Nowadays, there is an array of set top boxes competing for space near your TV.
Only tech savvy people mostly used these media streaming players a couple of years ago. These devices had very little to offer to the masses and were not considered user friendly. The Roku media streaming player was the first to offer painless solution to the problem. Since then, some major players in the arena such as Apple and Google offered popular options. Amazon also decided to plunge into the market with its latest release, the Amazon Fire TV.
The Fire TV, priced at $99, may often make us wonder what it offers in comparison to inexpensive streaming sticks such as Google’s Chromecast that is priced at $35. However, every streaming media player has pros and cons depending on the kind of features one desires to have in the set top box or streaming stick. It may also depend on the kind of tech ecosystem the user is a part of. To decide whether you should pay less by investing in a streaming stick or go for a fully capable box, find below the comparison between the two.
Connections and Size
In terms of size, the streaming sticks are comparably smaller than the set top boxes. The Chromecast streaming stick can be plugged directly into the HDMI port of your television set. Chromecast also has the capability to draw power from an accessible USB port. In comparison, Amazon Fire TV media streaming box offers spare ports. The set top box also includes an Ethernet port that would be very helpful in case the user does not have an excellent Wi-Fi connection.
Power and Speed
The newly released Amazon Fire TV leads from the front when it comes to power and speed. The Fire TV is equipped with a quad core CPU paired with 2GB RAM. The Chromecast streaming stick lags behind with HDMI 1.4 ports and MHL supporting ports. These ports can supply power but not enough to equip Chromecast. However, the streaming speed is unaffected. This would affect the steering through menus, handling the game and the quick loading of apps.
In this department, the Chromecast would require a laptop, tablet or a smartphone to pick the content. The Amazon Fire TV comes with an uncomplicated remote control connected via Bluetooth. The remote features buttons to control media and navigation. The Fire TV remote boasts of its voice search button. The bottom half is curved making it comfortable to hold and use.
Content and Casting
The Amazon Fire TV has numerous apps and channels but exclude certain favorite channels such as HBO Go, Vudu, Showtime or Spotify. In comparison, Chromecast has very limited functionality. Nevertheless, the streaming stick supports Hulu, Netflix and more.
The Amazon Fire TV enables you to stream through a Kindle Fire tablet. In comparison, the Chromecast is the only device that enables you to stream from a Chrome browser on your computer or smartphone. However, it works neither perfectly nor with the whole content.
In case, you do not require a dedicated remote control, Chromecast stands out in the price arena. However, if gaming is not the major factor and you are content with the walled garden, then the Amazon Fire TV would suit your requirements.
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