Chromecast vs Firestick: Ultimate Media Streaming Device Guide

Google TV Chromecast

Chromecast vs Firestick: What’s The Best Streaming Device In 2022?

Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick are two of the most popular streaming devices on the market. But which one is right for you? Read on to learn about the features as well as pros and cons of Chromecast vs Firestick.

Whether you’re looking to get a streaming device, or want to switch from one to another, we’ll help you make an informed decision and pick the best option for yourself.

In the end, it all comes down to personal perference, but if you’re going to spend money, it pays to know about what you’re buying!

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Chromecast vs Chromecast with Google TV vs Firestick

You might be interested in another Chromecast model – Chromecast with Google TV. It goes way beyond the functionalities of a Chromecast device. We will include it in our Chromecast vs Firestick comparison, to give you a full picture.

Google TV interface

Chromecast

What is Chromecast

Chromecast is Google’s own ‘dongle’ device, with which you can cast your smartphone, tablet or your laptop to your TV screen. It currently retails for $39.

What makes it different that your usual streaming device? It doesn’t have an interface, or a remote!

That’s right, with Chromecast, your phone, tablet or laptop becomes the remote. How does it work? Read on!

How does Chromecast work

Chromecast connects your phone, tablet or laptop to your TV. From there, you can cast your small screen onto the big one.

There are three options for establishing Chromecast connection – app-supported casting, tab casting and mirroring. We’ll go into more detail on each below.

App-supported casting

This is the most convenient option. When you connect Chromecast to your smartphone or laptop, you’re able to display content from Chromecast-supported apps onto your TV. These apps include YouTube, but also streaming giants such as Netflix or Hulu and much more.

With casting you play content within an interface of an app or a browser. However, you’ll only see the content itself displayed on your TV screen. If you’re looking to watch movies, videos or series, this is the solution for you.

To start casting, do the following:

  1. Connect Chromecast and your laptop, tablet or smartphone to the same WiFi network.
  2. Play the content you wish to watch on your TV
  3. Click the cast icon.
  4. Choose your Chromecast device.
Man using a laptop

Tab casting

With tab casting, you display an entire browser tab on your TV.

To use this option, you need to install Google Chrome browser on your computer. Then, to cast a tab do the following:

  1. Connect Chromecast and your laptop to the same WiFi network.
  2. In the top-right corner of the browser screen, click the three dots.
  3. Click ‘Cast’.
  4. Choose your Chromecast.
  5. Done!

This option is not available for smartphones!

Screen mirroring

Mirroring is also an option on Chromecast. It lets you display your entire phone or laptop screen on your TV. It’s perfect if you want to do something more than just watch content. Think a work meeting or a presentation!

Mirror for Chromecast iOS app

Being a Google product, Chromecast works best in Android and Google environments.

But when you’re in the Apple world, it’s understandable that you might not want to switch from iOS or MacOS to Google solutions. But then, you might want to mirror a Safari tab to your TV. Doing that with a Chromecast can be tricky and requires extra effort.

In this case, we have a solution for you! It’s called Mirror for Chromecast by AirBeamTV – an app that lets you mirror iPhone, iPad and Mac to TV via Chromecast!

How to setup Chromecast

Chromecast connects to your TV via an HDMI plug. Here’s how to connect it to your TV:

  1. Insert the Chromecast dongle to an HDMI port on your TV
  2. Plug your Chromecast into a power socket using an USB-C cable.
  3. Set your TV to the same HDMI input as your Chromecast.

Then, download a Google Home app. Next:

  1. Connect Chromecast and your smartphone to the same WiFi.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Log in with your Google account (for example, your Gmail account).
  4. Tap the plus sign icon in the top-left corner.
  5. Click ‘Set up a device’ > ‘New device’.
  6. Pick Chromecast/Google TV.

The app will find your Chromecast automatically.

Chromecast vs Firestick

Advantages

Multitasking

When you’re casting your screen, it’s understandable to worry if you’ll be able to use your phone, tablet or laptop and still watch content on your TV.

Luckily, you can watch movies on your TV and check your email on your smartphone at the same time when you’re using Chromecast.

