The Difference Between Content On Apple TV, Chromecast, And Roku [Chart]

chromecastvsappletv

Buying a $35 dongle to magically stream all the video of the internet to your TV sounds pretty awesome, and based on early impressions Chromecast does a decent job, but how does its content stack up against the Apple TV and Roku?

Danny Sullivan created the chart above to break down the content you’ll find on Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku. If you only care about streaming video off Netflix and YouTube, then Chromecast is the best bang for your buck. But if you want to watch HBO Go, Hulu, or pull content from iTunes or Amazon, Apple TV or Roku have more content options.

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  • B066Y

    That’s not completely accurate. In theory you can watch everything listed except Apple iTunes on the Chromecast through a browser.

  • Hawk_Ky

    That’s not completely accurate. In theory you can watch everything listed except Apple iTunes on the Chromecast through a browser.

    You can also do the same with AppleTV via mirroring. That is actually the feature which puts it miles ahead of Roku for me. I would definitely add a category for that.

  • B066Y

    You can also do the same with AppleTV via mirroring. That is actually the feature which puts it miles ahead of Roku for me. I would definitely add a category for that.

    I always forget about that…my MacBook and iMac are to old for video airplay. I do enjoy my AppleTV though.

  • Macinscott

    Keep in mind that iTunes is also a bridge to iPhoto. Having the ability to watch slideshows of your photos while listening to music in iTunes is a huge bonus. And speaking of music, the ability to have your playlists on the Apple TV make it that much better.

    Those are about the only two uses I have for my Apple TV since I view the movie rental pricing as way too high compared to Redbox, and I wasn’t impressed enough with Netflix’s streaming content to continue my subscription.

    Waiting for Apple to open up an Apple TV App Store and take the market for casual gaming.

    Also, I’m assuming that Chromecast isn’t able to play back older iTunes AAC files with DRM or even current non-DRM AAC files even if they allow you to upload them to Google Play. Whereas, I am able to not only upload, but upgrade, any mp3 files purchased at places like Amazon with iTunes Match. The best money I ever spent to upgrade 400+ CDs ripped at a lower nitrate when iTunes first launched, plus the ability to remove the DRM from all my previous iTunes purchases at a much lower cost that the previous iTunes Plus upgrade option. 11,244 songs and counting!

  • Market_Mayhem

    I’d just like to add that on the Roku if you are running PLEX, you certainly do have a Youtube channel available and it works very well for watching videos. No captions, however, which is a drawback if you want to watch Youtube movies with subtitles which are captions. PLEX also offers iTunes Music and Video Plugins which work fine as near as I can tell handling playlists and such.

  • ketchuponpizza

    would be cool if just ONE…………ONE would do all.

  • fithbeatle

    also, apple tv will be a second monitor when mavericks comes out.

  • tool022611

    I think there needs to be one more category, and that’s user interface. I’ve used multiple streaming devices and Apple TV is far superior. I havnt tried the chromcast and most likely never will. I just have no need for it, and if its anything like google tv, I’m better off.

  • raist3001

    Roku 3′

    I think there needs to be one more category, and that’s user interface. I’ve used multiple streaming devices and Apple TV is far superior. I havnt tried the chromcast and most likely never will. I just have no need for it, and if its anything like google tv, I’m better off.

    Speak for yourself. I have both Atv3 and roku3 and it is my roku with the superior interface. With My roku 3 loaded with PLEX, my ATV3 can’t touch my roku3. IMHO apple is far behind the roku 3.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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