Some people don’t like traditional cable providers and prefer to buy a streaming media player and plug it into the TV’s HDMI port to stream online content. These tiny devices are not expensive and allow access to lots channels such as Netflix or iPlayer. You’ll even play light games, but we suggest you to get a dedicated gaming console, for a better experience. Below, we’ll compare two of the most popular media streaming sticks: Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick.
Designs and Remote Controls
These objects look like old-fashioned memory sticks. The Amazon Fire TV stick measures 3.3x1x0.5in and its exterior is made from black matt plastic with soft, curved edges. It’s paired with a remote control which measures 1.6×4.7×0.5in, but which doesn’t support voice search, but by downloading the free Fire TV remote app, you can get voice functionality.
Chromecast has a bulge at its base and its dimensions are 2.83×1.38×0.47in, resulting in a weight of 34grams. It doesn’t come with a remote control, but you can use an Android mobile device to stream content, or you can mirror content from the Google Chrome web browser. The device is powered using the USB port from your TV.
The Roku Stick comes with a purple color and its dimensions are 3.1×1.1×0.5in. It needs an external powering and this can be done by attaching a micro USB cable, to plug the stick into the mains. It’s coupled with a remote control very comfortable to hold, which has intuitive buttons at the up top (for going back and home), the directional pad is in the middle, and below you can find the skip backward, the OK button and the options key.
The Fire TV Stick is powered by a dual core processor backed by 1GB of RAM, while the Roku Stick has a single core processor with 1GB of RAM, but it’s six times weaker than the Amazon streamer. The Chromecast contains a Marvell DE3005-A1 chipset with 512MB of RAM DDR3L and 2GB of RAM.
The Fire TV Stick offers the best performance, and you will notice that the videos are loaded almost instantly and you won’t notice any lags when jumping from an application to another. The Roku Stick’s interface often freezes and when downloading applications and want to open them, you will have to wait a bit.
The Chromecast doesn’t have an interface, so you’ll operate from your phone, but the streaming is very quick.
If you buy the Chromecast, you’ll use the applications from your phone, tablet of laptop, while the Roku stick can run applications on itself and you will choose from the 1,000 custom applications to stream content. The Fire TV Stick has a homescreen on which will be displayed the downloaded applications/services.
Roku lacks Amazon’s Prime Video app, but you can search though the applications, from one spot. Chromecast supports services such as Now TV, Netflix, iPlayer etc., but it also lack’s Amazon’s service. The Amazon Fire TV, on the other hand, lacks a Now TV app.