In a world where technology is constantly evolving and advancing, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends.
One of those advances is streaming media devices, such as Chromecast and Smart TVs. Many people are asking themselves: do I need chromecast if I have a smart TV?
In this article we will compare Chromecast vs Smart TV in order to help you decide which one best suits your needs.
We will look at features, cost, compatibility and more so that you can make an informed decision about which device is right for you.
What is a Chromecast?
If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to connect to the internet, streaming sticks, or dongles as they’re often called, is a great choice.
Dongles are portable plug-and-play devices that resemble large USB sticks. All you have to do is plug them into your HDMI port and you’ll have immediate access to the internet.
You can even plug them into your TV to access some features if it has compatible HDMI ports.
Some generic dongles offer basic internet connection, while certain brands come with pre-loaded apps and browsers including Chromecast, Roku, Amazon, and Apple.
These brand-specific dongles provide greater compatibility and are ideal if you wish to use specific services associated with these companies.
For instance, Chromecast is Google’s official streaming device which has been upgraded all over the years with new versions having USB-C connectors as opposed to micro-USB on earlier versions.
Mirroring your phone onto the TV used to be a challenging task, but luckily newer smartphones come with a casting or screen-cast feature in the settings that make it possible.
But if you don’t have this feature, plugging a Chromecast into your device is a great way to project the images or videos on your phone directly to the TV screen.
However, older generations of Chromecast (1-3) are strictly projection devices – they rely on content from phones, tablets or laptops that have been mirrored onto the TV with an HDMI cable.
The 4K Chromecast though is more like a traditional streaming stick and can be used for independent apps via HDMI even without using content from your phone.
To get mirroring using an old gen Chromecast you need to download a compatible third-party app.
Chromecast 4K vs Other Streaming Sticks
Chromecast 4K is a dual-purpose device that comes with a convenient remote controller.
With the new Chromecast, users can have either the freedom of a standalone streamer to navigate the variety of apps and services in Chromecast or connect their TV to streaming services via an intermediary device.
Additionally, with Chromecast you can access any Google service on your TV beyond just TV shows without having to worry about side-loading apps like other streaming sticks.
Furthermore, users also have the convenience of being able to cast their devices’ screens even when using a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick, as all it requires is plugging into any available HDMI port.
What is a Smart TV?
Smart TVs are the future of home entertainment. They come with a whole range of features that let you watch whatever you like, from streaming services to movies and shows.
Smart TVs link wirelessly to the internet just like your computer, so you have constant access to a huge variety of content.
The most popular streaming services come pre-loaded in Smart TVs so you don’t even need to search for URLs – just log in and start watching.
Best of all, many Smart TVs come with apps and games already built into the TV – you can play interactive games on the same screen you watch your favorite show! Podcasts are also available on some models, meaning it’s easy to follow your new favorite series or listen to interviews with experts in any field.
With more features than ever before packed into one sleek machine, it’s no wonder that more people are buying Smart TVs for their home entertainment needs.
Here’s the catch – you can only use a Smart TV if you have an internet connection at home. You have to link it to your household WiFi for it to work.
Otherwise, it’s just a normal TV and will need a set-top box or an external antenna. Also, while internet access on your Smart TV is free, you’re still paying for your home internet, and for the apps that you’re already subscribed to.
This means you need a paid account from Hulu, Netflix, or Disney + if you want to use these built-in apps.
You’ll use existing logins to access the service. But for free apps like YouTube, you can watch them straight off the app or log into your Gmail account on the TV.
Even then, YouTube isn’t exactly free, since you’re still paying for your high-speed home internet package.
Smart TVs with Google TV
A Smart TV can be a great way to access the web without needing an additional device.
These TVs typically come with pre-loaded apps and a built-in browser, but if you want to specifically use Google Apps or the Chrome browser then you’ll want to look for one with Google TV incorporated into it.
