Bringing multimedia content to television is extremely simple since most current TVs have a USB input; so it is enough to upload the files to a flash drive and connect it to play movies, series or music. But what if it is streaming content? Smart TVs solve usually save this pitfall. And then there are other solutions, such as a Android TV or a Google Chromecast.
Often, both types of device are often confused even if they are not the same despite their similarities. In fact, Android TVs include Google Chromecast, something that does not happen the other way around. And there are clear price differences, one of the first turning points. So which of the two to choose? As always, you have to be clear about the needs and what kind of content will be played on TV.
Google Chromecast Vs. Android TV
They are two very different devices in terms of access to the contents for more than with both much of the series, music and movies can be played They offer streaming services. In basic terms, we could divide its operation into the following terms:
- Google Chromecast is a mobile slave player. Or of the tablet, also of the computer: the device does not have its own interface or remote control since it is only responsible for transmitting what is ordered from another device.
- Android TV is an operating system for television. This implies that not only will the content be transmitted, we can also access it without the need of the telephone: we turn on the TV, put the Android TV channel and use the system to our liking.
The main differences are at the amplitude level since Android TV is a complete entertainment center, also of productivity. We cannot do with it the same as with the smartphone, but much of its uses are transferred to TV. Therefore, we can install applications (Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video or Movistar +, among many others), games and even use it as Google Chromecast since this is integrated. On the other hand, the Google Chromecast is only responsible for transmitting what’s on the smartphone (also tablet and computer), so does not work autonomously. Now this does not have to be an inconvenience.
Chromecast and your mobile, the best couple
It is clear that the HDMI player is at a disadvantage in terms of capabilities since It is a simple slave device, but that is exactly why it is good: its simplicity is its best virtue. Because, if you already have the applications on your mobile and you will use it while on the couch, why not do it all from there?
Let’s summarize the best qualities of Google Chomecast:
- It is a simple device that only needs to connect to the home WiFi and have a free TV HDMI, also a USB (or a nearby plug).
- Almost any multimedia content can be sent to TV using Chromecast as a bridge. A streaming app, photos and videos from the phone gallery or …
- You can replicate the mobile screen on TV. This way you transmit everything you do on the phone to the big screen.
- It is very economical: from just under 40 euros you can take advantage of its full potential.
- Hold on: the original Chromecast is still working perfectly from day one (Google updates Chromecast frequently).
Watch an episode of Netflix on the subway, get home and pass it on TV with Google Chromecast while you finish watching it comfortably on the couch: this process is as natural as it is simple using the player and the phone. With an Android TV it is somewhat more arduous, but in return you have other advantages.
Android TV has huge potential
Since it is a complete operating system, having an Android TV device you have access to applications, games and Google Chromecast. Because if, Buying an Android TV you also get a Chromecast; even if its integrated operation is not as polished as having a true Google Chromecast: sometimes content delivery fails and the connected device is not always detected. Minimal errors that do not tarnish the fact of being integrated into each other.
These are the biggest advantages of an Android TV:
- You can install applications and games. They are not all “normal” Android, but a good part. With a catch: according to what games you need a physical command.
- Instantly convert a normal TV into a Smart TV.
- Streaming services work directly and without the need to open applications on your mobile: just use the remote control.
- Android TV has Google Assistant, so you can ask for what you need, almost the same as on mobile (Android TV control is more limited).
- As we have already said, with an Android TV you also have a Google Chromecast.
- It is often already included in the television itself (as in Sony or Xiaomi TVs, for example).
It seems that an Android TV only has advantages, but it also has its drawbacks. Let’s see what they are.
Disadvantages of an Android TV
- They are more expensive than a Google Chromecast.
- If you’re just going to play streaming content, it’s worth a Chromecast.
- Updates are usually slow.
- Only apps adapted to television work.
- Not all Android TV devices are compatible with applications in this format. For example, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video may not appear on Google Play on TV. Installing the Apk does not always work.
- They need space in the TV area, a problem if the TV is anchored to the wall (Chromecast hangs from the HDMI). Fortunately, Android TVs are not very large devices.
Disadvantages of Google Chromecast
- It is limited to what is done on the phone, tablet or computer.
- If you don’t watch streaming content, you lose a lot of the appeal (if not all).
- It does not support applications, nor can it be controlled from a remote.
- There are games for Chromecast, but they are anecdotal (and usually limited in terms of graphics and mechanics).
- To view content in 4K you need the Chromecast Ultra, more expensive and at the price of some Android TV.
Are you already clear about your needs and what is the device that best suits them? Let’s see where you can buy each and the most recommended Android TV. Always speaking in terms of player, not as a TV with integrated Android TV (Smart TV).
Xiaomi Mijia Xiaomi Mi Box S, Mi Box S, EU Version, 4K Ultra HD Media Player with Google Assistant Remote Control, Bluetooth, Hdmi 4K HDR, Dolby Audio, DTS HD, Android 8.1, Black