Great Streaming Media Chromecast Alternatives
Streaming Media Alternatives
So you bought the $35 Chromecast and have determined it’s not working out for you or you just want more. Fortunately you are in luck. With everyone jumping on the Smart TV bandwagon these days, there are tons of alternatives to choose from. With companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Roku all fighting to take over your Television set, each company is trying to do something uniquely different to get your money. Below are a list of great alternatives to the Chromecast
Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV is a still a baby in this market. While still young, the Fire TV provides you with a bunch of different streaming video options. Of course many people will purchase the Fire TV just for it's capability of streaming Amazon Prime Instant Videos which the Chromecast currently cannot do. There are two features that stand out on the Amazon Fire TV over all others. You have the ability to use your voice to search for content. Simply press the microphone button on the remote and speak the name of the Move or TV show that you want to watch. The other thing that makes the Fire TV unique is the ability to hook up an Xbox/PlayStation style gamepad. This will allow you to play console style games on the Fire TV. We also can't ignore the fact that it runs Android. This means that someone will figure out how to hack it and make it more powerful.
Key services: Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Showtime, Watch ESPN, Crackle, Bloomberg TV, Pandora, Vevo, iHeart Radio, twitch, Huffpost Live, NBA Game Time, Plex, YouTube, tune in radio, Flixster, Minecraft,
Is it worth it? You cannot cast videos from your phone or web browser like you can with the Chromecast but you can do pretty much everything else. This is the only smart TV device that allows you to pretty much watch any service and allow you to play console style video games.
Cons: No web browser, no ability to cast from your phone, lack of HBO Go support
If you are on the fence on whether or not to get the Amazon Fire TV, you may want to consider a Roku 3. The Roku has been around for years and was one of the first companies to offer a device of its kind. When Roku launched in 2011, their main goal was to provide everyone with a way to watch Netflix videos onto their TV. Fast forward 3 years later and we have a full blow multimedia device. Not only is the Roku one of the most popular media content devices, it also offers more content than other media player. With over a 1000 channels to choose from, you are sure to find something to watch.
Key services: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Crackle, HBO GO, Vudu, PBS, History Channel, Blockbuster on demand, A&E Original, Redbox instant, TWC TV (watch Time Warner TV channels), Fox, Disney Channel, Showtime, Syfy, Flixster and more. Click here for a complete list.
Is it worth it? Yes. There is an app available on iOS and Android to control your Roku device. You can also cast videos to your Roku from the Netflix and YouTube app.
Cons: Very little game support (if that matters to you), not as easy to cast media.
If you have bought into Apple's ecosystem, then the Apple TV may be the best option for you. The Apple TV is the only box that is compatible with iTunes , iCloud, and AirPlay. You can also mirror the screen of your Mac to an Apple TV. If you do not own any Apple devices or have not purchased any content from iTunes, then you may want to consider a Roku 3 or Amazon Fire TV.
Key services: iTunes Movies and TV Shows, iTunes Music, iTunes Radio, Netflix Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Watch ABC, Disney Channel, PBS, A&E, History, WatchESPN, NHL Gamecenter, YouTube, Vimeo, WWE and more. Click here for a full list of supported services.
Is it worth it? Yes if you are an Apple person, no if you are not.
Cons: No game support, no Android support, restricted by Apple.