Popular Streaming Devices
All the three are very popular media streamers, coming with some pros and cons. You no longer have to buy a smart television in order to access Netflix or the BBC iPlayer. You can use these streamers for streaming such media on your television. All these devices consume very little power, and you can use them for streaming services without the use of your laptop or your PC. They are also useful for beaming any content from your smartphone on to the television without the use of wires.
Set Top Boxes and Dongles
Apple TV and Roku 3, the flagship model, are the traditional type of set top boxes and they are able to operate independently, without using any other remote or your mobile phone. Chromecast, on the other hand, cannot be used independently, as you need a smartphone or a tablet to bring in the content. It is a dongle like the Roku Streaming stick. However, the Roku stick also has its own remote.
Apple TV is available at a price of $99, with Roku 3 being available for around $80for its flagship version. It is also available in stick form, as Roku 1 and Roku 2 for a lower price. Chromecast is another option available only in stick form at a cheap price of $35.
Roku – King of Content
The flagship model is available for $80, with the Roku 2 at $70 and the Roku 1 at $50. It is the undisputed king when it comes to content, with a massive library, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify, Pandora, NFL Now and even YouTube and several others. It also brings in plenty of updates regularly. Both the Roku 2 and 3 come with headphones in their remotes, making it very useful when you are viewing television late at night. The chip is extremely fast and responsive.
Apple TV is a great companion for iOS devices. If you have plenty of movies, television shows and so on in iTunes, you can access all of this content on the television. You can also access the music stored in the cloud with iTunes Match. The AirPlay mirroring feature is awesome, where you can push music or any other content from an application to the television.
Chromecast is primarily attractive due to the low price. Google also offers regular updates for the dongle. It is small and compact and hides discreetly behind the television. It also covers all the major applications, and works with Hulu Plus, Pandora, HBO Go, Crackle Radio and several others. You can add the Cast support for most of the iOS and Android apps, thereby leading to a rapidlyexpanding library. But it does not have a remote and has to be controlled using a tablet or a smartphone. Some important apps, such as Amazon Instant and Spotify are also missing.
Chromecast is from Google and is available at the lowest cost. It is a simple dongle used for beaming content and video from your smartphone or any other device onto the television screen. It is easy to use, but it does not have support from a lot of apps, though this might change. Roku is a premium option and comes with wireless headphones and remote. It also has great content. The Roku Streaming stick is also one of the best and is worth the additional cost, compared to Chromecast, if more content is what you are looking for. It also has the advantage of a physical remote for navigation and its user interface. Apple TV is a slick device, but it relies too much on iTunes and on Netflix. If you are into the iOS environment and have many iOS devices, it could work for you.
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