Dec 03, 2020
Roku vs. chrome cast: Which is right for you?
 
ZB-3529
It’s become so easy to have an immersive theatre-like experience at home. Movies, TV episodes, or exclusive series are all available at the click of a finger. And streaming devices are pivotal to complete this experience. 
 
What is a streaming device?
A streaming media device connects your TV or home theater to the internet. So you can stream any content through a service provider or app. These days, smart TV’s come with inbuilt streaming apps - creating a seamless and fuss-free experience.
 
Which one should you go for?
Let’s take a look at the current two leaders in the space — Google and Roku. Both produce streaming media players. Let’s take a look:
 

Models available
Roku is consistent with tweaking and launching new products. Six devices from Roku give tough competition to Chromecast. These are:
  • Roku Express: SAR 220-250
  • Roku Express + 
  • Roku Premiere: SAR 250
  • Roku Premiere +
  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Roku Streaming Stick +: SAR 400
 
Cost
The cheapest is Roku Express at SAR 220-250, and the most expensive is Streaming Stick + (with remote) at SAR 400. Google Chromecast 3 costs about SAR 232, which is at par with the Roku Express +.
 
User Interface
The differentiating factor between the Chromecasts and Roku products is the user interface. Roku devices operate on Roku OS and have an on-screen interface with: 
  • Channels
  • A store
  • A settings menu
  • Search functionality
Chromecasts has no on-screen interface. It technically mirrors your phone, tablet, or computer screen on the TV and serves more of a second computer monitor.
It’s easy to manage and use Chromecast via the Google Home app available on Android and iOS.
 
Connections
Both devices connect to the TV via an HDMI port. Do note that the Roku Express + does not have this feature. Rather it has HDMI connectivity and offers composite A/V ports. 
 
Tip: If you have an old TV without HDMI ports, the Express + is a boon.
 
Quality of picture
Roku Express, Express +, and Streaming Stick have the standard1080p HD video. On the other hand, Premiere, Premiere +, and Streaming Stick +- give 4K video and high dynamic range (HDR). For Chromecast only expensive Chromecast Ultra supports 4K.
 
Tip: Do consider if you have a 4K TV or watch such high-resolution content. Also, platforms like Netflix charge more for 4k streaming, which adds to monthly costs.
 
Controls
All Roku devices come with remotes, but the cheaper ones have a simpler remote, so you can buy a voice remote (which lets you search content verbally) separately. The premium models feature a voice remote that has a TV power button and volume controls — so one remote serves multiple functions.
 
Tip: Enhanced Voice Remote from Roku comes with a headphone jack for private listening).
 
With Roku, you can download the app on both Android and iOS. Chromecast devices are controlled from the mobile device or computer.
 
Content options
With Roku, you can have 500,000 channels installed on your device like Spotify, Hulu, Sling, Netflix, Amazon Video, and so on. On the other hand, not all apps are Chromecast-enabled. This implies that you may have to cast your entire screen manually. Simply put, if you stream on the phone, a lot of battery is consumed.
 
Added features
Chromecast Ultra features an ethernet port for a faster and smoother streaming experience. In Roku, only the Ultra has ethernet. It is not featured in this article since it’s more of a set-top box. All of the Roku devices are Miracast-enabled, which is a replacement for HDMI. It enables you to mirror Android and Windows screens on the TV, except Apple devices.
 
Since 2018, Roku OS supports Google Assistant — so you can use it for Google Assistant devices like Google Home. So you can get Google on your Roku.
 
If you are looking for a used Chromecast or Roku device or, we have quite a few available at: 
https://www.zeaara.com/classifieds/electronics-appliances.html 
 
You can also try our ’Verify Before Purchase’ service. For a fee of SAR 30, we will verify the specifications and quality for youhttps://www.zeaara.com/verification-service.html
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