Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
digiwonk11
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Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:03 am

I've been a longtime Roku user. I have the Roku 3 with a wired ethernet connection to my router. Before I got the Chromecast I thought everything was fine (because I didn't know better).

After I got Chromecast I compared the picture quality of Netflix between the Chromecast and the Roku. The Chromecast had a high quality HD picture in Netflix--very sharp and clear. The Roku's picture quality in Netflix was softer and not as sharp. I saw this stark difference in animated shows and non-animated shows.

My configuration:

Both Roku and Chromecast are plugged into the same 1080p TV. Both devices use the same router. The only difference is Roku uses wired ethernet (for inherent speed and stability) and the Chromecast uses wireless N 2.4GHz. Roku is configured for 1080p. Chromecast is set to use highest quality picture. Broadband is through Time Warner cable, Turbo speed level.
Last edited by digiwonk11 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
Dick Drivel
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:07 am

You are the first to report this, so an independent review of the two products side-by-side needs to be done before any credible generalizations can be made.
Also, any valid comparison requires the EXACT same conditions and settings for both devices, e.g. video settings (Netflix and device), HDMI cables, router settings, two exact models of the same TV etc.
 
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jeffrok
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:54 am

Netflix looks about the same on both units.. Nothing jumped out at me as better-or-worse on the Roku or the Chromecast.
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Basil
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:55 am

Like Dick Drivel said, this is the first report I've seen of such. In fact, I've seen the opposite. One of the kids was using the Chromecast on her new Windows 8 computer, and the video was kinda choppy. That's something I did not run into with the Chromecast, but I may have a more powerful computer.

I'm curious, though: how are you using Netflix? That is, are you streaming it from your Chrome browser? Are you using your phone? A tablet?

How far into the movie on Netflix are you? Could the adaptive stream Netflix uses be the culprit? Perhaps it's not fully up to speed on the Roku when you're making your comparison. Just a thought.

By the way, does this happen on any other channel? For instance, have you gone to Hulu on your browser and streamed that to Chromecast, then compared against Hulu Plus on Roku?

Again, I've not notice any difference. That's not to discount your experience, just to say that mine is different.
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Gilgamesh
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:14 am

Many, if not most, TVs with separate HDMI inputs allow different settings for each input. It is possible that the inputs are configured differently hence the apparent different appearances.
 
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:15 am

As far as I understand it, Chromecast basically makes it possible to stream wirelessly from a PC, smartphone or tablet, in lieu of a hard connection between the TV and the video generating device.
From what I can gather online it will not function with my Kindle Fire HD (unless the Fire is hacked to do so, thereby voiding the guarantee) so I won't be getting one any time soon, though I do find the idea intriguing, not to mention the price....
The Chromecast site is not very specific about exactly which apps actually work on the thing.
I'm not clear just how much competition this will represent for Roku and similar devices, as the Chromecast approach requires two devices, instead of one.
Other than the advantage of offering a YouTube channel (you know me...), I don't see how running Netlix or Hulu via two devices is in any way better than doing it on Roku or other dedicated internet TV streamer?
Last edited by Dick Drivel on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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TheEndless
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:18 am

Also, are you sure you're streaming 1080p content? If the titles you're comparing are in 720p, then the Chromecast is most likely streaming at the native 720p resolution, whereas the Roku would be upscaling it to 1080p, which could result in some perceived bluriness.
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jeffrok
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:44 am

For those who may not understand how it works, if you are streaming from a Chrome tab on a PC to the Chromecast it goes like this:

PC downloads stream and passes it to Chromecast (choppy).

When using the Netflix/Google Play/Youtube Chrome Store apps on a PC or tablet/phone it goes like this:

PC directs Chromecast to download content straight from the internet.. The only interaction with the PC at this point is the "progress slider" and "volume control".. The actual content is coming directly from the sources to the Chromecast (no choppiness, works great).

If you're not using the Chrome (on PC) or Android apps to cast this stuff, this may be why it's not looking good on the TV.
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Basil
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:22 am

Drivel wrote:
As far as I understand it, Chromecast basically makes it possible to stream wirelessly from a PC, smartphone or tablet, in lieu of a hard connection between the TV and the video generating device.
From what I can gather online it will not function with my Kindle Fire HD (unless the Fire is hacked to do so, thereby voiding the guarantee) so I won't be getting one any time soon, though I do find the idea intriguing, not to mention the price....
The Chromecast site is not very specific about exactly which apps actually work on the thing.
I'm not clear just how much competition this will represent for Roku and similar devices, as the Chromecast approach requires two devices, instead of one.
Other than the advantage of offering a YouTube channel (you know me...), I don't see how running Netlix or Hulu via two devices is in any way better than doing it on Roku or other dedicated internet TV streamer?

Actually, I used a Kindle Fire HD to send Netflix content with no issues. However, you can't use the Fire to set it up. You need either a standard device or an iOS device ... or you can use your Chrome browser. I used my iPhone to set one, and the Chrome browser in a computer to set another up.

I used Chrome browser to send Hulu and ESPN3 content, and without issue. I was unable to send Amazon content. I didn't try a whole lot of other stuff. I have my full first thoughts posted at IMAO, if you're interested.
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Dick Drivel
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:47 am

Turns out to be a moot point for those of us who don't have one, as current delivery times are 2-3 months, with ebayers offering the 35$ trinket for $100.
 
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:52 am

flower Drivel wrote:
Turns out to be a moot point for those of us who don't have one, as current delivery times are 2-3 months, with ebayers offering the 35$ trinket for $100.



My delivery time from Amazon a week and a half ago was quote at 3-4 weeks.. Got mine yesterday. I think they're being cautious in their estimates.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
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Dick Drivel
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:55 am

Right now from Amazon I'm getting "Estimated delivery: Oct. 18, 2013 - Nov. 6, 2013"
 
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jeffrok
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:01 am

Holy flower.. Hope for your sake they're being REALLY cautious.
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mikebdoss
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:43 am

flower Drivel wrote:
Right now from Amazon I'm getting "Estimated delivery: Oct. 18, 2013 - Nov. 6, 2013"


Did you buy from Amazon itself, or a third-party reseller on Amazon?
 
Dick Drivel
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Re: Why is Roku picture lower quality than Chromecast?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:56 am

Amazon is listed as the seller. "used" units are available from third parties for $70, though I suspect these are new units bought in bulk for this very reason.
I haven't ordered yet, as there is too much uncertainty as to the actual delivery date.

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