Chromecast vs Firestick: Which One Is The Best Streaming Stick?.
Chromecast vs Firestick – In 2021, as we all continue to spend more time in front of screens than anyone anticipated, most of us have a shortlist of requirements for a modern streaming stick.
We just want a device that’s compatible with our favorite content and all the other devices in our living rooms.
Streaming devices are getting cheaper and more impressive these days, making it easier than ever to access all the major streaming and catch-up services from your TVs (or other displays) that don’t offer them already.
They also make for great travel companions, allowing you to plug into the HDMI port of any TV you come across and continue streaming from where you left off (so long as you have an available Wi-Fi network).
That said, most streaming-device families now include numerous models and iterations to decipher, offering a wide range of features and capabilities – particularly when it comes to HDR and 4K.
Two of the latest devices on offer are Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite and Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV. Both are similarly placed in terms of content and user experience, yet they do differ in many regards.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this extensive Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite vs Chromecast with Google TV comparison article to help you decide which streaming player is right for your household. So without further ado, let the clash of the titans commence!
Chromecast Vs Amazon Fire TV Stick
Have you ever wished that your TV would turn itself on and play your favorite show by itself?
Maybe you just came home from a long day at work or maybe you’re just waking up and haven’t had your coffee yet and all you want to do is go back to sleep.
Because automation has been a driving factor in technological development, our lazy dreams of automatic televisions are a thing of the past.
Google and Amazon have been releasing refreshes of the Amazon Fire TV stick and Chromecast devices for some time now.
If you didn’t know, the Fire TV stick and the Chromecast are devices that you plug into your TV that essentially turns it into a smart TV.
The cool part about these devices being from Amazon and Google is that they tie in with the rest of your smart home.
Originally these devices were meant to simply bring smart features to the average television, but as smart speakers like the Google Home and Amazon Echo were released and grew in popularity, the Chromecast and Fire TV stick have adapted many smart features that make them a must-have for smart home enthusiasts.
So both of these devices are great, but there’s just one problem. Which one of these devices is right for you?
Well, The Wired Shopper has a complete breakdown of all of the features, pros, and cons so that you can really get a grasp for which one of these devices would best suit your smart home.
Easiest Setup: Chromecast with Google TV
The Fire TV Stick comes with Alexa Voice Remote, so you can quickly find films and TV shows using your voice.
You can command your Fire TV Stick to search for a particular actor, director, or film genre, or even say “fast forward five minutes” (although sadly that function only works while watching Amazon Prime content).
Set-up is simple and the user interface is well-designed, so it won’t be long before you’re in business with the Fire TV.
The Chromecast takes a different approach. It’s similarly easy to set-up but there’s no physical remote.
Instead, you select a video, song, or web page via your phone or tablet and ‘cast’ the content to your TV.
Not only can you view almost any media app on your TV, but you can also use your TV as a monitor for your laptop or computer.
The Fire TV Stick also supports streaming through your phone, but it’s not as slick or widely adopted.
The Chromecast can be controlled using your voice, too, through Google Home devices. Just like the Fire TV Stick, you can adjust the volume or give commands such as “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix”.
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Best For Content: Chromecast vs Firestick
Almost all of the major global streaming services are represented on both the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite and Chromecast with Google TV, meaning you’ll have plenty to watch regardless of which device you go for.
Each dongle allows you to watch the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus, along with local catch-up services in most regions.
That said, one streaming service which is readily available on Amazon’s device but noticeably absent from Chromecast’s lineup is Apple TV Plus.
Given that only a few television brands offer native support for the Apple TV app at present (and then often only on sets less than 4 years old), accessing the service on an inexpensive streaming dongle is a great alternative to buying the Cupertino company’s pricey Apple TV 4K streaming box.
In this instance, those looking to watch quality Apple Originals like Ted Lasso, Defending Jacob, Greyhound, and the upcoming sci-fi series Foundation are advised to pick up Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite.
Best for 4K/HDR streaming: Chromecast with Google TV
Given each device’s relatively low price point, it’s actually quite remarkable that both are able to offer Dolby Atmos passthrough capability, alongside standard HDR10 support.
It’s worth noting that the new Chromecast supports Dolby Vision, while Amazon continues to overlook the HDR format preferred by AV purists.
When it comes to 4K, Chromecast with Google TV is the only option, as Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite maxes out at 1080p resolution.
However, Amazon does offer a non-Lite version that can stream at 4K, though it still lacks Dolby Vision support.
Best Value Between Chromecast vs Firestick
Both these budget streamers serve-up video content in up to 1080p HD resolution, but how do they compare?
The Fire TV Stick’s picture is as crisp as we would expect for the money, with suitable insight into the dark scenes and plenty of pop in the colors.
The Chromecast’s picture is similarly sharp and detailed and boasts natural colors and a good deal of punch. On the downside, dark detail isn’t terribly strong and there’s a hunt of blur and judder to motion.
Audio-wise, the Fire TV Stick outputs sound up to Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, while the Chromecast tops out at Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.
Speech is clear and pretty detailed across both devices but, while the Chromecast has enough dynamism for a blockbuster soundtrack, we did encounter the occasional lip-sync issues.
Overall, both streamers offer great performance for the money. Want to view 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video? You’ll need to splash out on their premium cousins: the Chromecast Ultra (£69/$69) and the Fire TV Stick 4K (£49.99/$42.99).
We awarded both these budget streamers the full five stars in our tests, so you really can’t go wrong.
The addition of Alexa and the responsive user interface makes the Fire TV Stick a great way to get streaming services on your TV – especially if you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber.
However, for the sake of a tenner, it makes far more sense to splash out on the Fire TV Stick 4K.
If your budget’s tight, the Chromecast is a no-brainer. Google’s voice controls might not be quite as well-integrated but the Chromecast is an incredibly clever product that’s also incredibly easy to use.
If you already own an Android device or a Google smart speaker and aren’t phased by the lack of a physical remote, this HD streamer offers the best value for money.
We hope that you have gotten pointers to help you identify which is the best streamers between the Chromecast vs Firestick.
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