Chromecast Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video finally works with Chromecast and Android TV The companies truly have made peace with each other. How to Cast Prime Video. The best way to work around the lack of Chromecast support on Amazon Prime is to cast your videos from a laptop or desktop on the Chrome browser. We will work under the assumption that you already have a Chromecast device attached to your television or have a smart TV with the ability to receive a cast from another device. How to install Amazon Prime Video on Chromecast. The very first thing you need to do is install the Amazon Prime Video app on your device. Open it, then select the Cast icon and the Chromecast.

Jul 10, 2019 Google and Amazon’s feud went from a silent campaign between two companies to a roaring public battle in 2017 when Google pulled the YouTube app from Fire devices, but thankfully, in April of 2019, the two companies published a joint press release announcing both the return of YouTube and the addition of Chromecast support within the Prime. Google Chromecast supports many services, including Amazon Prime Video. Because Chromecast supports Prime Video, there are two ways to cast videos. If you're on a desktop PC, casting from the Google Chrome browser works best. It's not as efficient as casting from an app, but it gets the job done.

In 2021, as we all continue to spend more time in front of screens than anyone anticipated, most of us have a short list of requirements for a modern streaming stick. We just want a device that's compatible with our favorite content and all the other devices in our living rooms.

One of the earlier entrants into this space, Google’s Chromecast streaming device underwent a significant transformation this generation with the addition of a remote control and a proper user interface. Previously, Chromecast relied entirely on streaming content from a separate device (phone, computer, tablet) to play content on your TV. But with the new features, Google’s latest Chromecast with Google TV finally competes with other popular, sub-$50 4K streaming sticks like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku Streaming Stick+. It might even be an attractive alternative to the $179 Apple TV 4K.

So the 2020 Chromecast seems like it could be the perfect low-cost yet highly compatible cross between a streaming stick (to watch content from your phone) and a remote-controlled set-top box (to control apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max via remote).The only way to know for sure, however, was to put in a little more screen time. Recently, we placed the latest Chromecast up against Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku’s Streaming Stick+ in some Orbital HQ testing to see which $50 streaming stick gives you the most value for your money—and which delivers the fewest headaches when you just want to kick back and watch something, maybe even something in 4K.

Table of Contents

The short version

  • Google's 2020 Chromecast with Google TV is the best streaming stick you can get for $50. It has wide-ranging compatibility across platforms and devices, speedy performance, a simple and sensibly laid-out remote, and Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos support. With a price tag a third the cost of an Apple TV, it also gives Apple's streaming box a run for its money. It excels beyond Roku and Fire TV devices with a more polished and effective user interface that does well to serve you up something you'll enjoy watching.
  • Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K has the benefit of being on the market longer and having more time to develop. As such, it was a top pick for under $50 streamers—but mainly by default. It's not hard to use the Fire TV Stick, but it's harder to find quality content in comparison to the latest Chromecast. The Fire TV Stick 4K can often come across primarily as a device on which to watch Prime Video. You can still hop over to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and the like to find a specific title you're looking for, but if you're just browsing through the UI looking for something to watch, you'll be hard pressed to find something not on Prime Video. While Prime Video does have a large library of movies, this leaves you with limited, sub-par options for finding new content. That said, the Fire TV Stick 4K is still fast, and it supports useful features like Dolby Vision HDR and more robust user profiles for children.
  • The Roku Streaming Stick+ doesn't suffer as much from a biased user interface as the Fire TV Stick 4K, but that's still partly due to a lackluster user interface. It's not built to browse—or at least not very well. You ought to know what you want to watch before turning on a Roku device, as you're best served going directly into the app that has it to watch it there. Roku's UI is simple to read, has all the major streaming services, and does have useful tricks like AirPlay 2 support and Windows and Android screen mirroring. But its everyday usability falls flat, which makes it worse than the Chromecast at solving the ever-threatening existential crisis of what to watch next. Plus, it lacks Dolby Vision HDR.

Setup

Google Chromecast with Google TV

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All three of these streaming sticks have somewhat similar setup processes that walk you through downloading and/or discovering your preferred services and linking up the streaming sticks to control your TV. There’s no fuss when it comes to the latter; all our contenders pretty much automatically synced up with my TV’s volume and power controls.

