Chromecast Ultra vs. Roku Streaming Stick+: Remote or Smarts?

After months of testing, I decided Roku Streaming Stick+ is the most effective streaming stick because it’s probably the most suitable and includes a distant. Nevertheless, Chromecast Ultra is a superb selection when you have Google Residence and don’t thoughts using your telephone because the distant.

I’ll examine and contrast these two streaming sticks (Chromecast Ultra vs. Roku Streaming Stick+) by evaluating five categories: interface, content, velocity, smarts, and remote.

  • Interface: It’s old-school and rough-looking nevertheless it gets the job completed.
  • Content: It has each streaming service conceivable and tons of 4K content.
  • Velocity & Specs: Content material seems on your display in comparable velocity to Chromecast, nevertheless it’s easier to select exhibits with a remote.
  • Smarts: Voice search is nice, however there isn’t a sensible assistant.
  • Remote: It has devoted buttons and you may management the TV’s power and quantity.

Greatest for you if…

You need a remote and an unbiased platform to observe any streaming service on the earth. Roku brings the identical picture quality and better compatibility. The downsides to Roku are the ads and lack of smarts.

Finances Choice

Roku Stick (3800R) has the same options and velocity with out the 4K compatibility for $49.

Chromecast Ultra

  • Interface: There isn’t an interface. You stream apps in your telephone, then tap forged.
  • Content material: Most telephone apps are suitable. Search for forged button in every app.
  • Velocity & Specs: You might want to unlock your telephone and find the app to vary the content material. Casting takes 10-15 seconds.
  • Smarts: You possibly can ask Google House to forged things, play and pause hands-free.
  • Remote: Your telephone and Google House are the remote.

Greatest for you if…

You employ Google Residence and don’t need a remote. Chromecast just isn’t for you when you’re a channel surfer or an avid TV watcher. Chromecast is smarter and works with Google House, nevertheless it’s not good.

Finances Choice

Chromecast (3rd Gen) has the same options and velocity minus the 4K compatibility for $35.

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Why take heed to me?

  1. I’ve been obsessed with devices since I used to be eight years previous.
  2. I purchased every system with MY money.
  3. I’ll update this publish often because my opinions change.
  4. I don’t have insider entry. I’m identical to you, the everyman.

chromecast ultra vs roku stick+

Roku Stick+


Interface (C):

  • Roku doesn’t have probably the most polished interface in comparison with different streaming units. It may be clunky, seems dated and sometimes doesn’t supply a streamlined playback experience.
  • With that being stated, Roku’s interface is in your TV, and you employ a remote to move the cursor round to totally different apps, which is an upgrade over Chromecast.
  • A part of Roku’s business mannequin is to promote advertising. On the right-hand aspect of the house display, there’ll all the time be an advert. The advert stays out of the best way and is generally targeted in the direction of your interest. This isn’t an enormous deal, and never almost as dangerous as Amazon Hearth TV’s advertisements that take up all the display.
  • You’ll be able to comply with your favorite films and exhibits and be alerted when new episodes are stay or new films can be found for streaming. It’s not carried out the most effective, however having a streamlined place for all of your exhibits could possibly be a recreation changer in the event that they figure it out.

Content material (A):

  • Roku doesn’t create content material or play favorites with suppliers. You get an unbiased expertise throughout this platform. You’ll see this whenever you search for content and are provided with all of the providers obtainable, with the free choices listed first.
  • Roku has over 500,000 films and exhibits out there. You have got your bases coated with YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, Amazon Video, Google Play Video, Vudu, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, HBO, Sling TV, DirecTV, YouTube.
  • All streaming channels have a Roku app (view them right here); even tiny area of interest apps that you simply’ve never heard of can be found.
  • Roku has a strong number of 4K content too, with major suppliers: Vudu, Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.
  • Somewhat than paying for HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, and Epix by way of your cable provider, you could have the choice to subscribe by way of The Roku Channel and maintain all your content material inside one app. Unfortunately, The Roku Channel gained’t be useful to most because individuals already have subscriptions, and simply use the common HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps.

Velocity & Specs (B-):

  • The setup could be frustrating. I’ve installed over 10 Rokus in my life, and it only goes smoothly half the time. Roku requires that you simply join a free account and the process isn’t seamless; nevertheless, setting issues up is a one-time deal.
  • Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10 are the 2 competing HDR standards. Roku only helps HDR10.
  • It’s not as fast as Apple TV, however you get enough power to go from app to app with out much lag.
  • Personal Listening mode permits you to take heed to films or exhibits together with your headphones by opening the Roku app in your telephone and have your headphones plugged into your telephone.

Smarts (D):

  • You’ll be able to maintain down the mic button on the distant to search for films. For example, in the event you say simply the film title, “A Quiet Place” and it’ll convey up the film and present you the apps you can watch it.
  • Roku’s voice search works properly as long as you converse close to the mic situated on the distant.
  • Except for voice search, there are not any sensible options and there’s no sensible assistant.
  • You possibly can technically forged YouTube and Netflix to your TV by way of your telephone, like Chromecast, but I can’t get it to work correctly or persistently.
  • Help for AirPlay 2 is coming later this yr, which would primarily give iPhone users a option to easily forged telephone content to the TV.
  • Certainly one of Chromecast’s largest advantages is that you simply don’t have to sign into your steaming apps since you’re already signed in together with your telephone. Now on Roku, if you arrange a second or third Roku gadget, you’ll be routinely signed into a few of your streaming channels based mostly on the credentials used in your first Roku. It’ll be good when this works across all apps, nevertheless it doesn’t yet.
  • Guest mode lets your visitors check in with their credentials and routinely signal them out once they depart (on the date they selected).