For optimal viewing, though, it’s important to remember that you may miss out on quality if your TV isn’t 4K or higher – processing speed vs pixel density is something to take into consideration when choosing which device will get the job done best.
Ultimately, it all comes down to individual preference so weighing up Chromecast against Smart TVs might help decide which streaming solution is right for you.
Comparing Chromecast vs Smart TV
When comparing a Smart TV and Chromecast, there are many factors to consider. A Chromecast is an inexpensive option that can range from $35-$50 and turns any regular TV into a “smart” one with apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
It allows users to mirror content from their mobile devices to the TV through casting capabilities while also offering streaming capability on Gen #4K. On the other hand, a Smart TV already has apps built-in ready for use but lack the extra apps that come with a Chromecast.
Furthermore, Smart TVs might cost thousands of dollars depending on the screen size compared to a much smaller price tag for alternatives like Chromecast.
Ultimately it comes down to your budget and how you want to utilize your television – both offer advantages and disadvantages and it comes down to what works best for you as an individual.
Portability – chromecast vs smart tv
Smart TVs are great for the home since they’re designed to be set up in a single location, with no moving around. When it comes to utilizing streaming services, however, Chromecast takes the cake.
Its small size and portability means even if you’re away from your home setup, you can still stay connected and enjoy the same high-quality internet experience, wherever you have an internet connection.
With its easy plug-and-play setup and fast performance, it won’t take long to get watching once you’ve got access.
For those who want to project their computer screen or smartphone onto a TV screen need only download the Google Home app – this robust app eliminates needing to purchase multiple devices entirely while still allowing access on any supported device.
Chromecast is a must-have streaming device for those always on-the-go!
Viewing Experience – chromecast vs smart tv
When talking resolution and density, it’s important to know the difference. Resolution refers to the number of pixels on the screen – HD (1920 by 1080), 4K (3840 by 2160), or 8K – while density indicates the amount of pixels per square inch.
A 1080p Smart TV may appear blurrier than a 1080p smartphone or laptop since more pixels are cramped in a smaller space, providing less visual detail overall. A
n easy way to understand this concept is to think of a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a cup versus a gallon of water – more liquid dilutes the same amount of sweetness, making it less noticeable in taste.
That’s why you generally get sharper images from smartphones, tablets and computers compared to TVs. If you do most of your viewing on these devices, then your eyes have already adapted to this level of clarity!
Watching a movie on your smartphone can be a great experience, but when it comes to larger TVs – one needs to take the pixels into account.
A Smart TV with 1080p will provide a clearer and sharper image than using a Chromecast, no matter what size the television.
If you want an identical experience that you would have on your phone, the TV should be 4K or 8K, otherwise the images will be blurry.
As an alternative, one can consider downsizing the TV size in order to still offer a similar viewing experience.
Convenience – Chromecast vs smart tv
The convenience of a Chromecast is hard to beat. With this device, you can create a wireless connection to your TV from any area of your home that has WiFi available.
This means no more scrambling around trying to find suitable HDMI cables, or worrying about cables running across tripping hazards in your home as you try and position them .
Chromecasts come with both HDMI and USB connections, making them small enough to fit behind even wall-mounted TVs.
So if you have multiple screens, you can make the main one into a Smart TV then just rotate the Chromecast between other digital TVs for quick setup and removal.
No need for lots of bulky cables – simply plug in the HDMI and stream what content you like!
The Final Word on Chromecast VS Smart TV
A Smart TV and Chromecast offer similar capabilities: they both allow you to stream content directly onto your TV screen.
Depending on the version of Chromecast you own, though, it’s also possible to use an external device like a smartphone or laptop with a Gen#4 Chromecast, while a Smart TV can only retrieve content from the internet itself.
Additionally, the major difference between these devices is the portability that Gen#4 Chromecasts bring – since it’s pocket-sized, it can be used on multiple TVs wherever you go.
Finally, choosing between these two options also depends on your budget – Smart TVs are usually very expensive but for just around $100 bucks, you could get yourself a Chromecast!