Easy to operate

If there’s one thing that’s annoying about Smart TVs it’s how rough they are to navigate sometimes. Think of how rough typing is with a remote!

With Chromecast, your phone, tablet or laptop become your remotes. And they’ve been designed so that you can use them conveniently!

Disadvantages

Man using a screen

Chromecast vs Smart TV or Firestick

Yes, you can use Chromecast to watch your favorite streaming apps. But who carries their laptop with them when they want to watch TV?

To add to that, casting is straining for smartphone battery. For longer casting, you might have to keep it plugged in at all times – not convenient!

For everyday entertainment use, a normal Smart TV or a display with a streaming device may be enough. It usually has all of the apps you need.

And if you’re just looking to use screen mirroring every now and then, you’ll love AirBeamTV’s Mirror for Chromecast app!

Small storage

Chromecast comes with 8 GB of built-in storage. In practice, that means 5GB of storage that’s available to you.

That being said, those 5GB should be enough if you don’t plan on going to town with apps.

No UI, no remote

One of the biggest cons of Chromecast is the fact that it doesn’t have a User Interface and doesn’t come with a physical remote. You have to use it with your phone, tablet or laptop and it’s limited to casting their image.

It can be more convenient to operate your TV with an external device instead of a remote. But let’s be honest – who carries a laptop with them when they want to watch some TV!

Chromecast vs Firestick

Google TV app remote

For a remote control experience with Chromecast, look no further than the Google TV app.

How to connect Google TV remote to your Chromecast?

For Android:

  1. Find Google TV app in your app menu.
  2. Update Google TV.
  3. Go to notification toggles.
  4. Click the TV remote widget, or add it to your widget panel.
  5. Choose the Google TV-compatible device to connect to.
  6. Enter a pairing code displayed on your TV.

For iOS and Android:

  1. Open the Google TV app.
  2. Click the ‘TV remote’ button in the bottom right corner.
  3. Choose the Google TV-compatible device to connect to.
  4. Enter a pairing code displayed on your TV.

Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s proper streaming device. It has all of the capabilities and features of a normal Chromecast, but adds a Google TV interface and a physical remote to the mix.

It retails for $69.99.

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Advantages

Google TV interface

Google TV looks like a streaming service, but is in fact an interface.

It merges all of your favorite streaming services – Netflix, HBO Max, into a single UI. No more going back and forth across apps – it’s all in one place!

REALLY good recommendations

Chromecast with Google TV can recommend content across all of the streaming services available on it. Liked Westworld on HBO Max? Google TV will recommend you The Mandalorian from Disney Plus!

You can easily indicate what you like and what you don’t with a simple thumbs-up button as well as a wishlist option, further polishing your recommendations.

Remote with Google Assistant

Chromecast with Google TV comes with a sleek – looking remote control. It doesn’t just let you easily navigate across the massive Google TV catalog. Its built-in Google Assistant function means searching for content is as seamless as it has never been!

Google TV

Stadia

Stadia is Google’s cloud gaming platform. It allows you to stream games directly to your computer without having to neither purchase nor install them. It gives you instant access to numerous titles, from fun indie games to AAA titles, turning your TV into a fully-fledged gaming console.

How to install Stadia

  • Open your Google TV interface.
  • You can do either:
    • Search for Stadia using the Search option at the top of the screen.
    • Use the Google Assistant to look it up.
  • Install the app.
  • Sign in with your Stadia account.
  • Get to gaming!

Stadia controller

Stadia has its own dedicated controller. But if you don’t want to spend additional money, you can operate it with pretty much any Bluetooth controller, such as Xbox or PlayStation!

Users and testers alike have reported no controller lag on all of those options. If you’re into fast-paced games, this is a must!

Stadia Pro price

Stadia Pro gives you access to all of the games available on this platform. It costs $9.99 per month.

Undecided? You can try the Pro version out for a week, or play some titles for a limited time, between 30 minutes and two hours.

Expanding your Chromecast with Ethernet

Things such as Stadia as well as high-resolution streaming require a very strong Internet connection. Sometimes WiFi is not enough.

