We recently asked TechBeat readers to tell us whether they use Google’s Chromecast or Apple TV for streaming audio and video content. The result was that 67% percent of you have chosen Chromecast, so let’s a look at both Apple TV and Chromecast to find out why it has proven more popular.
Perhaps the biggest, and arguably the most important difference, is price; Apple TV costs $99, whereas the Chromecast costs just $34.99. There’s no contest there really but there are other major differences which need to be taken into consideration before purchasing either.
One benefit of Chromecast is its compatibility. As well as Android, of course, it is also compatible with iOS, Windows, Mac OS X and Chrome OS devices. Apple TV however is limited to just iOS and Mac OS X devices.
Where Apple TV does win hands down is native apps, simply because it supports a lot more of them. It has on offer Hulu Plus, three Disney apps and a host of sports apps, as well as all iTunes content.
It is in this area that Google’s offering struggles, with the Chromecast having very limited third-party support. It is worth remembering though that Apple TV is a little more mature, so no doubt as Chromecast enters more living rooms, content owners will add Chromecast compatibility.
Both Apple TV and Chromecast allow you to stream content from a PC or mobile device to a big screen but how they do it is very different.
Airplay from Apple lets you reflect photos, videos, audio files and even apps but the problem is you can’t then use your device for say streaming content and checking your emails for example because it would interrupt the mobile to Apple TV signal.
However Chromecast isn’t device dependent. Instead your device simply tells the Chromecast where to pull content from on the web; Chromecast just does the rest for you.
So although the two offer a similar experience, they have very different ways of achieving it. Both devices have good points and bad points but likely your decision will be influenced by price and what hardware you already own.