The Chromecast and the Android TV are the two TV platforms that Google is offering in their fight to be a player in the TV market. While both are great platforms they are different in certain little ways.
Android TV, for example, uses a remote has an app store to pick from and can work with third-party apps giving you that open platform feeling that we have all gotten a costume to with the Android operating system and marketplace.
The Chromecast is a little more closed architecture as you can only Chromecast from apps that offer Chromecasting. While this allows for significantly more usable apps it can limit you if the app does not support Chromecasting in that case just go ahead and cast your entire screen.
The issue with the Chromecast is you are limited to whatever apps are offered and cannot use third-party plugins for playing services. But the plus with Android TV is it supports chromecasting. So, if you have an Android TV you get both the Android TV interface and the functionality of Chromecast in the event there is not an app on the Android TV app store for viewing putting Android TV ahead of products like Roku or Apple TV that limit you to whatever apps are in the app store.
The Chromecast and the Android remote app are both supported by Android and iOS so there will be no compatibility issues between operating systems.
Cost is about the same the Chromecast is about $20 dollars cheaper than the Android TV box but the cost difference is not significate.
To me, the Chromecast feels like a more polished product and gets announced and pushed much more at the Google developer conferences and hardware events. Android TV seems to be the product that gets a lot of support but gets very little media attention from Google.
Since Android TV supports all functions of Chromecast I at times think that it is the better deal because if you can’t find a native app for service you can find the app on your Android or iOS device and just cast it or find the content on your computer and cast it via Google Chrome.
One big feature for me that’s a selling point for Android TV is you don’t need a smartphone to operate the device. Android TV runs like a Roku using a remote. The Chromecast you need a phone to use the device this really boxes Chromecast out for older people like my parents who are not the most tech-savvy people in the world.
While I do feel the Chromecast is abetter-polished product then Android TV if you can get by the bugs of the Android TV it does have a better interface and much more functionality then the Chromecast has to offer and has an interface that can be used by anyone making Android TV the better product.