As far as setting up your services on the Fire TV Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+, it’s the same rigmarole you’d expect—typing in emails and passwords with a directional pad, an onerous task which the Chromecast circumvents. With the help of the Google Home app and Face ID on my iPhone, I was logged into my appropriate accounts quickly on the Chromecast, and I didn’t even have to type a thing on my phone (Wi-Fi passwords, account logins, or otherwise). All of my relevant information was pulled from the Google Home app, a feature we missed sorely while Ouija-boarding in our passwords with the Roku and Amazon remotes.

Roku attempts to emulate a similar in-app setup process as Google’s (after you’ve already typed in at least two logins) by emailing you a link to a setup webpage, unlike Amazon’s which is done solely through the Fire TV Stick. Here is where you choose the apps and services to be downloaded, though the Roku process throws a ton more garbage at you in the form of numerous free trials, compared to Amazon and Google.

With both the Roku and Fire TV Stick, this initial setup is just step one. After all the apps are downloaded, you have to open them and login all over again—another cumbersome task the Chromecast largely avoids with its use of the Google Home app and passwords saved to your Google account. Some logins will still be required after the fact with Chromecast, but not nearly as many.

Of note: Amazon does give you the option for child profiles, though, which is a missing feature on both the Chromecast and Roku sticks.

User interface

Whether discussing form or function, Google’s Chromecast leaves both of our other options behind quite easily. Chromecast's aesthetics are the most refined, and its functionality is the most useful of the three. While Amazon’s Fire TV experience does have a similar setup—a top row of tabbed sections and tiles of content or apps on each page laid out underneath—Amazon tries to cram in more by neglecting to space out the tiles.

In practice, it's just a bit busier than the Chromecast interface, which is also a bit more visually intuitive. but this flaw could be overlooked if the Fire TV’s wall of media tiles weren’t just row after row of Prime Video content and ads. If a page has 10 rows of tiles, eight out of the 10 are either ads or directly tied to Prime Video. This isn’t a problem you’ll find with the Chromecast and Google’s services, nor with Roku.

Amazon puts a heavy emphasis on its Prime Video service in terms of how it offers content. It’s not the worst thing, since Prime does have an expansive library, but so does most any streaming stick. They all have access to most of the same things, save for some notable exceptions we’ll touch on later. Amazon’s obsession with feeding you Prime content, original or otherwise, is a serious hindrance to this device's usefulness and fun factor. The Fire TV Stick gives you rather low-quality content recommendations given the myriad of streaming platforms housed within, and you can tell. It favors recommending an F-list movie from Prime Video over a decent film you might actually enjoy from another platform.

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Roku is the simplest UI on offer here. It's basic to the point of being dated in the looks department. Still, in comparison, it's nice to browse titles in peace. While testing Roku, it did not live in constant fear of autoplay trailers threatening to interrupt my thoughts every second (looking at you, Fire TV). I know you can just mute your TV, but I could feel my anxiety levels lower scrolling through Roku’s interface.

At the same time, I was also underwhelmed using the Roku and unable to explore much about a piece of content without having to open the app that houses it. In this sense, Roku’s interface feels more like a smart TV in that it simply gives you access to apps so you can watch what you want there. In contrast, both the Fire TV and Chromecast serve as mediums for aggregating and presenting content for you to explore. And in that regard, Google’s new Chromecast handily leads the pack.

Amazon’s recently announced a significant update to the Fire TV user interface, which will include a more streamlined main screen, user profiles, and a “Find” tab to discover content more easily. This should start rolling out to the Fire TV Stick 4K in the coming weeks, as well as on the 1080p Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite. We’ll update this section when it hits our Fire TV Stick 4K.

Finding what you’re looking for

All three of these streaming sticks have a voice control button on their remotes. These can be used for searching up content and opening apps.Though none of these implementations are perfect, voice is the best way to search on each device in most cases. Much like we saw in navigating each UI, Google’s Chromecast search, run by Google Assistant, is more accurate and often more useful with its results than the other two.

