Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV are some of the biggest names in streaming device platforms, known for their features and applications. As far as price is concerned, the Apple TV can be bought for around $90, with the Roku ranging from $50 to $100 and the Chromecast the cheapest at around $35.
The Chromecast device comes in the form of a Stick and the Apple TV is in the form of a Box. The Roku is available in both stick and box form. Chromecast has only an app to control and not any other physical remote control. Roku and Apple TV offer options of a physical remote as well as an app to control.
Apple TV – Range of Content
Apple TV probably has the largest offering in the form of catalogs of first party content. This is due to the television content as well as movie and iTunes music content. They span the entire range of whatever users would like to listen to or view. They also have libraries that can be accessed in markets all over the world, when compared to the competitors.
However, though you can freely access streaming music through iTunes Radio in several places, you may also have to purchase some content separately in some places.
Apple TV also offers support for third party services through AirPlay. This is a streaming protocol enabling users to beam any content from the iOS devices or the Mac to their television. Many native applications have also been added to the Apple TV to enable bringing third party content to the device.
There is no open SDK, so these attempts are rather slow in picking up. However, the library consisting of third party applications is still expanding. For instance, Netflix is a part of this offering.
Chromecast – Own Content
Chromecast also offers free access to Play Movies as well as Play Music from Google. You also have a streaming radio offered. However, the library is not as extensive as that of Apple. The library is also restricted in its locations. There is also no video option that offers everything for free.
Chromecast also offers a very good way of accessing third party content. There are many third party developers who have announced their support for the application. The advanced SDK offers more hope of increased and better integrations in the future. However, the user must have a host device, such as a smartphone or a tablet or a PC in order to make it work.
Roku – Third Party content
With Roku, the content is entirely sourced from third parties. It offers a large amount of content from Chanel Store. It also has third party applications built in the device. For instance, Netflix is the major player in this group and so is Amazon Instant Video. It could be said that Roku has an advantage when compared to Apple TV and Chromecast.
This is because it does not have any private agenda for promoting its own content, since it doesn’t have any, over other third party content or libraries. Roku is also more flexible in its partnership with third parties, when compared to Apple and does not need a separate host device.
Chromecast is likely to support several new gaming concepts with the use of Android devices. As for Roku, it has already added games, such as Angry Birds with several others. Apple TV also supports games through access to its AirPlay for developers of third party applications.
These developers will create games that involve the use of the television screen in combination with iOS devices. As a result, there have been some pretty amazing dual screen games, but it has yet to gain success as a medium.