Chromecast vs Apple TV vs Roku – Price and Specs Comparison

Chromecast as well as Apple TV and Roku are streaming device platforms, offered with different features and at varying prices.

All three technologies deliver Internet based entertainment on your television and are rather like set top boxes that stream content on your HD television.

Roku had been founded about twelve years ago and has a simple application, with Apple TV having the support of the entire iTunes ecosystem. As for Chromecast from Google, it is smaller than and also much less in price, offering high-end streaming service.


With all the devices, you need an HDTV along with an HDMi port. However, Roku also offers variants for those having older televisions, with the Roku LT being offered at $49 that can work even with analog sets.

One benefit of Apple TV is that you can connect it with your iTunes account and this enables the use of the exiting video and audio library. The Ethernet port also enables solving any wireless or networking issues.

Roku also has equally good connections with a USB port, HDMI port and an Ethernet along with a microSD card. Roku can also be set up very easily and services can be used directly.

Chromecast from Google seems to be a simple solution, as it has a small and compact HDMI stick having Wi-Fi built into it. Yet, you will need a power source. In case the stick is not able to be easily adapted to the HDMI port, you can use the cable adapter offered by Google. Apple TV has an awkward feature for Home sharing, whereas Roki has a good HDMI cable.


Chromecast is available at around $35, with Roku at around $49 to $99 and Apple TV at around $99. Chromecast is available in the form of a Stick, with the Apple TV in the form of a Box and the Roku, in both stick and box form. The Apple TV comes with a remote control, but it needs an additional HDMI cable, which will cost another 10. Many of the services that are supported by the device also need a monthly subscription. Chromecast does not have a remote control but offers apps for controlling, so you need a smartphone or a desktop to operate it. You can plug it directly into the HDMI port of the television, without an extra cable. As for Roku, it offers a remote control that is motion sensitive and also offers earphones that can be plugged into the remote control. Apple TV buyers need to purchase a HDMI cable separately.

Regarding the pricing for movies, it is almost the same for all the three devise. There are movies that are available even for a small amount of $2 and those amounting to $16 and more in case of the recent releases. Apple TV supports purchases made from iTunes, whereas you can make purchases from Amazon Instant Video and some other services in case of Roku. As for Chromecast, it connects with Google Play and any other Internet service, being cast from your desktop. Though the prices for different streaming services might vary, Roku offers the maximum number of free services along with music services. All the three devices offer support for major services, like Netflix as well as Hulu and HBO Go. Roku seems to be the cheaper one, when compared to Google’s Chromecast and Apple TV, as it offers more than 1000 free channels and the rentals are also better priced.

Delivery of Content

Apple TV as well as Google Chromecast has a vested interest when offering services, so this results in a limit of content that they deliver. For instance, Apple TV has been designed in such a way as to offer movies or music from the iTunes, thereby offering limited choices. Apple TV offers Netflix and HBO Go as well as Hulu, but you will not be able to access Pandora or Spotify, but rather iTunes, which is not preferred in comparison. Google’s Chromecast leans towards Google Play TV. Roku’s Channel Store has a storehouse of subscription as well as free audio and video channels with great options.

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