, allows you to search for material vocally. It does, however, have a TV power button and volume controls, so you can get rid of your TV remote and have less devices laying about.

Roku also offers more powerful remote controls separately. The Enhanced Voice Remote (with a headphone port for private listening) and the Gaming Remote are also available (which includes specific gaming buttons).

Finally, you can get a Roku app for both Android and iOS. It allows you to effortlessly operate your device and switch between the numerous Roku devices in your household.

Chromecast devices, on the other hand, are totally controlled by your mobile device or computer. Because they cast your screen, whatever local inputs you make will be mirrored on your TV.

Some applications, such as Netflix, support casting. To begin viewing, just tap the in-app Cast button. Others, such as Amazon Prime Video, do not support casting. Fortunately, there are a couple workarounds that allow you to view Amazon Prime Video with Chromecast.

Chromecast vs. Roku: Content

Roku claims that you can add over 500,000 channels on your device.

Of course, many of them aren’t worth your time, but you’ll discover all the major names like Spotify, Hulu, Sling, Netflix, Amazon Video, and so on.

Roku also features an almost infinite number of private channels. If you want to learn more, we’ve covered some of the greatest private channels on Roku, as well as how to establish private channels on Roku.

Chromecast devices are unique. Because not all applications support Chromecast, you may have to manually cast your complete screen at times. When you stream from your mobile device, your battery life suffers. Furthermore, you will be unable to use your phone for anything else during the casting; this may not be an acceptable solution for you.

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Furthermore, even if you cast your complete screen, certain applications will fail to broadcast. They will not function if they depend on Silverlight, Flash, QuickTime, or VLC.

Chromecast vs. Roku: Additional Features

Roku devices and Chromecasts each offer some added capabilities that, depending on what’s essential to you, may help tip the scales.

There is an Ethernet connection on the Chromecast Ultra. Using it should result in a quicker and more fluid streaming experience. The Ultra is the only Roku device with an Ethernet connector, but as previously said, we haven’t included it in our comparison.

Miracast is supported by Roku devices. Miracast is often promoted as an alternative for HDMI. It means you can instantly mirror Android and Windows displays to your TV. Miracast is not available on Apple devices.

Finally, Roku OS has enabled Google Assistant since September 2018. It means you may search for and play content on your Roku device using any Google Assistant device, such as Google Home. This is one method for getting Google on your Roku.

Chromecast vs. Roku: And the Winner Is…

Much of your selection will be influenced by the goods you currently have in your house, the ecosystems you are connected to, and how you want to use your device.

In general, if you want a platform-agnostic approach to cut the cord, you should get a Roku. If you just want to stream the odd TV episode or movie to your TV, a Chromecast is a better option.

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