Apple TV (iTunes) or Chromecast (Google Play) for picture quality?

betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
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Currently using Apple TV but thinking of adding a Chromecast device as well to purchase stuff depending on who has a lower price for a particular movie/show.

Has anyone played with both devices extensively? Just curious how the same content purchased via iTunes and Google Play, like HD movies/shows, would compare on both devices in terms of picture quality.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,663
597
Apple TV for picture quality, over the Chromecast. It doesn't come down to Google Play versus iTunes. The hardware in the Apple TV is more capable than that in the Chromecast.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
261
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Is there a better way to get Google Play content such as movies/shows to your tv than Chromecast?

So putting hardware aside, would iTunes quality still surpass that of Google Play for movies/tv?
 
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bhayes444

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2013
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Is there a better way to get Google Play content such as movies/shows to your tv than Chromecast?

So putting hardware aside, would iTunes quality still surpass that of Google Play for movies/tv?
Well, if you had an android device that had DLNA and a capable TV then that would work. Also, the recently announced Nexus Player will do the job as well.

Also, if you would like to try out Amazon content you could do with one of the fire TV devices.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
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In my case I'm an Apple user (phone+pad+macbook) and I also use Netlflix via Apple TV.

Just so happens that I will have considerable credit to spend on Google Play each month from April onwards (roughly $80 credit will be added monthly), so I'm looking at ways of using these funds just as I would use them on iTunes (which admittedly is much less frequently now that I have Netflix).

So I'm just curious what is the best way to spend those funds on content such as films and shows and how best to get them onto the tv screen...
 
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mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
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Imo chrome cast tends to have a bit better quality. The image is 1080p and has a bit more sharpening applied. Not to mention the extra functionality of plex, and using phone/tablet as a remote to control content.
 
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betman

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Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
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Or maybe I should be looking at the new Nexus Player instead?
 
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Dc2006ster

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2011
215
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Alberta, Canada
Chromecast does support 1080p

https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3046409?hl=en

I am able to view 1080p movies e.g. from Blu Ray rip of Gladiator on my TV using Chromecast and Plex Media Server.

For my preferences the only thing better would be a mac mini connected directly to the TV and running Plex. I prefer local storage to streaming and would like to see the Plex interface on my TV.
 
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Snoopy4

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2014
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2,968
Currently using Apple TV but thinking of adding a Chromecast device as well to purchase stuff depending on who has a lower price for a particular movie/show.

Has anyone played with both devices extensively? Just curious how the same content purchased via iTunes and Google Play, like HD movies/shows, would compare on both devices in terms of picture quality.
AppleTV, Dlink Movienight or Roku. Chromecast isn't even in the conversation. Not all forms of 1080p are equal. Bitrate delivery schemes coupled with limited processing power on the plug-in dongle variants might be called 1080p but side by side with a Bluray its a laughing matter.

No one should be trying to stream HD over wifi either unless it's absolutely the last option available.
 
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Snoopy4

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Dec 29, 2014
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Would the Nexus Player change anything here, especially when it comes to Google Play content?
It should. The problem with dongles is you're stuck to wifi for streaming. You should be wired and using QOS if you're streaming. Your picture quality is already diminished in the streaming environment, don't do anything to make it worse.
 
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ozaz

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2011
1,269
285
In my case I'm an Apple user (phone+pad+macbook) and I also use Netlflix via Apple TV.

Just so happens that I will have considerable credit to spend on Google Play each month from April onwards (roughly $80 credit will be added monthly), so I'm looking at ways of using these funds just as I would use them on iTunes (which admittedly is much less frequently now that I have Netflix).

So I'm just curious what is the best way to spend those funds on content such as films and shows and how best to get them onto the tv screen...
I don't know about the picture quality question of your opening post, but obviously if you're being given $80/month google play credit you should definitely get something attached to your TV to access Google Play content.

By the way, how do you manage to get given $80/month credit?

Would the Nexus Player change anything here, especially when it comes to Google Play content?
Out of the Chromecast and Nexus Player I would get the Nexus Player. It's more expensive than Chromecast, but it has all the functionality of Chromecast and additional functionality that makes it far more appealing, IMO. It has a dedicated remote, an optional gaming remote, voice search, and it supports 3rd party apps and games which you may find a useful way of spending your credit.

In some respects it is a disappointment though. It does not have an ethernet port (so you are limited to wifi, like with Chromecast), it has a very small amount of on board storage, and I don't think you can playback content from sd cards - which I would have expected from an Android-based device. But the Android TV platform is open to other manufacturers so I would assume that other manufacturers would soon release their own versions of Android TV boxes that don't have these limitations. Therefore you might want to hold out until April to see if anything else comes onto the market.

A final option is to get a Roku, which has a Google Play movies channel. However, if you go down this route you don't get Google Play Music or Google Play apps and games on your TV.

Are you able to use your credit on hardware? If so, your first month of credit would almost cover the cost of the Nexus Player.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
261
4
By the way, how do you manage to get given $80/month credit?

