One of the primary reasons a Google Chromecast alternative is sought after would be the lack of a standalone graphical interface and operating system. Anyone who currently owns a Chromecast can attest to the need to rely on other devices for control and management, like a PC or smartphone.
Another, and likely the biggest reason, would be that Chromecast is very limited in its compatibility with third-party streaming apps. You’ll get all of the more popular ones like HBO Now, Netflix, and Hulu, but more obscure apps tend to be a problem.
This, in conjunction with the constant need to switch between apps instead of having a more seamless setup, leads a lot of users to look for a better option.
Google Chromecast made its debut in 2013 and immediately created a few waves in the streaming hardware market. It owed most of that early success to how simple of a tool it was to use on top of a low price tag. However, because of the aforementioned limitations and other annoyances, many consumers have opted for an alternative.
Nowadays, it’s not all that difficult to find one with the desired features that can provide a more complete media streaming experience.
The choices provided below will offer you an alternative based on the device you prefer. For a more complete experience, you have the Roku Stick and a plethora of Amazon Fire TV options from which to choose.
Enjoy the upsides to having an open-source application? PiCast for the Raspberry Pi is sure to please. Finally, for all of the iOS enthusiasts out there, Apple TV is an absolute must. Roku Streaming Stick
The Roku Streaming Stick is one of the best-selling streaming devices you’ll find on the market today. It does carry a more expensive price tag than that of the Google Chromecast, but for good reason.
With the Roku Streaming Stick, you get the flexibility of around 1,200 streaming channels, a dedicated, easy-to-use graphical interface, and an exclusive Wi-Fi remote control, meaning no smartphone required. The versatility of the remote control will also extend to your TV’s on/off function as well as the volume.
For anyone who can afford the upgraded version, the Streaming Stick+, you’ll get the added benefits of high-performance portability. This means you get to enjoy 4K and HDR quality videos on TVs that are situated further from your home network router.
Both versions of the device offer all of the same popular streaming services including live TV, news, and sports.
A popular streaming device that has been around since its inception in 2014, Amazon Fire TV has and continues to be one of the best-selling systems one can own. It comes in three core forms from which to choose – the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, which have been available since 2014, and the more recent Fire TV Cube.
At a glance, it’s easy to fall in love with the Amazon Fire TV. It not only allows you to play content from your smartphone and tablet to your TV, but the entire concept also combines relative affordability with one of the most streamlined and well-made user interfaces.
It comes with a gaming feature and console for those who want to have their content streamed on the big screen, is compatible with most streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube to name a few, and can be controlled through the use of Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
Amazon Fire surpasses other streaming devices like Chromecast and even Apple TV in performance while delivering a host of streaming and gaming features. All of this undoubtedly making it a complete media experience and more than adequate alternative to the Chromecast.
Those in need of an open-source alternative to Chromecast, look no further than PiCast for the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi itself will run you around $35 whereas the PiCast app will only cost you some setup time. This is definitely the go-to option for tech nerds who prefer open-source applications and like them to remain free of charge.
It will require an Ethernet connection (sorry, no Wi-Fi) and boasts a more secure media streaming experience. The app itself is available for download on GitHub and continues to be updated on a regular basis with additional features.
You can create your own rendition of Chromecast using the Raspberry Pi configuration This alone makes it an effective alternative that is compatible with all of the most popular mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, and Windows Phones.
Apple TV is the best option for those of you who are already using other Apple devices. It comes with a remote control that allows you to stream all of the locally stored content from those devices using AirPlay.
The playable content includes iTunes both rented and purchased, as well as your iOS games. Using Airplay, you’ll have access to a wide range of online TV channels and a host of other services like YouTube, Netflix, and others.
You’ll have the option, similar to Amazon Fire, to control the device through a virtual assistant, in this case, Siri. Apple TV is not the most affordable streaming device out there, but what it asks in price it more than makes up for in excellent quality in terms of both hardware and software.
One piece of hardware is the built-in digital sound output that makes the connection to your stereo a breeze.