One of the ingenious hardware products that Google has released till the date is definitely the Google Chromecast. It is too many things at once, and the number of things that one can do with it is endless. Apart from making your home a smart mini-cinema hall, you can easily make and show presentations. Also, you can play innumerable games with a mindblowing visual experience, share the headset view with others, and stream live security camera footage without any hindrance. What’s more, if you got to play some great music and you are far away from your mobile, you can simply yell at Google Home Mini.
9 out of 10 times, the device catches your voice and starts playing the media (videos, songs, podcasts, etc.), making it one of the best media accessories that Google has ever come up with. But if it is this genius a device, why would anyone even start looking for Chromecast alternatives? Isn’t that what crossed your mind reading this intro? Well, not just one, but there are many reasons behind looking for other options besides Chromecast as your perfect media center.
- 1 Why should you be looking for a Chromecast alternative?
- 2 Top 8 Chromecast Alternatives – Rated by Experts
- 3 19 Chromecast Alternatives That You Must Have in 2020
Why should you be looking for a Chromecast alternative?
The first disadvantage of using Chromecast is it has a limited number of channels and apps which are supported without tweaking its configurations. This is added to the fact that there is no way to play locally stored media from the phone or tablet, but everything needs to be played via a Chrome browser.
Unlike most other Chromecast alternatives, this entertainment center doesn’t really have a local storage option. For instance, PlayStation has its own hard drive, and Roku 3 comes with its own microSD slot. Moreover, if you are a fan of the older LCD or TFT televisions, you are out of luck because Chromecast strictly requires HDMI ports. Many users have also commented that mirroring large video files lags a lot. And finally, the essential disappointing aspect of Chromecast is that it doesn’t have a native interface.
That’s why it requires a smartphone if you want to cast media from various movie streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO NOW. This is why, despite being a top-notch entertainment dongle, the lack of a proper user interface spoils the whole viewing experience, forcing users to look for Chromecast alternatives. So, if these problems look familiar, and you got to find substitutes for these, look no further because we have compiled some of the best Chromecast alternatives you will ever find.
Top 8 Chromecast Alternatives – Rated by Experts
Here we are going to discuss the top 8 Chromecast alternatives that can provide you with enhanced user experience and make your ends meet. So have a look at our list now.
Amazon Fire TV 4K
If anyone has learned the art of production and capturing dominant markets around the world, it is none other than Amazon. When they came out with the amazing Amazon Fire TV 4K, it was a surprise for most of its patrons. The best part about this entertainment dongle is its flexibility. Unlike Chromecast, which suffers from a lack of options, Fire TV Stick turns a TV of moderate features into a smart one. So much so that you can control it with your voice. All that you got to do is plug it into the HDMI port of your television. It is one of the best Chromecast alternatives for more than one reason. First, it has the ability to stream from all streaming apps, including Netflix, MX Player, Voot, HBO GO, etc. Second, its user interface is so smooth and friendly, that you will have no problems navigating through the available media. This is how Amazon has curtailed competition by including everything in its forte.
The next visionary step of Fire TV Stick was developing a 4K version of it. And if that wasn’t enough, HDR and Dolby ATMOS audio accompany the visual experience. So, with Amazon, making a mini-home theatre at your place is a cakewalk. As 4K video quality requires higher configuration, the advanced Fire Stick comes with a quad-core processor that is definitely a lot more powerful. One tip from our end is if you want top-notch speed and you can negotiate with the video quality, you can use the 4K stick and reduce video quality. That makes way for quicker gliding through the menus and a sleeker UI. Finally, you can also browse through websites without any hindrance, giving you one of the most comprehensive Chromecast alternatives currently on the market.
- Amazing media content if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber
- Supports seamless 4K streaming
- Easy to navigate native user interface
- Amazon has its own App Store
- Voice control mechanism (Alexa)
- The remote control has no volume control buttons
- No Youtube app
Roku Streaming Stick+
Amazon didn’t suit you? Do not worry! There is another Chromecast alternative that promises equally great video output and that is the Roku Streaming Stick. It can easily give Chromecast a run for its money with its mind-blowing features which we will cover one by one. Like Amazon Fire Stick and Chromecast Ultra, the Roku Streaming Stick has also come out with 4K enabled video streaming. To run the entertainment dongle, simply plugging it to the HDMI port of your TV will do. What’s more, unlike Chromecast there is a fully functional native interface of its own which makes Roku a completely independent platform. In other words, you won’t have to fetch your smartphone to make the dongle work. Roku is just like Amazon in some of its aspects. For instance, it allows you to play all your favourite media from different streaming services such as Netflix, Voot, MX Player, Hotstar, etc.
But there are some aspects where Roku trumps Amazon. The latter has a disadvantage that you can’t control your TV with the remote it comes with. Also, there are no volume controls in that remote. With Roku, you can seamlessly control the power and volume controls of the TV with the remote that comes with the entertainment dongle. Finally, it supports Dolby ATMOS surround sound. This is one great advantage to look for because most modern home theatre systems come with this newly introduced technology. Roku Streaming Stick+ is flexible, fast, and highly functional, and a wonderful Chromecast alternative.
