Chromecast 3rd Generation vs. the competition
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The table above compares the most basic streaming stick models from Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. FYI: there are 4K versions of Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick available.
The biggest minus of the Chromecast 3rd Generation is the lack of a remote, obviously. If you want to spend a little more, Chromecast with Google TV remedies that.
Chromecast 3rd Generation setup
Setting up a Chromecast 3rd Generation is a little different than plugging in a set-top box streaming device, but still pretty easy. It only takes three steps to get casting:
- While downloading the Google Home app to your phone or tablet, plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port.
- Open the Google Home app and tap the Devices button.
- Tap Setup for your Chromecast (which will appear as “Chromecast0066” or something similar) and follow the prompts to complete configuration and customization.
From there, you’ll be able to rename your Chromecast for easy identification and TV location (like “Living Room,” “Kitchen,” “Panic Room,” etc.). Like most things Google, it’s comfortably intuitive. Chromecast is actually easier to set up and start using than some finicky Bluetooth speakers we’ve tried—not that we’re still bitter about that derailed office karaoke party.
- Chromecast dongle
- USB power cable
- AC power adaptor
Equipment you’ll need:
- TV with HDMI port
- Wi-Fi network
You’re able to perform other tasks on your phone or another device while casting, by the way. Chromecast’s internal Wi-Fi antenna grabs the app’s video or audio stream, freeing up your device’s interface. Meaning: Netflix doesn’t have to be visibly “open” to stream Queer Eye while you’re eyeing Instagram.
Philo is another matter, though: Chromecast isn’t compatible with the Philo app. You can, however, cast Philo from a Chrome browser—it’s not ideal, but it works.
Besides the lack of a traditional TV interface, Google Chromecast doesn’t—surprise—play well with some non-Google applications. If you’re a Firefox devotee who wants to cast from that browser, for example, you’ll have to set up a series of workarounds. Or set aside your Firefox values and just use Chrome for casting—we won’t tell anyone.