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Roku and Chromecast are two of the top streaming media players on the market. But, which is better? Chromecast has an attractive price point of $35, making it one of the least expensive options. But, can Chromecast deliver everything you want in a media streaming device when Roku has so many more features than? Find out below in our Roku vs Chromecast side-by-side comparison and in-depth review so you can make the best choice on where to spend your hard-earned money on a better media viewing experience!
Roku is our #1 pick in our best media streaming players comparison but how does Chromecast compare in regards to apps, price, remotes, connectivity options, dashboards and more? We’ll go in-depth over all of these key features below.
|Best for Apps|
|Best Connectivity Options|
|Best Dashboard Usability|
Below is a table showing what apps are available on Roku and Chromecast.
|NBA Game Time|
|NHL Game Center|
As you can see, Roku has more apps available than Roku, so Roku is the winner here.
The table below shows the different pricing options for Roku and Chromecast (prices were current at the time of writing but are subject to change).
|Roku Express - $29.99||$35|
|Roku Express+ - $39.99|
|Roku Streaming Stick - $49.99|
|Roku Premier - $79.99|
|Roku Premier+ - $99.99|
|Roku Ultra - $129.99|
|Roku TV - starting at $125 for 32″ TV|
Chromecast offers one device for $35. Roku’s introductory model is priced at $29.99, and there are six other options to choose from as well. Because of the number of choices and various price points, Roku takes the cake on this one.
Roku devices can be controlled with your smartphone, but they also come with a remote. The remote for the Roku Ultra has Voice Search to let you get to what you want quicker as well as a headphone jack (featured on the Premier+ remote too). If you lose remotes often, then you can turn to your smartphone. To use your phone as a remote, download the app sign onto your wifi network, and you’re all set. The Roku Ultra does have Remote Finder which is handy if you misplace it often.
Learn more about the Roku app in this video:
To control what you watch on your Chromecast you can use your smartphone, tablet or computer as a remote. If you have one of these devices, no problem. However, if you’re more “anti-technology” or just don’t have an internet-enabled device, Chromecast will not work for you since it doesn’t come with its own remote control.
Roku can mirror from an Android or Windows device. Chromecast allows for mirroring through the Chrome browser, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc. This is a pretty cool feature that lets you mirror anything your browser is showing. However, through personal experience, it doesn’t always perform smoothly. Nonetheless, Chromecast is the winner of this category since it offers more connectivity options.
Chromecast doesn’t really have a dashboard. You install a plugin on Chrome and then cast to your TV or cast through an app (like Hulu or Netflix). As we mentioned above, this isn’t always the smoothest connection. Roku has a seamless dashboard that is simple to use and user-friendly. It’s easy to switch through the apps with your remote and select a show to watch. Roku is our winner for this category.
Roku Vs Chromecast: Other Comparisons
- All Rokus and Chromecast have 1080p video resolution except the Roku Premiere, Premiere+ and Ultra which are 4K (this will ultimately be limited by your television’s capabilities).
- Roku and Chromecast have 1-year warranties.
- Roku Premier+ and Ultra have headphone jacks so you can listen privately.
- Chromecast is smaller than Roku box, but both HDMI sticks are about the same size.
- Chromecast only works for TVs with HDMI ports (so if you have an older TV it may not work).
Other Media Streaming Devices
Streaming media devices is a fast-growing industry. As of 2016, 52 percent of homes with an internet connection have a streaming media device. So be sure to do your research before buying! Want to see how Roku and Chromecast stack up against other streaming media players? Check out our ultimate streaming media device comparison. It includes a features comparison table, pros, cons, pricing and more for each device.
At the end of the day, Roku is the best streaming media player. Even though Chromecast is inexpensive, Roku is as well and offers way more features. Roku has multiple versions available and can easily connect to your TV. (I even take mine with me when I travel.) With more apps to choose from and different versions, Roku comes out on top in this comparison.
Which do you like better: Roku or Chromecast?