Google Chromecast vs. Apple TV: Which to binge-watch on?

Streaming content from your devices or computer to your TV can be a great way to enjoy a much wider range of media on a big screen.

Investing in a device such as Apple TV or Google Chromecast streamlines this process, but it can be tricky if you’re trying to pick between these two options. Though each has specific differences in how they can be used, their end functions are nearly the same. This means that the choice between the two may simply come down to which devices you already own and how they interact with one of these systems. Here’s a quick rundown of Chromecast vs Apple TV to help you pick the best system based on your current devices and setup.

Are you an Apple user or Android/Windows user?

If you already own an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, you may find that you want to stick with Apple products and get the Apple TV as well. These devices are all already designed to work smoothly with each other. Many of the apps on your Apple mobile device or computer will have an ‘AirPlay’ option to stream content directly to Apple TV. Android and Windows users will need to use a third-party app or individual apps features to stream to Apple TV. Plus, iTunes is designed to work seamlessly with Apple TV, whereas you will not be able to stream videos from iTunes to Chromecast.

Chromecast works directly from apps installed on your Android or Apple device, making it convenient for households with both Apple devices and Android and Windows devices, but more Android apps are designed to work with it. Also, because Youtube and Chromecast were both designed by Google, streaming from Youtube is a very user-friendly experience.

Do you want a device with apps and storage, or simply a way to stream media?

The Apple TV offers storage space and allows you to download apps from the app store to use on your TV. It also features handy details like an HDMI port for straightforward media playing from a computer. Google Chromecast is simply a receiver, relying on signals from your computer or mobile device, and does not feature any storage space or ports. This though isn’t an issue for users simply wanting to stream content directly from another device.

What is your budget?

Chromecast comes in as the winner price wise, at a low of $45 new. A brand new Apple TV is a bit more of a splurge at $199.

Do you prefer a remote control?

AppleTV comes with a dedicated remote control, so you can use it as a stand-alone device. Chromecast relies on input from your mobile device or computer to function, making it a bit more restrictive if you are not handy with your other devices.

Overall, keep in mind that Apple TV is designed to work best with other Apple devices, while Chromecast was designed with Android and Windows devices prioritized. Other than that, each system has its own pros and cons from price to abilities. Take the time to evaluate which features you think you will use most, and which fits best with your budget.