Say you’re in the mood to watch a good documentary. If you say “documentaries” to the respective voice controls, Amazon’s Alexa will bring back about five rows of various categories, mostly comprised of what’s available on Amazon’s Prime Video service. Categories include a selection from your subscriptions, free with ads, trending, latest, and movies and TV. The combination of some random, off-base recommendations and the majority of results coming from Amazon Prime make you feel like you’re not being presented with the highest quality or most expansive options.

It’s not nearly as bad as Roku’s handling, though. Search here brought a handful of documentaries, a ton of reality TV shows, and a good amount of neither within the results.

Google Assistant, on the other hand, pulls up a rather comprehensive, thoughtfully organized and wholly on-target set of lists in the same carousel fashion as the Fire TV. Unlike Amazon’s results, options found here are effective at producing picks you might like. Categories include popular, Oscar-winning, war documentaries, religious docs, and politics, among others. Generally, Chromecast returns a mélange of results from different platforms, so Google’s clearly prioritized offering quality picks over forcing you onto Google’s services... in contrast to Amazon’s reverse approach.

The same tendencies surface when searching for a specific performer. Searching “Dave Chappelle,” for instance, Google spits back a simple two carousels of results–one comprised of titles featuring Dave Chappelle, and a “people also search for” carousel of related people, whose pictures you can click to explore more of their works.

It’s plainly powered by the same algorithms used in Google search, offering results that include spouses and children (who are noted as such) as well as related performers, complete with biographical blurbs sourced straight from Wikipedia. The only thing we can fault Google for here is the omission of certain results, in this instance, a taped award ceremony for Chappelle receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (which is available on Netflix). If you’re a Chappelle fan, that might be something you’d like to see in your search results.

Amazon’s Fire TV did offer this result in its top picks, right along with the other works Google displayed, but somehow Google missed it. In fact, the search race was much tighter here between Amazon and Google, as they offered just about the same pieces of content, save for Google’s one omission. Roku also didn’t lag too far behind as it found much of the same while missing more obscure results than either of the two (including the same award ceremony Google missed).

Between the three, voice searches for specific movies or shows work as well as intended. Press the button, say the words, and in a second you’re ready to click play. The only slip ups to speak of come from the Roku, which has a tough time recognizing some words, especially those with alternate spellings. “Inglourious Basterds,” for instance, is a movie you’re just going to have to type out to find on Roku—it won’t come up at all from a voice search. That isn’t the case for Amazon and Google.

Roku, again feeling more like a virtual Redbox than anything else, doesn’t offer much in the content descriptions when search results are pulled up, either. The plot summary is usually one sentence, the star ratings don’t tell you where they’re coming from, and you can’t watch the trailer.

The same screen on the Chromecast has all of these missing items from the Roku, and it even lets you explore the Rotten Tomatoes ratings and critiques in a little pop-up browser. Plus, once you’ve watched it, you can give a title a thumbs up or thumbs down to help fine tune your recommendations. The Fire TV Stick doesn’t go quite as far, but it still offers trailers and a more in-depth description than Roku. The low-quality, sometimes useless related content recommendations below the result are another aspect that keep Amazon lagging a good bit behind Google.

Whether you know exactly what you want to watch, or you’re not sure and want to do some perusing, watch some trailers, check some ratings, and then decide, the Google Chromecast is the most effective, most capable, and most fun to browse on.

Finding new things to watch

The same key differences between the three make Google’s Chromecast the most adept at quickly and easily helping you discover new or related content that you’re genuinely likely to enjoy. As mentioned earlier, browsing for quality content on the main screens of the Chromecast is a more fine-tuned and fruitful endeavor, and the same is also true when you’ve just finished a movie or show you loved but don’t know where to go from there.

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Let’s say, for instance, you just finished Kill Bill and are now on a Kung Fu kick, feeling über Uma Thurman, or are particularly enjoying the quirky Tarantino movies. With Chromecast, on the main page of the movie, simply scroll down and either click one of the stars to see more of their work (as well as a little biographical blurb) or scroll down one more row to find recommendations based on various aspects of the movie, genre, or the creators and stars themselves. Among the options for this particular title were action movies, Oscar-winning titles, and an “if you like X” option that actually seems accurate. Different movies will elicit different categories based on their own unique aspects.

