The Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick are the two most popular streaming devices available today, they both let you stream movies, TV shows and other online content to your TV, but they do it in very different ways.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what they both offer and how they differ from each other.
The first thing about the Chromecast is that it doesn’t come with a remote control, it’s controlled using your smartphone, tablet, or computer - which can take a bit of getting used to at first. The setup is quick and simple using the Google Home app, and when it’s up and running it’s really easy to send content from your phone to your TV using the ‘Cast’ button.
The one area that the Chromecast really stands out over the Fire TV Stick is with its screen mirroring option. You can easily mirror your phone, tablet or computer screen to your TV making it great for sharing photos with friends and family. You can even mirror games from your phone to your TV, but how well it does this will depend on the speed of your home Wi-Fi network.
Chromecast supports hundreds of different streaming services, whether you’re looking for TV shows, movies, sport, music, or radio. There’s a seemingly endless supply of content available. Take a look at the full list of supported apps here.
If you already use Google assistant on your phone, or you have other Google Home kit, you can use it to control your Chromecast, so you can say things like “Ok Google, play Spotify on my Chromecast” and it’ll start playing through your TV.
The Fire TV Stick comes with a remote control, so it's a bit more conventional than the Chromecast - the latest version of the remote also includes Alexa voice assistant making it easier to search for TV shows, films, and games.
You’ll need to have an Amazon account to be able to use Fire TV, but if you don’t have one already, you can add one when you first set up the Fire TV Stick up. The other thing to bear in mind is that you’ll need to add a payment card to your account to be able to download apps (even free ones). This is because some free apps offer 'in-app purchases', so Amazon needs to be able to charge you for these if you do buy anything.
If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, we’d recommend going for the Fire TV Stick because you get access to their huge film and TV library. You also get Amazon Music included - and it works with other Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo. Find out more about what you get with Amazon Prime here.
If it’s 4K content you’re looking for, both Google and Amazon offer more powerful versions that are able to stream Ultra HD content. Amazon has the Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD at £69.99 and Google has the Chromecast Ultra which you can pick up for £69.00. Other than being able to stream in 4K, and a bit more processing power, they basically do the same as the less expensive versions.
They’re both great streaming devices that give you access to a huge amount of online content, so there are really only two simple questions:
Answering these questions will probably tell you which one is more suited to you.
Hopefully, this has helped you to understand the main differences between the Chromecast and the Fire TV Stick. If you’d like help with anything else, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.