[Sunday Evening Chat] Chromecast vs Roku Hdmi Stick

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    For those who love streaming content we have the 2 top streaming devices for the buck and I will put them head to head. In one corner we have the Google Chromecast which changed the game with its $35 price point. In the other we have the Roku hdmi stick which brings the power of Roku onto a small device at a $50 price point. Hopefully after this head to head you will have a better idea which device will be better for you.

    Chromecast: At $35 the Chromecast is hands down the cheapest option for streaming content but do not let the price fool you as it will hold its own against the competition. What sets the Chromecast apart from the Roku hdmi streaming stick is the speed in which you go from set up to streaming. Literally you take the Chromecast out the box, plug it in, enter the code on the screen, and you are ready to go (literally easy as 1,2,3). The contents you want to stream such as Netflix, Hulu, or Youtube is downloaded from the Google Play Store and is ready to cast simply by hitting the cast button in the upper right hand portion of the screen. Where the chromecast come up short is the content that can be streamed. Still for $35 it is a nice device for watching Youtube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Google movies. The chromecast also have the most upside as we are seeing development turn out more and more content, everything from games to productivity apps can be found in the play store and you also can mirror your computer through chrome browser (soon to include phones and tablets). Thanks to GoKo it is even easier to find apps that will work on your chromecast with the Cast Store App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=goko.gcs).

    Roku Hdmi Streaming stick: This is roku's answer to the chromecast as it is priced to be more competitive versus the other roku devices and take its design cue from the chromecast. At $50 it is still more than what it will cost for the chromecast but in my opinion it is worth the price. From box to set up takes much longer than the set up on the chromecast and the remote slows you down when signing into your accounts. Thankfully they have a Roku app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roku.remote) which makes setting up easier since you can use your keyboard to type in passwords versus using the arrows on the remote. The other negative is that once you get all your content set up at times there is a lag when browsing through channels and media content but that is where the cons end. Where the roku Hdmi stick shine is that it feels more polished then the Chromecast. Where the chromecast feels like an unfinished device (with potential) the roku feels like a device ready for primetime. With more content such as Watch Espn, History channel, Youtube, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Fox, and more (see here for full channel list https://www.roku.com/channels/#!browse/movies-and-tv/by-popular) the device feels more like a media powerhouse than a developer device. There is also the option to change the resolution from 720 to 1080.

    For me the Roku hands down is the better device right now as there is just a lot more content. Yeah it cost $15 more, takes $15 minutes longer to set up, and there is a slight lag to navigate through content, but if I had to choose one device to buy I am buying the roku. The purpose of having a device like this is for content and though we expect the content to come to chromecast soon, there are some of us that want it now. I highly expected to like the chromecast over the roku being a google fan but I was blown a way with the content and the user experience of the Roku stick.

    So if you want a device that is clean, easy to set up, can cast your computer screen, and potentially have the most upside then the chromecast may be for you. But if you want your content now especially the ability to watch lives sports via espn, want a larger selection of choices to choose from, willing to pass up the ability to cast your computer screen, and can shell out an extra $15 then I highly recommend the roku hdmi streaming stick for you especially for those with families .


    Stay tuned for more content and talk about these devices.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  2. RyanPm40
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    RyanPm40 Member

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    Is anybody else's Chromecast just really slow? The thing's wifi just isn't that great and sometimes I won't be able to stream Netflix on it when it will stream on my laptop fine >_>. Definitely a buggy device- occasionally loses connection with my phone/app, sometimes freezes/goes black until resetting my TV...
  3. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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  4. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I have that issue every now and then where my chromecast will be slow to load up or will time out mainly with youtube. Netflix and hulu plus works fine for me.
  5. PereDroid
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    PereDroid Well-Known Member

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    I think the fact that the Roku has a dedicated remote is a good thing. It's a quality remote, too.
  6. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I'd love to have a remote for my Chromecast. I know my phone controls it and all, but when I cast from my desktop its annoying to have to get up just to do something like pause a video.
  7. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    The dedicated remote comes in handy once you done setting it up. When I first saw it my thought was "eh". I was so use to my phone (or tablet) for the chromecast that i felt like the remote was a dinosaur. But now I have the remote it feels natural.

