15:34, 11 Aug 2016
Google’s Chromecast has been a smash hit for the company. It first got a lot of attention for its original diminutive design. It started the stick form-factor model of digital media players and originally looked like a small USB memory stick, except it had an HDMI port on the end instead, which allows you to simply plug it into the back of your TV.
When other players started to copy the Chromecast’s stick form factor, Google switched it up with the Chromecast 2 and changed its design to that of something like a small hockey puck. While no other media streaming sticks have followed suit with that design choice. However, there a a TON of devices that mimic some or all of the features of the Chromecast. Here are 10 alternatives to the Google Chromecast worth checking out.
Perhaps the most well-known competitor, Apple’s new 4th generation TV sets the standard for media streamers. Via its AirPlay software you can stream any audio, video, or even your Mac’s entire desktop to your television. The Apple TV also features its own App Store so you can add new channels, games, and apps to its menu at your will.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
This is a great choice for those who love the Amazon Prime ecosystem, which gives you access to thousands of movies and television shows on Amazon Instant Video. The Fire TV stick also acts as a full blown digital media player and not just a media streamer. That means it can act independently of smartphones and computers. Add in the dedicated physical remove it comes with and the Fire TV stick is an awesome alternative.
Roku Streaming Stick
In a similar vein to the Fire TV stick, the Roku Streaming Stick is another great-more full featured-alternative to the Chromecast. It too is its own independent device and comes with a dedicated hardware remote. It also features thousands of channels and other streaming service including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and more.
For the makers and hackers out there, might we suggest PiCAST? As the name suggests, the PiCAST is meant to go along with your existing Raspberry Pi and allows you to turn it into a media streamer. However the PiCAST doesn’t work over a Wi-Fi network–you’ll need to use a hardware ethernet connection to stream your videos, which isn’t a bad thing as a hardwired connection is a lot more reliable when streaming massive amounts of data.
Samsung Allshare Cast
Being the gadget giant it is, of course Samsung has a streaming device! The Samsung Allshare Cast allows you to stream not only your audio and video to external displays, like TVs, but also presentations as well (great for work). However the Samsung Allshare Cast requires a Samsung device to stream from, which is a bit of a let down. So yep, you’ll need a Samsung smartphone or tablet if you want to use the Samsung Allshare Cast.
WD TV Live
Hard drive giant Western Digital has gotten into the media streaming game, although many people don’t know it. The WD TV Live makes it easy to stream Netflix to any TV you own, but better, it also has out of the box compatibility to stream local files on your network. It comes with a physical remote, but WD also offers a software remote app for iOS and Android.
The Matchstick originally started life as a Kickstarter project, but it’s now available retail for everyone. It’s operating system is the Firefox OS and its physical form factor is a stick HDMI dongle. The included Fling app lets you send content from your smartphone to the Matchstick and best of all you can close the app and continue to use your smartphone as you were without interrupting playback.
Now TV HD
Developed by Sky, Now TV HD gives you all of the streaming features you love on similar devices like the Chromecast and Apple TV, but also allows you to subscribe to Sky’s full range of TV channels. At £7 for the box itself, Now TV is one of the cheaper options on this list (although you will need a Sky TV subscription plan, which you may already have).
The Teewe is only available in India, but if you’re there, this is a great choice. The dongle plugs into your TV and lets you stream media from YouTube or your smartphone straight to your TV.
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