15
Sep
Google-tv-logo3-l

I know, Chromecast and Google TV are obviously two different products. They don't share the same features or functionality, and one can be wildly more expensive than the other. But they're also attempting to solve the same problem, albeit with competing philosophies. That problem? Making your TV smarter.

The Chromecast chooses to do this as a sort of 'bridge,' making your smartphone, tablet, or computer the control center for your TV, while the Chromecast itself just acts as a sort of facilitator for this process. It's a simple, elegant (mostly) product that is also incredibly inexpensive. But Chromecast also doesn't want to replace your normal TV - its capabilities are decidedly limited. Once you've reached the limit of Chromecast's powers, there's not much getting around them. There are, however, a growing number of very cool Chromecast tools out there that augment said powers.

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Google TV, on the other hand, was much more ambitious from the start. Google TV wants to be your TV's external brain, and most GTV boxes even ship with dedicated remote controls. Google TV has apps, it has hardware partners, and even its name really makes you want to believe this is the TV experience of the future. But Google TV's consumer reception has been lukewarm at best, and critics generally haven't found much to love, either. It's not like Apple's doing a hugely better job in this area, either, though - Microsoft's Xbox is still probably the most-used 'smart TV' (in a loose sense of the word) interface in the US.

As readers of Android Police, undoubtedly some of you have both Google TVs and Chromecasts. Or a Chromecast, but no Google TV. Or a Google TV and no Chromecast. I'm curious - which is your current favorite (if either)?

Which do you prefer - Chromecast or Google TV?

View Results

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David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • spinner735

    I think another option should be added to this poll:

    I have both, think both are great, and use each one for it's own strengths.

    This is my position. I use Chromecast to stream Google Play Music and Youtube primarily, then switch to my GTV when I want to use Plex or something a little more intensive.

    • Jose Garcia

      Agree!

  • Logan Butler

    If Chromecast were open, I'd feel more strongly for the Chromecast. I'm not too happy with it being closed off like it ended up being...

  • lemcott

    why the heck isnt there a chromecast app for google tv, and solve that alltogether?

    • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

      They could create a Chromecast app for newer Google TV's, but those same devices should be receiving the Jelly Bean update which will include Chromecast support anyways.

  • Mathew Knoell

    I have a Chromecast and am still interested in Google TV

    • varun

      Why not just replace the Chromecast with a Google TV once the software streamer arrives?

      I'm actually in this boat right now: I have a Chromecast, and a Apple TV under my TV right now, solely for the purposes of beaming content from my and the wife's (respectively) mobile devices. Since I have a full WMC-based HTPC under there, I don't need any of these devices if someone would just write an open-source sink for these. In fact, I'd argue the bridge devices are like hybrid cars: they exist to facilitate the transition to the full-computer-under-TV-usable-by-normobs eventuality.

    • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

      This poll already has too many choices but somehow it needs even more. Classic AP :-)

  • blahmoomoo

    My Chromecast doesn't work where I live because it isn't a simple home network, so eh. I got my Raspberry Pi with Raspbmc and OUYA with XBMC and Netflix, so I'm covered.

    I'd probably use my Chromecast more if I was living in a house though, so I'll definitely try to use it more in the future when I can actually use it.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Remember, Chromecast functionality is coming to Google TV http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/25/chromecast-coming-to-google-tv-and-existing-hardware-two-products-will-coexist-going-forward/. So I'd say Google TV once it supports Chromecasting.

    • Zargh

      Yeah, from what Pichai said it really seems as if they're going to position Chromecast as being a subset of Google TV.

      I think how appealing post-Pichai GTV really depends on the execution (which was painfully lacking before). Hopefully now they've been absorbed into the Android team we'll see big leaps since in addition to improving the UI/UX they can now integrate it with the rest of the device ecosystem in a more wholesome manner.

      For instance Google TV devices should have started acting as miracast receivers yesterday. There really wasn't much excuse for one of the major features 4.2 to fizzle out due to the dearth of Miracast hardware on the market.

    • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

      I like my Google TV, and it already does casting with YouTube. However I feel the Jelly Bean update has been placed on hold for Kit Kat.

      Also does anyone know if the Google TV (Jelly Bean/Kit Kat) Update will include MiraCast support?

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        Which will be placed on hold for the L version of Android?

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        You would think, out of all the features these update will bring, that would be the one it would undoubtedly get for GoogleTV... I kind of like to see what they do with Google Now on a GoogleTV...

      • Chris

        I've been waiting for this damned update to come for a while now. Sony just did an update that served no purpose except to fix a minor bug in YouTube.

        I'm hoping this delay you're speaking of is actually the case. It would be Christmas to see 4.4 on my GTV.

      • Guest

        I'll won't even consider buying a Google TV box until there is a Nexus version that gets updates faster. I would consider a TV with it built in though.