- Navigating the user interface is extremely easy
- The remote is highly functional
- Provides full support to all the major streaming services
- Roku provides loads of free content separately
- Dolby ATMOS surround sound
- Voice search doesn’t have much scope here
- Lags at times
While all the aforementioned Chromecast alternatives are for the general public, this one is for the programming geeks. In other words, this is an open-source alternative to the Chromecast dongle. Those who aren’t aware, open-source programs are those which are practically copyright free. You have all the programming rights, and customizations and changes are allowed to the original file systems. To run the software smoothly, you got to spend a mere 35 US dollars to obtain Raspberry Pi and you’re good to go. There are very few media streaming alternatives which are available for free and can stream all the latest web channels seamlessly.
Raspberry Pi is a tiny, credit-card sized computer that can do so many things to your computer at once. Two of them are turning your PC into a laptop and converting it into a home theatre. PiCast, unlike most other such media services, work on an ethernet connection. Programers would agree this is a much more trustworthy option compared to wi-fi for streaming services. Like the other open-source programs, this software is available on Github. It is regularly updated with all the latest security features and other aspects to help improve the visual experience.
The primary use of this program is that it allows you to customize Chromecast and make it all the more user friendly. With this application, you can configure Chromecast and make a rendition of your own. What’s more, it removes all the problems that Chromecast used to face such as not having an interface of its own, inability to stream other media centers such as Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Additionally, it runs on all mobile platforms, making it accessible across devices and platforms. So, it’s a win-win for people who have a knack for programming and open-source software.
- The software is completely free once Raspberry Pi is obtained
- Gets free security updates
- You can customize Chromecast and remove its pitfalls
- Streams all media from the trending channels
- Does not have any added sound support
- Cannot connect it to a TV directly but needs an intermediate computer, that’s why Raspberry Pi
Amazon Fire TV Cube
We have up our sleeve another surprise from Amazon. Perhaps, it would be better to say that Fire Stick went through a bit of transformation with Fire TV Cube. It is the latest streaming device from the company that is too many things at once, and that too, Alexa powered. Those having a knack for smart devices would absolutely love this product. Well, we shouldn’t be blamed for trying to convert every other electronic device into their smart counterparts, right? If you want to have the ultimate home theatre experience while everything is smoothly controlled by voice commands, starting from speakers to display, the Amazon Fire TV Cube should be your go-to. And not just these, but also your gaming console as well as the TV you own, no matter whether it is a bit older version.
Fire TV Cube is, in a word, addictive. One of the awesome features of this product is, as you might be knowing, is its remote-less controls. Basically, it’s a mindblowing fusion of Amazon Echo and Amazon Fire TV 4K. Maybe there are very few pleasures in life that can match having the ultimate visual and aural experience where you get to change even the live cable channels, all by your voice. And in the age of ever-improving AI, Cube works its charm perfectly. It remembers all your commands, preferences, and likes. Consequently, with time it will get accustomed to all that you love, making it an indispensable one-stop solution for all your entertainment needs.
- An ultimate voice control mechanism
- You can control all devices such as soundbar, TV, audio-visual receiver, and Blu-ray player
- Control the native cable connection of the TV
- Comprises all the features of Amazon Fire TV
- Highly functioning remote control
- No Youtube
- Lack of Dolby surround sound
Apple TV 4K
When we are discussing Chromecast alternatives, how can we not talk about the gorgeous Apple TV. Mac and Apple products keep cropping up, because, let’s admit it, they make some of the most awesome products out there. Apple products are a one-time buy and leave less chance of constant maintenance. But the only obstacle (and that’s a huge one!) to buying their products is the price. It’s actually humongous. Yet, if that’s not much of a problem for you, the Apple TV 4K is one of the most comprehensive Chromecast alternatives to consider. Powered by the latest A10X chipset, the operations of this dongle are extremely smooth. For those who aren’t aware, the A10X chipset is a significant contributor in iPad Pro. This feature allows you to play games with Apple TV, so you can already imagine the speed this device is equipped with.
Like the other Chromecast alternatives, Apple TV also has an internal storage slot. But it is significantly higher than Amazon or Roku and you have 2 options: 32 and 64 GB. Another great thing about Apple is it has direct collaboration with the major studios. That means you get Blu-ray versions of movies at a cheaper price than the other App stores. And like them all, Apple has its very own voice controller Siri, who will guide you through the extremely easy UI. Other than this, the touch remote is not much of an advantage, still it’s not as less functional as the Amazon remote. One point worthy of mention is this device, like other mac devices, works best in an Apple ecosystem. All these points aside, it is a 4K Dolby supported entertainment device that’s smart, sleek, and fast.