Out of the Chromecast and Nexus Player I would get the Nexus Player. It's more expensive than Chromecast, but it has all the functionality of Chromecast and additional functionality that makes it far more appealing, IMO. It has a dedicated remote, an optional gaming remote, voice search, and it supports 3rd party apps and games which you may find a useful way of spending your credit.

Are you able to use your credit on hardware?
I will be paying for 2 prepaid Telstra phones in Australia each month, likely $40 each. There is a special tariff that doesn't seem logical even, because it gives you a ton of minutes, texts and data just for topping up... and then lets you use the recharge amount itself on whatever you like. For many that will be yet more calls/texts/data, but they also allow you to spend your credit... in the Google Play store. Can't say no to that! :)

The only catch is that each purchase is limited to $20, so sometimes instead of purchasing an entire tv series I might have to pay more to get all the individual episodes instead. Should have no such issues with films or music though.

I don't think hardware can be purchased, but with a $20 limit it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway. I certainly agree about taking the Nexus over the CC, especially with the dedicated remote and additional gaming features.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,870
I don't know about the picture quality question of your opening post, but obviously if you're being given $80/month google play credit you should definitely get something attached to your TV to access Google Play content.

By the way, how do you manage to get given $80/month credit?



Out of the Chromecast and Nexus Player I would get the Nexus Player. It's more expensive than Chromecast, but it has all the functionality of Chromecast and additional functionality that makes it far more appealing, IMO. It has a dedicated remote, an optional gaming remote, voice search, and it supports 3rd party apps and games which you may find a useful way of spending your credit.

In some respects it is a disappointment though. It does not have an ethernet port (so you are limited to wifi, like with Chromecast), it has a very small amount of on board storage, and I don't think you can playback content from sd cards - which I would have expected from an Android-based device. But the Android TV platform is open to other manufacturers so I would assume that other manufacturers would soon release their own versions of Android TV boxes that don't have these limitations. Therefore you might want to hold out until April to see if anything else comes onto the market.

A final option is to get a Roku, which has a Google Play movies channel. However, if you go down this route you don't get Google Play Music or Google Play apps and games on your TV.

Are you able to use your credit on hardware? If so, your first month of credit would almost cover the cost of the Nexus Player.
Nexus player does have 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO). Latency in should be comparable with a much higher bandwidth then ATV's 10/100 ethernet or 802.11n. Assuming the stability and reliability is there (some people have issue with home networks) it should be a better connection then what Apple currently offers.

Side note I hope the next ATV offers 802.11ac and gigabit ethernet. Not really necessary I guess but it would be nice to utilize the rest of my Apple tech.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
261
4
Nexus player does have 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO). Latency in should be comparable with a much higher bandwidth then ATV's 10/100 ethernet or 802.11n. Assuming the stability and reliability is there (some people have issue with home networks) it should be a better connection then what Apple currently offers.

Side note I hope the next ATV offers 802.11ac and gigabit ethernet. Not really necessary I guess but it would be nice to utilize the rest of my Apple tech.
Not sure why they didn't include an ethernet port in the Nexus player. Kind of annoying to see this happen...

As for gigabit ethernet on any future release of Apple TV, will it actually be able to use such bandwidth? I mean even a 4K transmission will use only about 1/4 or so of a 100mbps connection...
 
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mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
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506
Thing is if you go a few rooms away from your router many will struggle for a consistent 25mbps connection unless you have a high end router. Ethernet is a must for 4k.
 
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betman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
261
4
It's been a while and I'm currently planning on buying several tv shows. I have both iTunes and Google Play accounts now but I have only used the latter to buy music so far.

If I were to buy the same tv show in both stores (in HD), would I see a difference in picture quality? A lot of content I've been looking at is significantly cheaper via Google Play (and that's before even considering I get my GP credit simply for using a phone), but at the end of the day I'm mainly interested in the picture quality.
 
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k1121j

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
821
534
New Hampshire
Chromecast does support 1080p

https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3046409?hl=en

I am able to view 1080p movies e.g. from Blu Ray rip of Gladiator on my TV using Chromecast and Plex Media Server.

For my preferences the only thing better would be a mac mini connected directly to the TV and running Plex. I prefer local storage to streaming and would like to see the Plex interface on my TV.
just an FYI if I'm not mistaken Plex will scale the content to what ever device you are using so just because the video starts out 1080 it does not mean thats what you are seeing on your device. However it does state cromcast can display 1080 according to you link
 
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westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
Imo chrome cast tends to have a bit better quality. The image is 1080p and has a bit more sharpening applied. Not to mention the extra functionality of plex, and using phone/tablet as a remote to control content.
Apple TV also supports phone/tablet remote control using the Remote App (a free Apple product).
 
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2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,225
3,946
Is there a better way to get Google Play content such as movies/shows to your tv than Chromecast?

So putting hardware aside, would iTunes quality still surpass that of Google Play for movies/tv?
Use the Apple TV YouTube channel to stream Google Play movies/TV shows
 
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