    Reading Cnet review reminded me of an issue I forgot to talk about which is the slow boot up time for netflix and youtube and the inability to stream google play content such as movie or music. Now one of the solutions put out there was to get the roku 3 which boots up much faster. The cost of a roku 3 is $99 the chromecast is $35 and the roku hdmi is 50, so for me I would rather get the chromecast and the roku hdmi vs the roku 3. Combined the chromecast and the roku hdmi handles all of my streaming needs. I get access to apps like amazon prime, redbox, espn, news and movie channels, and the option for kids programming (for those with kids) such as disney which is far more content than what you can get on the chromecast. Now the slow netflix and youtube boot ups do not bother me as of yet because I feel like though youtube is slower booting up on roku than chromecast the 3 or 4 secs behind is negligible. But I do have a lot of content through google play so that is where my chromecast fits in.
  8. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    View attachment 70195

    Music and pics from phone casts on roku hdmi as well

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
  9. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    A potential development may change this story. Before I reveal going to reach out to roku.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
  10. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Ok got a chance to talk to Roku plus compare it to the Roku 3 along with searching out other reviews. The issue I was noticing was that it will lose connection out of nowhere. In the 3 days I had it the issue showed up like 5 times to the point that I am trading it in for a roku 3 as users with both have pointed out similar issues. The other issue is the lag that is so bad at one point it froze until it rebooted. The lag issue can be fixed with an update and probably the same can be said with the connection issue but right now I have to base the head to head on how the devices operate now. So I upon further review I have to say Roku as a whole offer more channels and options than the Chromecast but as of now based on having to go from the roku hdmi streaming stick to the $99 Roku to get quality streaming I am going to have to change my verdict and call the victory of the head to head going to Google Chromecast. Yeah the chromecast do not have nearly the channels as the roku line but in the channels that matter (minus Amazon instant player, showtime, and watch espn) the chromecast have and the other channels they should eventually get.


    Break down:

    Ease of installation: Chromecast (can not beat 3 steps)

    Interface: I give the edge to the chromecast because even though roku's ui has a better look the chromecast simplicity performs better at the time of this head to head.

    Channels/content: The roku wins this in a landslide. There just is no comparison.

    interaction: Both devices allow you to stream youtube by touching the cast button. Chromecast design is more simplistic in that all of its content is cast from another device where as the roku allows you to use the remote or your phone (with the roku app) to browse through content. So for me I will declare this a tie.


    So this wraps up my head to head hopefully it helps in your decision. I will continue to update this page with youtube reviews from other reviews so you can get different perspectives that may help in your decision making.
  11. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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  12. xtor
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    xtor Well-Known Member

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    I have both and both work great!

    8th Infantry division
  13. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    First thank you for your service to our country. Yeah they are good devices but since I was doing a head to hear wanted to give a full review based on my opinion. I am actually going to keep the roku 3 with my Chromecast and give the roku stream stick to my brother. Being another person who own them both would like to get your opinion on a head to head so readers can get another perspective. I personally think reviews from different people can provide potential buyers a more rounded idea of what to expect in case one viewer either had a bad device, bad day, or a preference they were looking for that could be different from others.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
  14. xtor
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    xtor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, my daughter uses the ruko 1 for netflix, I use the chromecast for everything I can and haven't had ant issues yet.

    8th Infantry division
  15. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    It has been a few weeks now since I have owned my roku 3 and think is a perfect time for an update. The roku 3 has became my primary device and means of tv. I personally do not watch a lot of tv and when I do I am selective of the content. I love where Google is heading with the chromecast but I just feel where they are going is where roku is already at. The amount of content available is ridiculous. The hiccups I had with the roku hdmi I have not seen on the roku 3 at all. Because I am able to do everything on my chromecast as I can the roku the chromecast only gets used when I watch movies from my google play movie collection. Other than that the roku has taken the spot of my chromecast.

    I added a few private channels now I Love Roku TV: Roku Private Channels

    Now if some how we can get some private sports channels ie college and nfl fb. Or just give us nfl and nfl network period which probably will not happen until licenses come up for bids.
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