- Full support for 4K video and Dolby surround sound
- You can play games as well
- Powered by A10x chipset
- Totally voice-controlled by Siri
- Very expensive
- Dolby ATMOS missing
- Remote not very functional but fragile
Nvidia Shield TV
Computer geeks must be knowing that Nvidia is a master of some great graphics cards and GFX setups. And when Nvidia came up with a streaming box, it’s sure to have a provision for playing games. All these wishes bore the fruit of Nvidia Shield TV which comes with the ultimate visual experience of 4K HDR quality. Moreover, the Dolby ATMOS support is further enhanced by DTS-X surround sound. There are too many things packed inside this genius device, one of which is Android Play Store support. This means you can access all the media centers including Youtube TV (one that’s not there in Amazon/Roku) and definitely not Chromecast. Netflix, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Amazon Prime are some of the web channels you can access. Moreover, you can operate your TV cable channels seamlessly from Nvidia Shield.
Coming to the gaming scene, you can easily access Nvidia GameStream and this is where it surpasses most of the Chromecast alternatives in the list. No problem if you don’t have some heavy computer rig, simply connect to the Nvidia GeForce Now cloud. With this feature, you can seamlessly play all the available games on your TV that have a mindblowing visual experience. For gamers and cinephiles alike, Nvidia Shield TV is a wonderful and comprehensive Chromecast alternative.
- 4K HDR and Dolby ATMOS support with DTS-X surround sound
- You can cast native media and photos from your Android device
- Great gaming experience
- Nvidia GeForce Now Cloud service for all the latest games
- GeForce cloud needs to be subscribed separately
We had covered the Roku Streaming Stick as one of the best Chromecast alternatives. Owing to its limitations, we have come up with another great substitute from the same company. It is Roku Ultra. This device has a significant number of advantages over its preliminary counterpart. Much like the Fire TV Cube, the Roku Ultra scores high in terms of utility, benefits, and visual and aural quality. We have already talked about the benefits of Roku so we aren’t going into that all over again. But if money isn’t an issue here, you may consider choosing Roku Ultra for its powerful player, highly functioning quad-core processor, and amazing wireless connectivity.
But the surprises don’t end here. It also features a remote that has a voice search capability. Moreover, if you can’t find the remote, the device has a rescue feature which will start a sharp noise once you hit the button. The best part about Roku is it gives you a lot of options. For instance, it’s not just wireless but also supports ethernet connectivity. This comes to great use when you are constantly streaming 4K videos. Ethernet is far more trustworthy when it comes to streaming extremely high-quality videos unless you have tremendous uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity. Other than these features, all the aforementioned features of Roku Stick+ are already here. For instance, Dolby ATMOS surrounds sound support and of course, the ability to stream from all the trending web channels.
- Smooth 4K video transmission
- Supports both wireless and ethernet connectivity
- Quad-core processor
- Rescue remote feature
- Restricted voice search
If you do not want to spend too much on an entertainment dongle but have something for the least amount of price, Allcast has got you covered. When ‘free’ is the operating word, always choose Allcast as your Chromecast alternative. It is an application designed by ClockWorkMod. The app can transfer all your media (photos, videos, songs) from both Android and iOS platforms on your TV screens. It does this with the assistance of a DLNA receiver. And there are numerous third-party DLNA receivers available out there, so it isn’t really difficult to get hold of one. All that you need to do is connect the receiver via the phone, and you are good to go!
But here is why some people do not prefer Allcast. It is because it’s not a separate media center like the other major proponents like Amazon and Apple. This one is a simple application that lets you play all your favourite shows from your smartphone or tablet. It has its own share of pros and cons, but there are some aspects of this software that makes it worth considering. If you pay USD 5 per month, you could enjoy the unlimited streaming experience without any lags. Moreover, Allcast includes all the trending web channels including Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku Streaming Stick, Netflix, etc. We mentioned this app for all those who have a budget crunch but would not like to miss out on the latest shows. Yeah, who doesn’t deserve pure entertainment, right? All you got to do is pay 5 US dollars, and you can transform your ordinary TV into a smart one.
- Minimum cost
- Does not require any dongle stick
- Supports all platforms (Android and iOS)
- No extra provision for sound quality improvement
- Works mostly as a media center
19 Chromecast Alternatives That You Must Have in 2020
Here we have provided the list of best Chromecast alternatives in 2020. If you are quite fade of using the same old school method of watching any media, here are the options. You just have to have one of these 19 alternatives and you’re all set to level up your entertainment quotient. Here you go!
- Amazon Fire TV 4K
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- Apple TV 4K
- Nvidia Shield TV
- Roku Ultra
- Samsung Allshare Cast
- WD TV Live
- Now TV Smart Box
- iPazzPort Cast
- XBOX One
- TeeWe Stick
- Android TV
- Roku Premiere Plus
So, we have listed some of the best and most comprehensive Chromecast alternatives. We believe the products of the aforementioned list cater to people of all kinds. The fact that all of us have different needs to cater to, makes all the difference when it comes to choosing a media center. But rest assured, all the options mentioned here are definitely a class apart from Chromecast.
And if you are looking for the final verdict, we have mixed opinions. Considering all the aspects, the clear winner seems to be Amazon Fire Cube. But if your budget is tight, you might consider going for an open-source program such as PiCast.
We hope we could help you today and stay tuned for more such awesome reviews.