In stark contrast, the Fire TV Stick gives you an entirely useless “customers also watched” row offering completely unrelated and often wildly off-target suggestions which, you guessed it, are largely from Prime Video. Below that you have as many as 50 rows of content, each one based exclusively off each of the starring actors—no matter how big or small their role. It’s truly unnecessary and wholly ineffective in helping you find content you’ll love.

Finding meaningful suggestions on the Chromecast is intuitive and useful—the direct opposite of the experience offered on the Fire TV Stick. Roku, on the other hand, simply doesn’t offer such a feature to find related content.

One last thing to note here is the implementation of watchlists, another feature which the Roku lacks. Both the Fire TV and Chromecast offer it, but for some reason Amazon’s isn’t always available as a save option for content you come across. We’d say about seven out of 10 times it is available, but we couldn’t find a rhyme or reason to the absences.

Google’s watchlist doesn’t just edge out Amazon for its consistently available saving options, but it also reigns supreme for having the benefit of integration into your Google searches. If you Google a show or movie, you can easily add it to your watchlist right from the top of the results when you’re logged into your Google account. It’ll show up on your Chromecast watchlist immediately—a feature I’m fond of now and I’m sure I’ll love even more when I can leave the house again.

Extra features

Each of these streaming sticks, for the most part, do the same basic things. As we just discussed, of course, some do it better. But there are a couple features that set these apart, and these could potentially define their usefulness to you.

Google Chromecast extra features

The standout feature for Google’s Chromecast is without a doubt the ability to stream content from a phone, tablet, or computer through a myriad of compatible apps, directly to your TV. In fact, it used to be the only feature of the Chromecast and, after more than seven years of development, it’s amassed a formidable list of compatible apps. Essentially, most any app you use to listen to music or watch videos can stream from your phone to the Chromecast. And on computers, Google’s Chrome browser takes over any such duties. This is a feature neither the Fire TV Stick nor the Roku Streaming Stick+ can emulate in its seamlessness and wide-ranging compatibility, though Roku does come close.

You can also use a Nest or Google Home device to turn on your TV and control basic functions with your voice (though, of course, Alexa can do the same on the Fire TV Stick).

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K extra features

The Fire TV Stick doesn’t have much of anything that the other two don’t. As mentioned, you can use an Echo device to turn the TV on and off, but otherwise there’s no other built-in standout features.

It is worth noting, though, that jailbreaking these devices or otherwise finding ways to install free media services, like Kodi, is a popular pastime among Fire Stick owners. Such tweaks can and often do affect reliability of the Fire Sticks and, although generally easy enough to fix (by resetting it to stock), it’s a bit of a pain having a boot-looping Fire Stick if problems do arise.

Roku Streaming Stick+ extra features

Roku’s trick up its sleeve, like the Chromecast’s, has to do with streaming from mobile devices. It’s Airplay-enabled, so you can stream music and video to it or use it as a secondary display for an Apple device. Furthermore, you can mirror an Android or Windows computer through Roku, emulating in large part what the Chromecast can do with your devices. In essence, it has all the same bases covered as the Chromecast, albeit in a slightly less streamlined way.

Missing Services

You didn’t think we could talk streaming sticks during the still ongoing streaming wars and not talk missing services, did you?

Again, generally, these three streaming sticks cover the same ground in terms of the major streaming platforms. But there are some notable exceptions which, sadly, could make or break a particular device for you.

Google Chromecast missing services

The never-ending war of attrition between Apple and Google still slogs onward as new devices and new services come about. In this instance, Apple TV+ is the service you can’t get on a Google Chromecast, but you can stream it from your computers Chrome browser. This may not be a huge deal for anyone who’s uninterested in the original movies, shows, and documentaries Apple’s been producing, but the fact that it’s available on the Fire TV Stick and Roku does make this all the more frustrating. Like Apple TV+, most any other smaller omissions can also be made up for by streaming it from a compatible mobile device.

Amazon Fire Stick TV missing services

The Fire Stick is currently missing NBCUniversal’s Peacock TV free streaming service, and that excludes it from free access to all of NBC’s shows and many of Universal Studios’ films. Being one of the few free services that offers some major titles, this is a pretty tough omission. It’s expected that a deal will be made eventually, but there’s been little in the way of clues as to the timeline.

