Before you start to decide which product you want to get, let us remind you that everything has its pros and cons and so do these two products. Both of them being amazing, it might be a little hard to decide which one is actually better and as similar as they may seem, they are actually different in a number of aspects.
Design, Remote Control and Connectivity
When it comes to design, the Chromecast is the smallest media player that we have ever seen. All it requires of you is that you plug it into the HDMI port on your TV and power it up using a USB cable or an AC adapter. The Apple TV, on the other hand, is a small box (larger than the Chromecast, but nevertheless compact) that will require some room for placement.
The Apple TV comes with a remote control unit that is used to control the device, while the Chromecast is entirely controlled by your smartphone, using a Wi-Fi connection. The downside of having a remote control unit might be that you need to have a clear line of sight from the remote to the Apple TV since the remote operates via IR connection.
In terms of connectivity, the Apple TV wins since it has both HDMI and S/PDIF outputs. You can connect it to an amp by using the S/PDIF output and get much better sound. The Chromecast is only connected to the HDMI port on your TV, so there isn’t any room for additional devices that you can connect to it in order to get better sound.
User Interface and Support
The Chromecast itself doesn’t really have any interface; its entire interface can be considered to be on the device you are using to operate it (which is a smartphone in most cases). You “cast” (or send, if you will) content to it by using a smartphone or a tablet. Apple TV does have a pretty intuitive interface, which makes it a complete media streamer. It runs on the iOS and it is ready to be used as soon as you get it out of the box. The great thing is that you can access your entire iTunes library via the cloud, so this just might be the device for you if you already own some iTunes content.
One of the downsides with the Apple TV is that it is supported only by Apple Devices. You can download some apps that support AirPlay (the technology which is used to send content to the Apple TV) on Android devices, but they aren’t very well designed and only support limited content. However, the Chromecast has much better multi-platform support (Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, Chrome OS) so if you do not own Apple’s devices, then the Chromecast might just be what you’ve been waiting for.
Price and Final Verdict
There is quite a difference in price between the Apple TV and the Chromecast. The Apple TV costs $99 and it might be just a bit too expensive, considering that the Chromecast sells for $35. Apple might have bumped up the price because of the remote control unit that is included, but in terms of available content and capabilities, the two devices do not really have that many differences, so it will come down to personal preference.
It’s simple when it comes to choosing which device you want to get. If you are an Apple user and you have content on iTunes already, The Apple TV is a clear winner here and comes highly recommended. However, if you do not own Apple devices, and if you are on a budget, but still want high quality and rich content, then be sure to pick the Chromecast up!