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Streaming sticks are the best solutions for those who don’t want to deal with cable providers. These small devices plug into an HDTV and connect to a wireless network in order to have access to the internet. The users will have a large selection of streaming channels to choose from and some are free, while for others, they’ll have to pay. Today, we’ll compare three of the most popular streaming sticks, the Google Chromecast, priced at $35, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which is $5 more expensive and the Roku Stick, which costs $50.

Design

The second generation Chromecast was completely redesigned, so now it’s available in black, yellow and red and it has a flexible HDMI cord, while the magnet keeps it fixed on the back of the TV, preventing it from dangling. The first Chromecast was black and looked like a memory stick with a bulge at the base. The successor has actually the shape of a disc with a diameter of 13.49mm and it weights 39.1grams.



The Fire TV Stick really looks like a black memory stick with sharp corners and its dimensions are 84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm (25.1 grams). On the other hand, the Roku Stick is purple and its top and bottom sides are curved, while it measures 78x28x12mm.

Hardware Specs

Chromecast: a Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006 SoC with a 1.2GHz dual ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 512MB of RAM and 256 MB flash.

Fire TV: Broadcom Capri 28155 SoC, dual-core, 2 x ARM A9 up to 1 GHz processors, 1GB of RAM and 8 GB flash.

Roku Stick: BCM2835 600 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 256 MB flash.

Interface

The Chromecast can be controlled with a smartphone, tablet or computer on which you’ll install the Chromecast app. You will just open the application and tap/press the Cast button, then it will appear on the TV and you’ll use the device to find and watch videos. The Roku has a better menu than the Fire TV Stick, as it allows the users to place applications in the desired order, on the screen, but it can be sluggish. The Fire TV Stick has snappy scrolling speeds, but it annoys the users with the aggressive promotion of the Amazon content.

Content and Apps

Chromecast lacks Amazon Video because Google has a dispute with Amazon. The Fire TV Stick offers 700 games in its store, besides the usual applications that are also available for the Roku Stick: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube etc.

Remote Control

Only the Roku Stick and the Fire TV Stick have remotes, but with buttons only for play/pause, rewind, fast-forward, back and home, which are used for navigation.

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