Furthermore, the brute force with which Prime content is shoved down your throat, in practice, makes you feel like you’re only browsing one platform—Prime Video. Of course, you can go directly into the apps you know house the content you’re looking for, but as we explained earlier, this essentially defeats the purpose of a streaming stick (versus a smart TV) by severely hampering how effectively you can find quality content that you’ll actually enjoy.

Roku Streaming Stick+ missing services

Roku just gained access to HBO Max, which was a pretty big omission for both companies during a span of several months. With this addition, though, Roku has all the big names you’re looking for. And like the Chromecast, it can make up for smaller omissions via Airplay and Android or Windows screen mirroring.

Live TV and Premium Channels

Through various TV network apps and league partnerships (Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, the NBA, MLB, and ESPN for example), you can watch live news, shows, and sports events across all three of these devices.

The Fire TV has a “Live” page—it’s one the Roku and Chromecast don’t have—which even includes a channel guide. It’s a bit misleading though since the page consists mostly of offering the aforementioned apps, and the channel guide is exclusively sourced from IMDbTV, a free streaming platform offering movies and shows. While IMDbTV isn’t available on the Chromecast or Roku devices, you can always stream it from a compatible mobile device to either one. (Regardless, it’s not really live TV, anyway.)

Winner: Google Chromecast with Google TV

In the end, a competition between similar devices with nearly identical features and similarly inexpensive price tags wasn’t all that close. In nearly every aspect of use, the Chromecast with Google TV proved to be more effective, easier to use, and looked better doing it than either the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or Roku’s Streaming Stick+.

Google does an excellent job of surfacing quality content that piques your interest. Its algorithms seem to account for quality and relation, picking up on more nuanced themes which ultimately offer better results. “Dysfunctional family comedies,” for instance, is a category Google offers, and that zeroes in on a narrower aspect than “comedies” alone could. Again and again, Google’s related recommendations, in any category, carry a high success rate.

Coupled with nearly universal device compatibility, the Chromecast is hard to beat. And at $50, it blows past the Fire TV Stick and Roku devices found at the same price (though the Amazon and Roku devices are often on sale). In fact, the new Chromecast seems to be offering one of the best streaming experiences at any price. It certainly has me wondering what I still need my Apple TV for.

Listing image by Corey Gaskin

© Provided by What Hi-Fi? Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs Chromecast with Google TV: which is the best TV streaming device?

You want apps for your TV, you want them in 4K HDR and you want a great and reasonably priced media streamer to do the job but which one do you buy, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or the Chromecast with Google TV? It's an excellent question. Both have five-star reviews from What Hi-Fi? but that doesn't mean that they're exactly the same. Let's take a deeper dive.

If you think that all media streamers are created equally then prepare to think again. There are few key matters to consider when trying to find the right one. The most obvious is to make sure that they've got all the apps you're looking for. Not all will carry your favourite video streaming services and not all in the codecs you need. Also consider presentation and usability. Some are quicker to navigate then others and offer better search facilities.

Features are key if you're looking to support certain HDR and audio standards to match your home cinema or TV audio set-up, and then there's performance. Some just look and sound better, or at least slightly different, to others.

Fortunately with the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV, both are at the top of the game. So, if you've narrowed it down to just these two, then rest assured that you can't go far wrong.

Price

The differences in price may be small for these devices but every penny counts at this more budget end of the media streamer market.

At launch the Chromecast with Google TV was the more expensive of the two devices at £60/$50 while the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K was a touch cheaper, £50/$40. At the time of writing that gap has changed with the Chromecast still the same but the Fire Stick 4K available at a cut-price £45 in the UK.

The real trick, of course, is to catch these devices while they're on sale, as they frequently are. Amazon Prime Day and other peak trading times are classic moments to grab them on the cheap or as part of a bundle.

With the Chromecast considerably newer, standalone discounts are harder to come by but you will find bundles such as the free giveaways YouTube TV subscriptions. Keep an eye out on Google's store if you're also in the market for another Google devices such as a Pixel smartphone or Google Home speaker.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has been around since the end of 2018 and we've seen since it drop to as low as £30/$29. We fully expected to get down to those reaches again in the coming months but do be warned that, owing to its age, a new version of the Fire TV Stick 4K is likely to launch at some point soon.

