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The new Chromecast vs. the competition: Which will you watch?

Kris Naudus, @krisnaudus
September 29, 2015
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The original Chromecast stood out for how it offered a cheap, easy way to get content on your TV in a super small form factor. Its successor adds even more features like Fast Play, an integrated HDMI cable and even a redesigned app. However, the digital set-top player arena has gotten a lot more crowded since 2013, with heavyweights like Roku and Amazon offering their own streaming sticks to compete. With so much shared content and affordable prices across the board, we took a look at what each player has to offer in terms of specs and features to see if it's more than just the Chromecast's new shape that makes it stand out.

Chromecast (2015) Roku Streaming Stick (2014) Fire TV Stick (2015)
Price $35 $50 $40
Dimensions 2.04 x 2.04 x 0.53 inches (51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49mm) 3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches (88.9 x 88.9 x 25.4mm) 3.3 x 1.0 x 1.5 inches (84.5 x 25 x 11.5mm)
Weight 1.38 ounces (39.1g) 5 ounces (141.75g) 0.9 ounces (25.1g)
Output resolution 1080p 720p, 1080p 720p, 1080p
RAM 512MB 512MB 1GB
Internal storage 256MB 256MB 8GB
WiFi Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth NA None v3.0
Ports HDMI, Micro-USB HDMI HDMI 1.4
Remote No (uses mobile devices) Yes Yes (voice control option available)
Video codecs H.264 1080p, H.264 720 x 480, MPEG-4, VP8 H.264 1080p, H.264 720 x 480, MPEG-4 H.264
Audio codecs AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/WAV, Vorbis AAC-LC (CBR),
AC3 (passthrough)
AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/WAV, Vorbis
Photo formats JPEG, PNG JPEG, PNG JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Available content Google Play, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, ESPN, MLB, NFL Now, DirecTV Sunday Ticket, Showtime, Sling TV and more Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, HBO Go, Hulu, ESPN, NFL Now, CBS, Showtime, Sling TV and more Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, ESPN, NFL Now, MLB, Sling TV and more

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