Devices like Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick were a thing of fiction just a few years ago. Today, they are completely changing the way we see and use our TVs. If you are keen on getting one of these streaming devices to watch movies and turn your TV into a smart TV, this article will tell you everything you need to know to make the right choice.
Let’s take a closer look into what these devices have to offer. We’ll tell you like it is, pointing out the pros and cons of both devices, so you can figure out which one suits your needs best. Both Chromecast and Firestick are great for TV streaming, but there are some differences you should know about before making your choice.
Chromecast is a small device that connects to your TV with an HDMI cord. You will need to plug it into your TV’s USB port because it requires power. The original idea behind Chromecast was to enable you to turn any TV set into a smart TV and use your smartphone as a controller. You can also cast apps and streaming websites like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and others from your phone to your TV.
Chromecast is developed by Google, and as such, it performs very well and it’s simple to use. You can hide it behind your TV, and you don’t need a remote to control it (but you do need a smartphone). Chromecast can also work in sync with Google Home devices, which means that you can use voice control to tell it what to do.
It takes only a few minutes to set up the Google Home app. All you have to do is plug the device into your TV, download the Google Home app, verify the process with a code you will receive, and you’re ready to go.
Use Your Smartphone as a Controller
You can cast any video or website from your smartphone to your TV by tapping the cast icon. The feature is perfect for watching Netflix, reading articles, and playing games. You can even use Chromecast for work – the possibilities are almost endless.
Since Chromecast is compatible with Google Home, you can pair the two and get even more useful features. Firstly, if you have an HDMI CEC TV set, you can control it through Google Home. You will be able to turn the TV on and off, and you can change the volume using your voice. You can also tell Google Home to play your favorite TV show, and the TV will turn on and play it for you automatically.
If you already use Google Home to control various devices in your home, this is the best choice for you. However, there are some downsides you should know about.
Chromecast is small when compared to other electronic devices, but it’s not small enough to fit behind any TV set. You could have issues connecting it if you don’t have enough space behind your TV or around the HDMI port. You also need a free USB port on your TV to serve as a charger for the device.
No Optional Remote
If you want to use Chomecast as your primary TV source, you will have to use your smartphone as a remote, which some users find annoying. In comparison, the Firestick comes with a remote, so you don’t need your phone to switch channels.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Amazon Firestick is very similar to Chromecast, as it also plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and turns your TV set into a smart device. You can also use your voice to control it, but it comes with an extra remote. Instead of Google Home, you will need Alexa voice control to be able to switch channels.
Firestick is the only real competitor to Chromecast, as it offers similar features designed for smart homes. It’s easy to set up, and you can use voice control to control your TV set and your security cameras.
You can set up the Firestick in minutes. Just plug it into your TV’s HDMI set, put some batteries into the Alexa remote, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and finish the setup on your TV screen.
Firestick’s remote control changes how we see remote controllers. It has only a few buttons you can use for basic commands, as well as a built-in voice assistant that allows you to do much more by using your voice. It’s ideal for older people, as it’s very easy to use.
Cast from Your Phone
Much like Chromecast, Firestick also comes with something like a cast feature – it allows you to mirror your phone’s screen onto your TV. It’s not as good as Google Chromecast’s cast feature, but it gets the job done.
Firestick is a handy device, but its Achilles heel is in the software.
Closed World of Amazon
Since Firestick is a direct competitor to Google’s Chromecast, you can only use it for Amazon apps, unless you are tech-savvy enough to go around the restrictions. That means no Play Store, no extra Android features, and a clunky UI. The software is slow and confusing at times.
Both of these devices allow you to integrate your TV with your smartphone and the rest of your smart home. They have similar features and functions, but we say that you should go with Chromecast because it offers more apps and services. Firestick is restricted to Amazon’s ecosystem, so you won’t be able to use some of the features that go with Google. On the other hand, many find the Firestick more convenient to use.
What did you pick, Chromecast or Firestick? Tell us what you like about your choice in the comment section.