If you have Ethernet connection, you can get yourself a dedicated Chromecast adapter. Stream games and high-res movies without worrying about buffering or lags!

The Ethernet adapter costs $19.99. Together with Chromecast with Google TV it creates a powerful package for hi-res streaming and gaming.

Disadvantages

Chromecast with Google TV remote

More expensive than most Fire TV lineup

Chromecast with Google TV is an expensive option. At $69.99, it’s pricier than most Fire TV devices, with the exception of Fire Cube.

But you get a lot for your money buying a Chromecast with Google TV. You can turn your TV into a powerful multimedia machine with Google TV and Stadia.

Small storage is even more of an issue

When you get a device as all-round as Chromecast with Google TV, you need more storage to fit all of the exciting and useful apps. Unfortunately, the device comes with 8GB of storage. Realistically, it means 5GB. You just can’t fit much on there.

You can expand the native storage capabilities by getting an external USB-C hub and an SD card. But that’s means extra effort and cost for you.

Firestick

Mirror for Fire TV

Amazon Firestick is a small device that lets you easily enjoy content from your favorite streaming apps. Just like the Chromecast, you plug it to your TV via an HDMI outlet. It turns any TV into a Smart TV.

Connect Firestick To TV

To connect your Firestick to your TV, do the following:

  1. Put batteries inside the remote. They come with your Firestick.
  2. Plug Firestick into an HDMI port on your TV.
  3. Turn your TV on.
  4. Choose the same HDMI outlet as the one Firestick is plugged to.
  5. Wait for the remote to automatically connect to your Firestick.
  6. Pick your preferred language.
  7. Connect Firestick to WiFi.
  8. Sign up to your Amazon account.
  9. Add your favorite apps and enjoy!

Best Apps For Firestick

You get thousands of apps available on Firestick. From your streaming favorites – Netflix, HBO Max or Disney Plus, your live TV channels, music with Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music, news and much more. Amazon’s Fire TV has got you sorted!

AirBeamTV Apps To Cast To Fire TV From Android, iOS and MacOS

Now you can cast your Android phone and your iPhone directly to your Firestick! How? With AirBeamTV’s two revolutionary apps: Fire TV & Firestick Mirroring for Android, and Mirror for Fire TV available for iOS and MacOS.

mirror for fire tv

Want to try them out? Each comes with a free trial!

This is the app to get if you’re looking for a great Firestick streaming experience, but are missing some of the Chromecast features.

How to mirror iPhone and iPad to Firestick

  1. Connect your Firestick and your iOS device to the same WiFi.
  2. Download Mirror for Fire TV app from the App Store.
  3. Open the app and connect to your Firestick.
  4. Click ‘Start Mirroring’.
  5. Enjoy!

How to mirror MacBook to Firestick

  1. Connect your Firestick and your MacBook to the same WiFi.
  2. Download Mirror for Fire TV app from the App Store.
  3. Unpack and install the app.
  4. Open it from the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  5. Connect your MacBook to your Firestick.
  6. Click ‘Start Mirroring’.
  7. Enjoy!

Screen mirroring for Fire TV

How to mirror Android to Fire TV

  1. Download the Fire TV & Firestick Mirroring app from Google Play.
  2. Turn on your TV with the Firestick plugged in.
  3. Connect your Android device and your Firestick to the same WiFi.
  4. In the app, click ‘Screen Mirroring’.
  5. Choose your Firestick.
  6. Click ‘Start Mirroring’.
  7. Enjoy!

Want more information on mirroring Android to Fire TV? Click the button below!

Advantages

Huge price range

There are five devices in the Fire TV lineup – Fire Stick Lite, Fire Stick, Fire Stick 4k, Fire Stick 4k Max and Fire Cube. They range from $29.99 to $119.99. You get all the same apps and interface with each Firestick.

Firestick vs Chromecast – budget

When comparing Chromecast vs Firestick, you can already see that the second is way more accessible, budget-wise.

Cheap Firestick!

You can get Firestick devices for far cheaper than their recommended retail price. Amazon frequently puts them on discount.

If you’re in market for a Firestick, it can pay to be a bit patient. That way, you can save yourself quite a bit of money, especially on more expensive models.