Remote (A):

  • Roku has a remote! It’s tacky but feels good in your hand.
  • There are four dedicated streaming service buttons on the remote. In the event you don’t have the providers, they turn into wasted buttons. But in case you have the providers, one tap opens them.
  • You possibly can flip the TV on and off and modify the quantity with the Roku distant.
  • You should use the Roku app as a remote and it’ll open apps with one tap.

Chromecast Ultra


Interface (F):

  • There’s no interface on the TV. You “cast” content material from your telephone to your TV. You employ the Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and other content apps on your telephone and faucet the forged button within the prime proper corner to send it to your TV. It’s just like AirPlay.
  • Some love casting; others hate it. Personally, I see its worth however want a devoted system.
  • Casting could be nice as a result of:
    • There’s nothing new to study since you already understand how your telephone’s interface works.
    • It saves you the effort of logging into your streaming providers on your TV because you’ll already be logged on in your telephone.
  • Casting has downsides as properly:
    • Whenever you’re making an attempt to observe multiple episodes in a row, there’s a 30-second delay between episodes.
    • Sometimes if you’re in an app (i.e., HBO Now), the forged button randomly disappears, and also you’ll have to close out the app and check out again. Typically resetting my telephone has been the only remedy.
    • When casting YouTube TV for greater than an hour (with the present is enjoying wonderful on the TV), I can’t change the channel from my telephone. I’ve to disconnect the forged, then reconnect. It takes an additional couple of minutes to vary the channel.
  • Chromecast doesn’t mirror your telephone. It makes use of a better technique the place when content is shipped to Chromecast and streams out of your WiFi, unbiased of your telephone. The telephone doesn’t have to be within a sure radius of the Chromecast. You’ll be able to depart the home, and it will maintain streaming. Meaning you should use your telephone with out interrupting the stream.
  • When you faucet the forged button, the image appears phenomenal. Casting works nicely so long as the forged button is present in your telephone, and you gained’t be capable of tell a distinction between Roku and Chromecast’s image quality.
  • You possibly can search and find exhibits contained in the Google Residence app, too. Once you discover a show you need to watch, you click on it, and it’ll open the respective app (i.e., Netflix), then you possibly can forged it to your TV.

Content (B+):

  • You possibly can stream most content material providers by hitting the forged button contained in the respective app in your telephone.
  • Apps like Netflix, Sling, HBO, DirecTV Now, Google Play Films, Vudu, Hulu, Showtime, PlayStation Vue, Amazon Prime Video, and Spotify may have a forged button in your telephone. (Take a look at the other apps here).
  • You possibly can forged the Chrome browser out of your pc and it’ll mirror it. This is clutch for providers that don’t have a forged button.
  • Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu are the only 4K content choices.

Velocity & Specs (B-):

  • Setup is straightforward.
  • You employ your telephone because the interface, so the velocity is as quick as your telephone. Once you hit the forged button out of your telephone, it takes 15 seconds to display in your TV.
  • Chromecast isn’t perfect for channel surfers or people who watch lots of TV because it’s a must to unlock your telephone, find the app that you simply’re utilizing, and then change the channel. With a Roku distant, you’re one tap away from a show change. Ten seconds doesn’t appear to be much, however it’ll put on on you when you’re doing it quite a bit.
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10 are each suitable with Chromecast Ultra.

Smarts (A):

  • You’ll be able to management your TV, hands-free, by way of your voice by means of Google Residence. That is the one streaming gadget that works with Google Residence. You’ll be able to ask it to play and pause and this works nicely.
  • You possibly can say, “Hey Google, cast Ozark on Netflix to the Living Room TV.”
    • Requests which are wordy don’t work properly.
    • There’s a 25% probability Ozark gained’t appear on the TV even if it hears you properly.
    • It doesn’t all the time begin on the right episode.
    • In case you decide your default speakers and your default viewing display within the Google app beforehand, you solely have to say “Hey Google, play Ozark on Netflix” and it knows which TV to play it on.
    • Asking Google Residence to forged exhibits isn’t useful as a result of there’s no interface to fall back on whenever you need to change the channel.
  • Google Residence control is beneficial for enjoying, pausing, turning the TV off, and asking it to rewind with “Hey Google, go back 30 seconds.”
  • There’s a visitor mode that lets others in your home forged issues from their telephone with out using your WiFi.
  • You possibly can management the TV volume together with your telephone.
  • Chromecast must be good for journey due to its measurement, however it’s arduous to hook up with new WiFi networks after the preliminary setup. It’s meant to be configured on one WiFi community solely.
  • You are able to do cool integrations with Nest cameras.

Remote (F):

  • There’s no distant. Your telephone is the remote.
  • You either management the playback by way of the app you’re utilizing (i.e. use your telephone’s Netflix app), or you’ll be able to control it inside the Google Residence app.
  • You’ll be able to’t power the TV on or off.
  • You’ll be able to management Chromecast’s volume by way of the app. You’ll have to set the TV quantity to excessive first, then you’ll be able to lower the quantity by way of the Chromecast app. But having your TV quantity on high isn’t preferrred when you have multiple gadget plugged into your TV as a result of your other units can be blasting.

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