Apple TV has been a staple for media streaming devices for the longest time, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t face its fair share of competition. Another such competitor has risen in the form of the Chromecast Ultra, which is the newest media streamer from Google.
Look and power
In terms of aspect, the two devices couldn’t be more different. The Google media streamer comes in the form of a streaming stick, meaning that you directly connect the Chromecast Ultra to your TV set through an HDMI port. The stream connection is made through a wireless connection once the device is plugged in. It is understandable how someone wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to stream 4K UHD content through a wireless connection, so Google has also included the ability of connecting through an Ethernet cable if that’s more your thing.
The Apple TV on the other hand comes in the form of a box that’s size allow it to easily fit into your setup and not be a nuisance. It is a more classic approach to external media players, but nonetheless performs high enough to be considered one of the best available products of this type.
The Chrome Ultra features an 802.11 ac 1 x2 SIMO WiFi adapter which will guarantee a speedy and sturdy connection. The stick device measures 58.2 x 13.7 x 58.2 mm and weighs no more than 47 g. The device is encased in black plastic and the overall design has a minimalistic approach. The Chrome Ultra is twice as fast as the previous model and supports state of the art tech such as 4K UHD and HDR.
The Apple TV box measures 100 x 100 x 33 mm and comes in a black matt encasing made out of plastic. The device features connection ports for various connectivity types, such as HDMI, Ethernet and USB-C. You can also enhance you Apple TV box with speakers or headsets through Bluetooth connectivity. Apple packed the streaming device with a 64-bit chip from Apple’s A8 chip family, similar to the ones present in the company’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones, but also the iPad Mini 4 tablet. However, despite the fact that it packs quite a punch, the Apple TV’s best is 1080p, falling behind competition which is more acclimated to the current demand of 4K.
Software and features
The general concept behind Google’s Chromecast Ultra is that you use your mobile device to look for content and you’ve found what you want to watch, you can stream that media to your TV using the Chromecast. This is why Google’s device doesn’t come with an interface of its own or even a remote control, in contrast to Apple’s Apple TV. Most high ranking apps such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC and its affiliates or Spotify come with a Chromecast button incorporated nowadays, which users can press to transfer the media over to their television sets.
Apple TV comes with both an interface and a remote control. The remote control features Siri integration for voice commands, and a touchpad section which can be used to swipe through media channels. Apple TV’s interface is a dedicated interface with its own personal set of apps that provide media content and variety.
It seems like both come with their pros and cons. If you are looking for something more traditional that you are more used to handling, the Apple TV might be for you, with its own interface and remote. Otherwise, you might be interested in the Chromecast Ultra. It also depends whether or not you want the very best in terms of performance and image clarity.
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