Apple TV Vs Chromecast: Streaming Gets on to a Higher Level

October 4, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Streaming devices, which usually help you enjoy a range of programs available via various online services and apps, are considered the first step towards making smart television sets.

Although a large number of streaming devices are available in the market by different companies, none of them have proved themselves perfect.

Still, a few devices stand out in the crowd – Apple TV and Google Chromecast are two such appliances.

As you all know, Google entered this market with their Chromecast streaming device, and interestingly offers more features  than Apple TV in terms of compatibility. Meanwhile, Google’s Chromecast is compatible with Android, Windows, iOS, Chrome OS and Mac OS X, and works flawless too. However, it doesn’t support Windows Phone 8 hardware.

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On the other hand, Apple TV’s compatibility is limited to iOS and Mac OS X devices. In other words, it doesn’t support Android smartphones and tablets. Well, if you are a true Apple lover, then you won’t get frustrated.

When you start comparing the number of apps offered by both the streaming devices, it is Apple TV that sends more content to the television set.

Apple TV supports more native apps  including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Podcasts, iTunes Radio, YouTube and many more. It also supports Watch ESPN, MLB.TV, NBA, NHL GameCenter and the new MLS app.

If you have kids in your home, then they will be glad to hear that Apple TV supports three Disney apps such as Disney XD, Disney Channel and Diney Junior.

On the other side, Chromecast is offering just four apps, in which three are owned by Google itself. It supports Netflix, YouTube, Play Movies & TV and Play Music. But you don’t have to worry, because major content owners including Pandora, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, Vevo, Sling Media, Vevo and Vimeo will be coming to Chromecast, as soon as possible.

If you are not happy with native apps, then both Apple TV and Chromecast allow you to stream additional content from a computer or mobile device directly to the big screen.  Although Apple TV is able to stream more apps from mobile devices to the TV, Chromecast’s apps do it better.

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But wait! Apple has many other advantages over Chromecast, such as AirPlay Mirroring. For those, who were unfamiliar with this term, AirPlay Mirroring option in Apple products lets you send what’s on your Mac screen to an HDTV wirelessly with Apple TV.

This feature is now available on new Macs running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, so that you can share your latest music video collections with your friends. But, the Chromecast extension doesn’t mirror an entire computer.

Instead, it frees up one’s computer to do other tasks while a background tab can stream to a TV. Meanwhile, it helps you to keep your contents safe.

If you are thinking of the setup and connection procedures of these streaming devices, then you will be happy to hear that both Apple TV and Chromecast are incredibly easy when it comes to setting them up.

Apple TV supports an HDMI port along with optical audio, Ethernet and power ports on the rear. It also offers a remote. Meanwhile, the Chromecast is even simpler, as you can plug-in directly into an HDMI port and comes with a six inch long cable that should be able to reach a powered USB plug or outlet.

In terms of price, Chromecast device is available at just $35, while Apple TV is a little more expensive and comes with a price tag of $99.

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