Unpopular opinion: I have been using a device with Android TV for a month and (personally) I don’t consider it better or more comfortable than a Chromecast. It might be my fault but I read content slower and less comfortable on Android TV.
In the analysis of Google Chromecast with Google TV, some Xatakers shared this opinion, so I want to put on the table the reasons why, in order to make our lives easier while reading content on TV, Chromecast is a faster and easier device.
Two very different devices
The first thing we need to understand is that the Chromecast and any device with Android TV are drastically different, although it seems they perform similar functions. The Chromecast is a mobile dependent device, “an extension of it” on our TV so that we can send the content to our phone. The main drawback is obvious: If we don’t have the mobile handy, the Chromecast is practically useless. If we’re one of those people who have a 24-hour cell phone (server, present), that’s wonderful.
Android TV is more complete, more advanced and with more possibilities. And this is precisely the main problem I have with him
Android TV is an operating system that comes both to make televisions that are not smart “smart” and to improve the qualities of any television that has its own operating system. Here’s an app store, local file manager, games, and even a Chromecast built-in that I’ll talk about later. The remote control becomes the protagonist on Android TV
That said, make it clear that Android TV is more powerful and complete than the Chromecast but, in my personal case, it is precisely this complexity that makes me prefer the Chromecast.
Sorry, I don’t like the controls
It may seem trivial, but Being a slave to the command is one of the points that makes me shy away from Android TV. No matter how well suited the Android TV interface and the right hardware of the device of your choice, I’ll never be faster to search for content on a remote than on a mobile. For example, if I want to search for YouTube content, I have to talk to the Google Assistant or write key by key, with the remote control, a highly recommended experience.
I have a mobile that will always search for content faster than a remote control. I want to search in seconds and send to TV, not talking to Google Assistant or typing with the remote
With my mobile, I simply open YouTube, write whatever I want in less than a second, and hit the send to TV button. When searching for content a mobile will always be faster. With the TV off, it may be faster to turn on the TV directly with the remote (they usually have dedicated buttons) and press play, but in most cases what I want is to search content, and here mobile is clearly the winner.
Another point that worries me about Android TV concerns the Chromecast Built-In. the name seems to indicate that Android TV already integrates Chromecast, but that’s not quite the case. There are several differences between Chromecast and Chromecast Built-In. Chromecast Built-In is more limited, although at the level of operation they are very similar: they are kept in standby connected to WiFi so that we can send content.
Chromecast Built-In does not allow the use of Google Stadia, this causes a lot of problems when it comes to sending the screen, does not play 4K content, even if the device supports it, it has no way to access Google Photos albums and, especially for me, it doesn’t behave as stable as the Chromecast itself.
The hardware and internal memory of current Android TV devices are very limited. Most games and heavy apps don’t end up enjoying it
Finally, while I appreciate that Android TV offers apps, games and more, personally it is difficult for me to take advantage of it. If we want to play, we have to do it with very limited games on very limited hardware. The internal memory of most Android TV devices on the market is very low, so we can’t go too high in installing apps.
Benefits of Chromecast
For me, the Chromecast is still the best device for playing whatever we want on TV. Silently and from the sofa, you unlock your mobile which, whatever the range, will have better hardware than Android TV. You search for content from an application optimized to search for content within it And, when you clearly know what you want to see, you send the content with just one click.
You don’t have to worry about updates, settings, internal memory or anything. It’s a simple device that waits for what you do with your mobile
You also don’t have to worry about updates, settings, internal memory or anything. It’s a simple device that waits for what you do with your mobile. Streaming goes beyond apps like Netflix, YouTube and more. Local content on your phone like gallery apps, video apps, etc. can usually be cast to Chromecast.
Likewise, Chromecast’s features, for obvious reasons, are more optimized for Chromecast than Chromecast Built-In, because Chromecast is still an app. For sending content to TV, the Chromecast is almost perfect.
Advantages of Android TV
Although, personally, I prefer to send content from my mobile rather than searching for it from TV, to Caesar what is Caesar: Android TV is a great operating system, optimized and complete. For those looking for a sofa and a remote experience, this is a well-executed solution.
The Android TV interface is very spoiled, the operation is excellent and it is more complete than Chromecast
The Android TV interface is very spoiled, the operation (although it will depend on the hardware of the device) is generally quite good and we have more possibilities than with the Chromecast. Everything takes a little longer on Android TV, but everything is optimized for the operating system.
As a platform, Android TV is the most complete and useful on the market, although for speed, simplicity and comfort, I will continue in the Chromecast team. This will be because I always have my laptop in hand and have some allergy to TV controls (even more so on Android TV devices, which usually have tiny controls). My device with Android TV will still be connected to the HDMI port, but in the vast majority of cases I end up sending content from the phone.
And you, what team are you on?