**Winner** Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – often cheaper and as little as half the price of the Chromecast when bought on sale.

Chromecast Amazon Prime

Design

Both of these dongle-based streamers come from a similar design ethos: make it small and keep it out of sight. They slot into one of your TV's HDMI ports and require their own power through a USB cable that needs to run between the streamer and a wall socket.

The penny toffee-shaped Chromecast is a little more touchy feely. It comes in a choice of three colours – Snow (white), Sunrise (pink) or Sky (blue) – whereas it's just plain gun metal grey for the Fire Stick. That's no big deal for these dongles themselves, given that they're tucked away, but the matching remotes of the Chromecast certainly look cheerier.

The voice remote was an all-new feature introduced with this particular Chromecast model and it lifts the Google streamer's usability right up to the excellent level of the Fire Stick. Both remotes are a good size, well thought out and allow very quick and natural search and control of your on-screen experience. You can also use them to power on and off your TV as well as turn the volume up and down too.

In terms of pure usability, though, the Chromecast is streets ahead, at least until the latest Fire TV Experience UI arrives. The voice search functions are equally excellent but the results you get on the Amazon streamer are very heavily weighted towards content found on Prime Video even when you might have it for free on other services.

That bias is even more obvious on the Home page which, although better than it used to be, feels a little too much like an opportunity for Amazon to sell you its TV and films. Of course, that's a perfectly understandable approach given the very low price of this stick but the latest Google TV platform, found on this Chromecast and now smart TVs such as those from Sony and TCL, has removed those shackles.

The For You home page is a genuinely useful content discovery tool. Content is organised into helpful rows of suggestions, including quite a few categories we’ve never seen on other services, such as Neo-noir, Futuristic Shows, Films about Robots and Space exploration movies. You can refine the AI by telling it what you’ve already seen but, even from the off, it has a pretty decent handle on our tastes.

When you track down a film or TV show that you have rights to watch on multiple services, Google TV gives you the choice of service and will even default to the cheapest or free option where possible, rather than trying to sell you the version from Google’s own catalogue.

Google Chromecast Amazon Prime

The UI on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is still perfectly intuitive and easy to navigate. You won't struggle in the slightest to find the apps or shows you need. Once the upgraded version of the Fire TV OS arrives, it should also deliver something similar on the recommendations front to the Chromecast. However, until that turns up, Google wins here.

**Winner** Chromecast - while we wait for the Fire TV Stick 4K to get the latest version of the Fire TV OS, it's the superior usability of Google TV that gets the win.

Apps

Apps are, of course, key to this particular face-off. For many, the purchase of a low-cost media streamer like these is purely for access to those services which their TV can't manage.

At the time of writing, the only notable absentees for Amazon are Rakuten and Google Play Movies & TV. The Apple TV experience isn't the best – you can't buy new content using the Fire TV app but you can watch anything you already own or choose to buy using another device such as a mobile or laptop. It's also worth noting that there is Dolby Atmos is not available on Netflix content.

These niggles aside, the Fire TV Stick 4K is very, very well stocked for app support and will deliver virtually everything you could need. Apple TV and Prime Video make excellent PAYG options for films and TV, and all the other subscription streaming services are available, for sports and entertainment, no matter whether you're in the US or the UK.

The Chromecast is not quite so stellar in this department and that could well become a deal-breaker for some customers. For the UK, Chromecast has no BT TV app and is also missing the All 4 catch-up service, Twitch, Amazon Music, Britbox and Now TV.

That's mitigated by the fact that you can get around this by casting those missing services to your streamer from a Chromecast-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer. It's a decent solution but it does rely on having one of those devices to hand and with enough charge in the battery, and that might be enough to make some potential customers think twice.

The only time this won't do as a workaround is with Apple Music. Until recently, that was also the case for Apple TV but Google has added app support for the Apple TV and Apple TV+ services onto this Chromecast device, and that's huge.

Apple TV has a wealth of 4K films on offer on iTunes. We'd argue that its catalogue of films for rent and purchase is second-to-none right now, particularly when it comes to HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, all of which are supported when accessing the Apple TV app via the Chromecast with Google TV.