Most Firesticks support 4k

If you’re looking for 4k support from your Firestick, pick Fire Stick 4k, Fire Stick 4k Max or Fire Cube. Fire Stick Lite and Fire Stick only have 1080p or HD capabilities.

Get started on your 4k journey for as little as $49.99.

You need a 4k-capable TV unit to watch content in this resolution, though.

Screen mirroring

Frequent updates to Firestick OS

If you opt for a Firestick, you will be getting updates very often. About every two weeks to be precise. These are just about fixing bugs and minor faults – Amazon rolls out major updates and overhauls quite rarely.

But you can still expect to have your Firestick working at its highest capacity.

Alexa voice remote for every Firestick

When you buy a Firestick, no matter at which price point, you’ll get an Alexa remote with it. That means you’ll be able to browse the interface with your voice.

How to connect Firestick remote

Connect your remote with your Firestick during first setup. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Unpack the remote.
  2. Put the included batteries inside the remote.
  3. Plug Firestick into your TV – it will connect with your Alexa remote automatically.
  4. Enjoy!

Disadvantages

Low storage

Just like Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV, Firestick has 8BG od storage. Out of that, you can only use around 5GB.

But since Firestick is more streaming-focused, those 5GB should be enough for all your needs!

Amazon ads on Firestick

It’s one thing when you see ads on a website, such as YouTube.

But when the UI of a device you paid for is infested with ads, then you might have a problem.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you get with Amazon Firestick. You can expect large banner-style ads as well as carousels with sponsored content and apps merged into the interface. If ads are not an issue for you, then it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Want to get rid of the ads? There are some unofficial third-party solutions that allow you to use an ad-less interface with Firestick. But just as it is, you will get sponsored content on Amazon’s streaming device.

Chromecast vs Firestick TV remote

Chromecast vs Firestick – Which Is Better?

So, Chromecast vs Firestick vs Chromecast with Google TV – which one should you pick in 2022?

Chromecast

With Chromecast, you get pretty limited functionalities and awkward control methods. But, what it does, it does really well. You can expect seamless casting!

Chromecast’s biggest advantages:

  1. Compatible with various devices.

Chromecast’s biggest disadvantages:

  1. Limited use.
  2. Low storage.
  3. Works best in Google environments – iOS and MacOS are brushed over.

Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV offers you the best of both worlds. On one side – a revolutionary Google TV interface and easy-to-use remote. On the other – all of the things you love about Chromecast, plus gaming.

It’s not exactly a fair comparison between Chromecast vs Firestick, because both devices serve slightly different purpose. But with Firestick vs Chromecast with Google TV, there are way more similarities.

Chromecast with Google TV’s biggest advantages:

  1. Great Google TV interface.
  2. Stadia support.
  3. Amazing recommendation system.

Chromecast with Google TV’s biggest disadvantages:

  1. Low storage.
  2. Quite pricey, especially if you want to include the Ethernet adapter.

Firestick

With Firestick, you can turn any HDMI-equipped display into a Smart TV. And at as little as $29.99, too! Comparing Firestick vs Chromecast, you’ll see it’s where it truly shines.

Firestick’s biggest advantages:

  1. Basic models are very cheap and have all the apps you need.
  2. Frequent updates.

Firestick’s biggest disadvantages:

  1. Ads on the interface.
  2. Low storage.

The final decision is up to you –

AirBeamTV

AirBeamTV is the market leader in screen mirroring apps. We offer dozens of revolutionary applications that wirelessly connect your phone, tablet of computer with a Smart TV. Our technology improves your home entertainment in minutes. No more untangling or losing your annoying cables!

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Not only that, AirBeamTV apps offer many advantages for workplaces. Now you can simply throw your presentation from your smartphone, tablet or computer straight to a Smart TV.

Thanks to AirBeamTV apps, you can display any content on your big TV screen in record time. Whether you would like to see videos, photos, films, series or presentations on a large screen, it’s all possible. We support all TV brands and media streamers. It doesn’t matter if you have Samsung, LG, Sony, Roku, FireTV or Panasonic – we have a solution for you!

Discover AirBeamTV today. All our applications are free to try! 

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