Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast: Which streamer gets the most content?

There are a wide variety of streaming hardware devices available on the market, and more are hitting the market all the time. Google is one the recent companies to provide us with a new option for streaming, and at a very affordable price. Initially they even offered some free Netflix action with the purchase but have since taken that option away. Google's device, the Chromecast, did so well in the marketplace that it is now on backorder from major online outlets.

View attachment 2546 There are a variety of features that help streaming boxes and devices stand out from the rest. Price is certainly one as was evident in the quick sell-out of Google's product. In addition, the number of free streaming services offered by each piece of hardware is certainly a ranking factor.

Let's have a deeper look at the Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast streaming hardware.

What are the features of Google's Chromecast?

Originally released in July 2013, Chromecast is one of the newest and most cost effective streaming options, in terms of hardware. Starting at just $35 USD users everywhere are pleasantly surprised by the array of features this (like most Google products) offers. Using HDMI for connectivity, Chromecast measures less than 3 inches, and comes ready to use with some awesome apps (see the list below) and the list will continue to grow over the coming months.

  • YouTube (Free)
  • Netflix (Paid)
  • Google Play Music (Free and Paid Music)
  • Google Play Movies & TV (Paid Movie Rentals)
  • It also offers the ability to stream from a tab in the Chrome web browser

Features reportedly coming soon:

  • Pandora (Free and Paid available)
  • (Free)
  • HBO Go (Free but just with paid TVEverywhere subscription)
  • Hulu Plus ($7.99 Per Month)
  • Redbox Instant ($8.00 Per Month)
  • Revision3 (Free)
  • Vimeo (Free)

What does the Apple TV offer?

Apple TV has been around in the TV streaming world for a while, and is definitely a front runner in terms of having a wide range of features. In June 2013 Apple took those features to a new level and added some awesome new channels like WatchESPN, HBO Go, and Skynews among others.

Here are some of the apps on Apple TV:

  • iCloud / Flickr Photo Slideshow (Free)
  • Netflix ($7.99 Per Month)
  • Hulu Plus ($7.99 Per Month)
  • YouTube (Free)
  • Vimeo (Free)
  • Rotten Tomatos Ratings (No personalized settings)
  • NBA TV / (Included)
  • WatchESPN (Free with TVEverywhere subscription)
  • HBO Go (Free with TVEverywhere subscription)
  • Sky News (Paid)
  • Crunchyroll (Paid)
  • Qello (Free)

What Roku channels are free? What else does it have?

Roku is another streaming option that has significant brand recognition, and a lot more content in general than competitors. The list of free Roku channels is really a feature that makes it stand out from competing products, but that's not all. This streaming device also offers games to play for those who want more than just TV out of their device.

Some of the free channels on Roku:

  • Amazon Cloud Player
  • CatholicTV
  • CBN TV
  • Crackle
  • Crunchyroll
  • Dailymotion
  • Fox Business
  • Fox News Channel
  • HuffPost Live
  • iHeartRadio
  • Mormon Channel
  • Moviefone
  • NBC News
  • PBS & PBS Kids
  • PopSugar
  • QVC
  • Revision3
  • Sky News
  • TED Talks
  • TMZ (clips only)
  • TWiT Netcast Network
  • Vimeo
  • Wall Street Journal Live
  • Weather Underground

Some of the premium (paid) channels on Roku:

  • Amazon Instant Video (U.S.only)
  • Ameba (U.S. and Canada only)
  • American Primetime TV
  • BabyFirstTV
  • TheBlazeTV
  • Blockbuster on Demand
  • FlixFling (U.S. and Canada)
  • Flix Universe
  • HBO Go
  • Hulu Plus (U.S. only)
  • Midwest Cage Championship (MCC)
  • MLB.TV
  • Mobile Tribe
  • Netflix (U.S. and UK only)
  • NBA League Pass
  • NHL Gamecenter Live
  • Pets.TV
  • Redbox Instant
  • Skitter TV
  • Sky Angel
  • SpiritClips from Hallmark [43]
  • Sportskool (Multiple channels)
  • Spotify
  • Wealth TV

As for Roku's games, some of the top names include Blackjack, Jeopardy, AngryBirds, and Mah Jongg. However, there are many more listed here.

In terms of free online TV streaming services offered, where does each device rank?

So you've seen the lists, and the features for the Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV. Which one is best? All of these devices have their strengths and weaknesses, however, here they are again ranked by cost, features, and freely available services:

1) Roku
- Roku offers by far the most value with movies, TV, games, and music streaming with both free and paid content.

2) Apple TV
- In the future, the Chromecast may move up to this spot, any may also bypass the Roku (arguably, it can now given that you can stream virtually any content from a tab in the Chrome browser). They're working on many more free content options but for now, Apple TV still comes in at number two with about twice as many content options as Chromecast.

3) Chromecast
- Being the most recent to launch, it's no wonder that Chromecast is falling short on it's availability of free content. However, it looks like things should be shaping up for this device very soon.

Sources for this article include:

Apple TV Features - Wikipedia

Chromecast Features - Wikipedia


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