Google’s Chromecast has proven to be a good media streaming device from a lot of standpoints. That said, it is also obvious that there is a plethora of other media streaming equipment as well as some simple apps that can perform just as well or even better. Check them out.
Roku is not exactly a cost effective alternative, as it is more expensive than Chromecast, but it comes loaded with basic and extra features you would demand from your media streaming device, including a remote control and a wholly dedicated interface. Compared to Chromecast’s limited streaming choices, Roku has 1,200 channels you can stream with ease. While Chromecast may have an elitist appeal, it is quite hard even for the average Joe to dismiss Roku entirely.
Built with the consummate couch potato in mind, the Amazon Fire TV has covered almost every conceivable requirement people would want and need from their streaming devices. Other goodie that comes with this bad boy is its awesome buffering speed, which is said to be three times faster than the competition. It is undeniable that Amazon is clearly gunning for dominance and with its set of features, it can. But for $90, not all couch potatoes are eager to get the Amazon Fire TV just yet.
It is without a doubt that there are tons of Apple users out there and thus, there is a huge market for the Apple TV. This streaming solution from Apple comes with iTunes integration, which means you can play your favorite songs from your iTunes playlist directly on your streamer. Also, Apple TV can play content from your iDevices or from rented sources without much of a hitch. The catch? It will set you back $99.
For those who want streaming glory without spending much, Allcast is a solid contender. All you have to do is download the Allcast app for free. Yes, it’s free. Developed by renowned programmer of ClockworkMod, Koushik Dutta, Allcast has something that Chromecast does not have – streaming support for locally stored content. While the free version is cool, its usage has a time limit. If you want to enjoy undisturbed streaming experience with Allcast, then you just need to cough up $5 to get the Allcast Premium. Still a great deal, isn’t it?
Another great alternative to Google Chromecast is Western Digital’s TV Live, which allows you to catch up on your favorite TV shows and stream movies via Netflix. While it does not record movies and TV shows, the optional Hauppage over-the-air tuner system provides a workaround solution. The device is limited to Windows Media Center, which greatly lessens the number of local channels it can stream.
Another streaming app worthy of note is Cheapcast, an app so great that it could turn any Android device into a budget Chromecast. While the app is no longer offered in Google Play Store, legacy versions are still around, lurking in online TV streaming communities, specifically in the Cheapcast Google+ communities, waiting to be downloaded.
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