We are spoiled for choice when it comes to streaming media devices. There are dozens upon dozens of streaming media devices on the market. We’ll be comparing Chromecast and Roku in this article.
Although Chromecasts are a popular product, there is stiff competition from Roku products. The right product for you will depend on the features you value most.
Which Roku device is best?
Roku is always improving its product lineup. Roku released new hardware in 2017, with the intention of simplifying its product lineup. With the introduction and subsequent cancellation of the Roku Premiere, however, Roku’s gadget list has grown again.
There are four devices today that could be considered to be direct rivals to Chromecast. They are Roku Express, Roku Express 4K+, and Roku Streaming Stick 4K+.
Roku Ultra, Roku’s only product that doesn’t compete with Chromecast, is it. This is a set-top box, not a dongle. This box will not be included in this article.
Let’s take a look at the four Roku products. We will also compare them with Chromecast in key areas. To start, you can check our Chromecast introduction as well as the basic Roku TV.
Roku vs. chromecast: cost
The Roku Express, which costs $29.95, is the most affordable of the four Roku devices. The Streaming Stick 4K+ will cost you $69. The difference in price is $40 for all four Roku dongles.
The Chromecast Standard costs $30 The standard Chromecast costs $30. This is the same as Roku Express. The Chromecast Ultra adds 4K support for $69.
You don’t need to worry about the cost of buying a Chromecast, Roku, or another device that will cut your cord. The average US cable bill is over $100 per month. This means that you can buy any model and save money.
Chromecast vs. Roku
The user interface is what makes Chromecasts different from other Roku products.
Roku devices run Roku OS. An interface is available on the screen that includes channels, a shop, settings menus, and search functionality.
Chromecasts lack an on-screen interface. They will mirror your tablet, phone, or computer screen on the TV. Chromecast can also be used as a secondary computer monitor.
Chromecast vs. Roku Connections
All devices can be connected to your television via an HDMI cable.
The Roku Express + pre-2018 is the exception. Express + offers HDMI connectivity and a composite A/V port. If your TV doesn’t support HDMI, then the Express + version older than this will work. Please note that the Roku Express has no A/V connections. This means you will need to buy the older version via sites like eBay.
Chromecast vs. Amazon Roku: Picture Quality
One of the Roku Express devices doesn’t offer 4K anymore.
The Chromecast Ultra is the only Chromecast product that supports 4K.
Be careful before you buy a 4K model. First, does your TV even support 4K? It isn’t yet commonplace on low-end or mid-end products.
Do you watch 4K content, or are you just imagining it? You will pay more for streaming in 4K on many streaming services.
For example, the cheapest Netflix package is $10/month, and the 4K plan is $20/month. You will not be able to access all of the movies and shows in 4K even though you have paid for them.
Chromecast vs. Roku Controls
Roku devices include a remote control.
You can search for content verbally with the voice remote, just as you would expect. You can also use it as a TV power button or volume control, so you have fewer gadgets.
Roku also sells individual remotes with more power. There are two options: the Enhanced Voice Remote, which allows for private listening via a headset, and the Gaming Remote, which includes gaming buttons.
You can also download the Roku App on iOS and Android. You can control your Roku device and switch between them easily.
Chromecast devices can only be controlled by your computer or mobile device. Your inputs will be reflected on the TV’s screen because they cast it.
Some apps such as Netflix are cast-enabled. To cast, all you need is to press the in-app Cast key. Casting is not possible for some other services, such as Amazon Prime Video. There are a few ways to stream Amazon Prime Video with Chromecast.
Chromecast vs. the Roku: Content
Roku says that your device can support more than 500,000 channels.
While a majority of these might not be worth your time, there are still some great options like Spotify and Hulu.
Chromecast devices are different. Chromecast is not available in all apps. You may have to manually cast your entire screen. Your battery life will be affected if you stream via mobile. The casting will also mean that you can’t use your phone to do anything else. It might not work for you.
Some apps don’t stream well even if your screen is full. They won’t work if they rely upon Silverlight Flash, QuickTime, Silverlight, or VLC.
Chromecast vs. Roku
Chromecasts and Roku are both equipped with extra features that can help you tip the scales. It all depends on what is most important to your needs.
Chromecast Ultra features an Ethernet port. The Ethernet port should make streaming faster and smooth. However, the Ultra is our only Roku device to have an Ethernet port. We haven’t included it in this showdown.
Miracast-enabled Roku devices can be used with Miracast. Miracast is frequently referred to by many as a replacement for HDMI. This allows you to mirror Android and Windows screens directly on your TV. Miracast will not work on Apple devices, unfortunately.
Roku OS now supports Google Assistant as of September 2018. You can now search for and even play content on any Roku OS device by using Google Assistant devices such as Google Home. This is one way to Google on your Roku.