    • Claude Ndahayo

      I don't get it... what does Chromecast do that any recent Google TV device doesn't do? I actually think it does much less that Google TV.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        It is very cheap and it lets apps easily stream video to it. For example, Netflix streams to Chromecast but not Google TV. All that the GTV would need is a small update to enable the Chromecasting server with the right protocol support.

  • Jose Garcia

    I have both, but lately I have been using my chromecast more often than my GTV. Now, the battery on my phone does help a lot. By the time I get home from work my battery is almost dead, about 15% left, and as soon as I get home I put the phone to charge. For most part the of the night, about 7pm to 9PM or later, I don't have my phone as is charging and I find my self asking my wife for her phone which I don't like or my daughter's tablet, which every time I take away from her hell breaks loose.

  • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

    For me the two products seem pretty different. Google TV provides a lot more functionality, but it's functionality I'm not interested in, so I'm loving Chromecast.

  • vs8

    I have a Chromecast and I still want Google TV.

  • wollac11

    I own neither, have used both, want both, but prefer Google TV

  • GazaIan

    I would love Google TV if Google didn't treat it like it was the son they never wanted. Google TV has an insane amount of potential, but in my eyes it's almost like a dead project.

    Perhaps a new Nexus Q style device running Android 4.4 under the GTV UI... More app support, less lag, better integration with other devices. It's not like Google hasn't done it already, there's no reason why Google TV can't be amazing.

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      +1...I've been saying this... I've been using one since beta...

  • cheeto0

    I have chromecast and im waiting for a google tv box with jelly bean and chromecast support

  • Bradley Albert Nemitz

    I've got a Vizio Co-Star with Cheapcast installed, so Google TV wins for being both. And like Artem already said, it'll get official Chromecast functionality at some point.

  • Fernando

    I have none, but i'm interested in Chromecast.

  • Marcellus111

    I've got a Google TV that will soon (supposedly) be upgraded with all the chromecast functionality. The one thing I can't do with my phone right now to control the TV is turn on the TV, but I may be able to do that with the chromecast once I get the update. So, I may end up using both! So far, though, I prefer Google TV even without the additional functionality from chromecast.

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      Don't you have a IR blaster?

      • Marcellus111

        A little slow on the reply here, but no, I don't have an IR blaster. That would solve my concern though!

  • Brian Walker

    I have neither. If GTV actually gets more support and frequent updates, I'd rather have that. I would prefer to have the device do all of the streaming, rather than rely on my phone/tablet.

  • Sean Donovan

    i own a chromecast, love it and cant wait for more functionality, but i never owned a google tv because currently they require cable or something similar, which i will never get.. i believe if they shape up google tv similar to how android is on tablet and smartphones it will be really nice! id love to use apps on my tv, also it would be a really nice way to emulate consoles. ouya has something close to it, but its just not there yet.. i hope kitkat can fix this!

    • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

      Google TV does not require cable. The guide is just one great feature that comes with Google TV.

      • Sean Donovan

        ah ok, well regardless having only one hdtv severly limits the amount of devices to have, since i have a ps3, chromecast, wd tv live, and a computer.. ill probably grab a google tv when i finally get another tv..

  • Layman76

    I have both, and my GTV has a Blu-Ray player, so I use it a lot. It has Play Music, Netflix, and Play Movies/TV. I use that in my room, and just keep the Chromecast in my living room, with an LG Blu-Ray player in there too. Really nice. I just want GTV to be updated like it should have been.

  • GraveUypo

    i have no interest in either. specially after they ruined chromecast a few weeks ago.

    • M_GO

      I'm not in the know, sorry. :-[ no
      But what did they do to ruin chromcast? I was thinking about ordering one thanks.

      PS. How does it comparé to Google tv don't know anything about it too?

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        The GTV depends on what device you get... I have the old school Sony blu-ray, never had a problem with it... But I'm not sure about the other devices... If you get a GTV, make sure it's one, that will get the JB update... I had mine since beta.... Used it all the time, up until recently...

  • birbeck

    I have the Chromecast plugged into the HDMI input on my Google TV but I never use it for anything since Google TV supports all the functions anyway plus some. I don't really care about casting a chrome tab to the TV, it looks horrible and GTV already has Chrome. Now if only I could find a use for my Nexus Q.

    • Sean Donovan

      +100 for smart use case

    • MrWicket

      I may have to do the same! As @seandonovan:disqus said "+100 for smart use case"

    • jimmyamazingz

      Take the guts out of the q and put the gtv or chromecast inside it lol. The q looks beautiful and I wanted one so bad until they killed it.

  • JoGra

    XBMC for ever :D but they have some nice features

  • Smartss

    I have the old school Sony Google TV, 2 smart TVs, 2 chromecasts, and a smart blu ray home theater. Everything is becoming redundant at this point.

  • serotheo

    Where's the I don't have either but prefer option?

  • miri

    Both since Chromecast is a Google TV service. Have Google TV on my main TV an Chromecast dongles on the others.

