You do not need to spend on overly expensive smart TV to get the experience of having an internet connected TV.
Instead, you may want to consider buying an external media streamer which you can just plug into your TV’s HDMI port. There are several options in the market; however, two that would stand out the most are Chromecast and Apple TV. These two streamers may do the same thing in general but the significant differences between the two on how they achieve this is what will help you decide to choose.
The most significant difference between Chromecast and Apple TV is the price. Chromecast is cheaper than Apple TV with the price of just $35. This price is definitely a bargain considering what it does, and what is even better is that Google is offering regular updates to their streamer that makes you feel like you really got your money’s worth. Since its release in July 2013, Chromecast has added more apps for you to enjoy such as Vevo, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Plex, Pandora, and Google Music.
If size plays a factor in your decision and you don’t want a conspicuous object on display next to your TV, then the Chromecast will suit you fine. Unlike Apple TV, which is a small set box, the Chromecast is USB-sized and can be hidden at the back of your TV.
The Bad Side
The Chromecast does not come with a remote and can be controlled only with the use of your tablet or smartphone, which means that there’s no real onscreen interface. Although the Chromecast covers major apps such as Netflix and YouTube, it still has limited apps compared to other media streamers.
The Apple TV comes at a price of $99 but you should not disregard it just because it’s more expensive than the Chromecast. The Apple TV is a great addition to your Apple gadgets as it allows you to access and stream your content on your TV. You can stream your purchased movies, music, and TV shows from iTunes on your TV. You may also use the iTunes Match to play all your music that’s stored on iCloud. You are also given the option to listen to the radio in your living room as iTunes Radio has also been recently added. Apple TV has also included Watch ESPN and HBO Go among its apps.
The Bad Side
Apple TV is a great addition to your Apple devices, if you are a big fan of the brand. On the other hand, if you prefer to use other online stores such as Amazon and Vudu, which are not available, you might want to consider other media streamers because while the Apple TV covers more apps than the Chromecast, it is still fairly limited compared to the Roku 3. There are also persistent rumors that Apple is releasing a new Apple TV soon. If there is truth in that rumor, you might consider waiting for it because the current Apple TV is the oldest streaming devices among the others.
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