Current state of the art: Chromecast 2 vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Amazon FireTV?

Some long time ago I tested my Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire (stick, not TV.) I ended up putting Chromecasts (now Chromecast 2s) on all 3 of our TVs, primarily because the Amazon Fire stick experience felt clunky, slow, and Plex (which we use a lot) seemed to have a lot more buffering problems. I liked how so many apps on my iPhone/iPad have built in Chromecast support (including Google Play music.)

The one thing that has me taking a second look is Amazon Prime Video. Most of our streaming video watching comes from Netflix and Hulu, and Plex for ripped DVDs in our collection. But once in a while there is something on Amazon video I’d like to watch, and of course Amazon is never going to let it’s Prime Video be compatible with Chromecast.

So my question is: What are the pluses and minuses of the current state of the Amazon Fire Stick and Amazon Fire TV vs, the Chromecast 2?


Of the three, I personally like the Roku options… which… uh… are not listed. But I’d personally look at the Roku first - liked the controller better, the interface, the options and supported channels, and the different unit options (Stick is great and portable, but has noticeable pauses when loading apps).

Hmmm - you’re correct, I hadn’t looked at the Roku. I will add that to the list.

I came to say the same thing.

Went to a Roku. The FireTV lives in my bedroom now and I always hate using it (comparatively).

Plex generally does really well on Roku but not always. But it’s upscaling to 4k there, so I’m not sure if that’s cuasing the issue, and sometimes it takes a while to buffer for me (only for certain files though). My FireTV in the bedroom is 1080p so it’s hard to compare directly on the buffering but it’s a lot better on the Amazon for that.

But every other interface thing on the Amazon FireTV is a thing I hate. Especially the main interface to launch apps/shows. It’s godawful. Makes the hated Xbox 360 interface of yore look good by comparison.

The Roku’s interface is really nice.

The firetv stick is pretty pokey, but the normal fireTV is extremely snappy. Admittedly about 3x the price, though.

They also completely redid the UI recently and it looks and functions much better now. Not that it particularly matters to me, because I primarily use it to launch Kodi, YouTube, and Netflix.

Let’s agree to disagree. :)

Shrug, it allows me to organize my apps where I want them, so I have Kodi, YouTube, and Netflix all the way up front. That’s all I use it for.

I prefer the FiveTV device as it is a lot faster than my Roku device. We do have a Roku 720 TV we use in the bedroom.

I think that whatever a person uses the interface will become familiar so I think the speed is probably more important in the long run.

I have not used any of the various stick options so cannot speak to them at all.

To be honest having the Steam Link I can use that to watch Amazon, Netflix, or YouTube anyway (though using the Steam Controller is a lot more clunky on my hands and thumb). I would imagine that any of the Consoles (Xbox etc) could also be a consideration.

Interface is important. I would never give my aging mother a FireTV or FireTV Stick, but the Roku is easy to use. In fact, when she first moved to internet media from cable TV, I lent her my FireTV stick so she could see what was available on the services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu) and she was constantly calling me to ask questions. “Where did Netflix go?? How do I find Golden Girls??” etc. With the Roku she never bothers me.

When we’re talking about Roku, which one? There seem to be several options, and my guess is speed is related to the version of Roku?

Well sure, if you have an old one or the stick. Any of the current-generation non-stick Rokus will be fast, as will current non-stick FireTVs.

Yeah, get a FireTV (not stick) or Roku Premiere or above (avoid old gen like the Roku 4) and you’ll do well.

Sticks are cheap but slower for either.

(I have the Ultra so I could get 4k and an ethernet port)

Yeah sticks are your classic “put in the guest room” devices. You wouldn’t want to use one full-time.

FireTV if you’re using KODI, otherwise ROKU hands down… I have two FireTV’s and two ROKU 3’s, the ROKU interface is better and snappier, YMMV. I’ve heard the ROKU 4 sucks balls, has a loud fan (ROKU 3 is passive cooling). If you don’t care about 4K, pick up a ROKU 3 they ROKU… har har

Roku 4 was garbage but happily short lived. The new Rokus are good again.

And just to be that guy, the Apple TV will support Amazon Prime soon too.

Oh? I’ve not seen what the new ones have. Is it time for me to update? I still have 2 standalone 3’s and one integrated 3ish device.

I don’t think it matters that much if you’re happy and don’t need 4k. It’s just if you’re going to buy a new one, you don’t need to find an old model like during the reign of the Roku 4.

Noted. Eventually I’ll have to replace my integrated TV. I’m happy for now though. It’s an older version of this:

Roku3 is fine and still snappy, no particular call to upgrade unless, as arrendek noted, you want 4k video.