What's more those purchases can be made in-app when using the Chromecast, whereas those using the Apple TV app on an Amazon Fire TV device need to make purchases using their computer or smartphone.

At the time of writing the appearance of Apple TV content on the Google TV home page or in the universal search isn't consistent across regions but hopefully this will be evened out soon. Either way, the integration of this content still feels superior to the way its handled on the Fire TV OS.

The only other noteworthy consideration for the Chromecast is that there are currently issues with the Disney Plus app, meaning that Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are unavailable until a DRM issue has been resolved. Again, this will hopefully be ironed out in the short term.

**Draw** Neither is perfect but all the big services are available on both platforms one way or another - a good job from both Amazon and Google.

Performance

In absolute terms, these two media streamers are equally good performers but it's worth drilling down into their strengths and weaknesses in case they reveal facets particular to your needs.

Both streamers support the HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG standards with 4K video at up to 60fps. They're also all set for 3D audio with Dolby Atmos, although it should be noted that there's no Atmos on Netflix with the Fire Stick.

Equally, the Chromecast doesn't have an option for auto frame rate matching of your TV to your content, although you can select different frame rates manually. Either way, it didn't cause any issues in our testing.

In terms of actual picture quality, there's very little to separate the two at all. They render images which are sharp, textured and tonally very well balanced when it comes to HDR viewing, and that makes for an excellent experience.

Colours for both are deep and natural while still maintaining enough nuance of production to give a sense of realism to the picture. Given the right source material both will deliver clean and exciting viewing.

Performance is obviously less stellar with SDR but, again, each gets full marks here. Both produce pictures with a touch of noise and light levels are not quite as expertly handled without the helpful metadata of HDR but detail levels are decent and their pictures remain colour accurate.

The real difference for these two in performance is instead with the sound. The audio from both is good for the money but they'll appeal to different tastes. The Chromecast has an excellent sense of rhythmic drive. It's precise, clear and that allows us to pick up on some lovely moments of detail. When streaming music it sounds crisp.

The Fire Stick isn't quite so good on this front but is dynamically superior. There's a better sense of depth to the sound which adds more feeling to voices and instruments for music.

For the AV experience, that difference translates to more impact and spaciousness to the sound with the Fire TV Stick 4K at the expense of clarity for both dialogue and sound effects. Those who don't mind missing out a touch on the big hits of action films and some of that sense of atmosphere should opt for the Chromecast and never miss a word instead. For pure drama, the Fire TV Stick 4K wins.

**Draw** Both excellent for video. Amazon has a bigger feel to the audio but the Chromecast is clearer and more rhythmic.

Verdict

Both of these media streamers make excellent choices and this is not only a very close call but one which may entirely depend on individual needs.

With little difference in price and performance, the difference boils down to one of usability and it's here where Google TV excels. It's slick, good looking and, crucially, serves as a superb content recommendation engine. If you're stuck looking for what to watch next, there's a better chance that it's going to solve your problem, and quickly, and that's extremely valuable when time is short.

Amazon Prime Chromecast Ipad

Amazon will be countering this by adding the new Fire TV experience UI to either this or an entirely new Fire TV Stick 4K some time this year, no doubt. That will certainly up the usability game. However, from what we've seen of the updated interface, it's still not quite as impressive as Google TV.

The win for the Chromecast here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the right device for everyone, though. There are slight differences in the app offerings which are worth noting. You'll have to be content to cast certain services (Now TV, BT TV, All 4 Twitch, Amazon Music and Britbox) from your mobile or tablet with the Chromecast. That could become tiresome and these aren't exactly fringe considerations.

Chromecast Amazon Instant Video

Likewise, anyone with considerable pre-existing libraries on Google Play Movies & TV and Rakuten should give the Fire TV Stick a swerve or they'll find themselves completely left out in the cold.

Chrome Cast Amazon Prime To Tv From Iphone

As we say, though, on balance, it's the Chromecast with Google TV that we recommend. There are more PAYG film and TV options, better access to 4K HDR content and the user experience is first class. Let us know what shows it helps you to discover.

**Winner** Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast Amazon Prime App

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