  • Miah

    Another option: I'm interested in ChromeCast, but can't get my hands on one!

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      Try Amazon or Play Store, both have it in stock...

      • Miah

        UK shipping? I don't think so...

  • duse

    I tried two Google TVs before giving up and getting a Roku 3, and I couldn't be happier. The GTVs froze, were laggy, had awful remotes, and the apps were slow. The Roku is fast, stable, the UI is consistent across apps, and the remote is simple and responds immediately. At this point I can't think of a reason to bother with GTV again except that it also includes access to Google Play and YouTube, but those are easily accessible via the Chromecast which I also own. So my answer is: Roku and Chromecast together, and I can't think of a very good reason to try GTV again until they introduce something new and more compelling than the competition.

    • Smartss

      Phuck yo Roku :-)

  • Krzysztof Jozwik

    I don't have either but think I might be picking up a Chromecast soon?

  • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

    I chose GoogleTV. Much more rounded device. I have one, but can't use it at the moment. But I've used it since day one, back when it was on bate... I'm not sure, but can you use "CheapCast" on the GoogleTV? I'm sure after the JB update you can...

  • MrWicket

    since it wasn't an option... Both! I wanted a Google TV for a while but just never could afford one (give me a break, money is tight in this economy). When Google dropped the Chromecast bomb on the internet I had one ordered and payed for before I realized I clicked "add to cart". It wasn't until later that it hit me it may not work because I have an older receiver and the HDMI doesn't pass through audio.. Sure enough it didn't work so I had to turn around and sell it (was easy since they were sold out nearly everywhere). Anyways, I found a Revue on the cheap and love it! Yeah it is outdated and stuck on Honeycomb but it works flawlessly for me, I can stream anything from the internet and my computers and that works for me. I will also add that I look forward to the day I can get a Chromecast because I just think it is a neat little product and has loads of potential! If anything I think peoples general setups should be GTV/Roku/ATV for the main entertainment room and Chromecasts in each of the bedrooms but YMMV.

  • Nick Schiwy

    None of these answers actually fit me. I have a Google TV and it works for me because it doesn't require a common WiFi network. When Chromecast supports WiFi direct or something like that then I will be more interested in it. It's not that I don't want Chromecast, but because of the nature of the WiFi network in my apartment, I can't connect things via WiFi like that.

  • Tim Norris

    Where is the " I have neither, but I want a ... " option. I personally want to try out both, the ChromeCast looks best, but I have locally stored media that it wouldn't be able to access after they blocked Koush's app from working.

    • jimmyamazingz

      My money is on that they blocked it because Google is going to do that(maybe announced at the same KitKat nexus 5 event) and they want their option to be the only one out there when it happens. I think once they have what they want in there they will open it back up to devs.

  • Dan

    Weekend poll: Shoes or a car?

  • Eric

    Chromecast is a great concept (still a beta for me) and hard item to get. For Google TV (super slow and less improment) a Roku 3 replaced.

  • CeluGeek

    I don't have either but I'm interested in the Chromecast.

  • TylerChappell

    Google doesn't care about Google TV, why should I?

  • Laurentiu

    I have Google TV (Visio Co-Star). As a non-US, I mostly use youtube app (which in the past 6 months have a lot of errors - imaginary network related errors). There are not many apps for GTV, most of them are really bad. There is no streaming service here - Netflix will be great to have.
    Visio Co-Star is still using Android 3.2 and there is no word about 4.2.2 upgrade...

    Do I like GTV as it is now?
    NO!

  • maethorechannen

    Chromecast isn't available where I live, but Google TV is. Where's the I have a Google TV and I am interested in a Chromecast option?

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    I'm happy with my XBMC box and using UNUP apps with my phone and tablet. I might have picked up a Chromecast if I didn't already own that.

  • Claude Ndahayo

    I have two Chromecasts, one in the family room and the other in the bedroom. I also have a Hisense Google TV in the basement. For me, Google TV has more features and also allows me to switch back and forth without worrying about which input on the TV I need to use since I am using it through a receiver with all my other devices. Also while watching TV and have something on YouTube on my phone/tablet I simply hit the chromecast bottom and it plays on TV and when it is done, the TV comes back on, this is really nice.

  • Mayoo

    I live in Canada so shut and take my money (Want Chromecast to be available)

  • JJ

    I have a google tv and and iphone. with airtight app i can use airplay for most things what chromecast is able to do. I tried chromecast too and only feature which i felt was lacking with gtv is chrome mirroring . Again I have a chrome browser in my gtv even that didnt appeal to me much . I hope google will add the cast to it apps in gtv as they know they need to compete with airplay

  • Angry

    How Long until Google TV gets Chromecast functionality? I paid more for my Sony Google TV so I could watch HBO GO. Now a device for 1/6th of the price can stream HBO Go but my Google TV can't? RIDICULOUS!!!

  • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

    frankly id get more use out of one of the android on a stick devices.