Is a Chromecast Worth Using With a Smart TV?

If you want to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services, you’ll need a smart TV or Chromecast. Chromecast is great because it adds a ton of functionality to any display. But is a Chromecast worth using with a smart TV?

Chromecast is not worth using with a smart TV. Smart TVs already have access to the internet and come with pre-installed apps that you use regularly. You can also download apps to a smart TV should you need them. Chromecast only makes sense if you have a very old, outdated smart TV.

Chromecast is a handy little device, but it’s not always clear-cut when to use it. This article will explain everything you need to know about Chromecast and smart TVs.

Woman show a google chromecast device connected to a tv

Is Chromecast Worth It With a Smart TV?

A Chromecast isn’t worth it with a smart TV. Most modern smart TVs have more and better features than a Chromecast device. Also, some smart TVs already come with Chromecast. However, Chromecast is worth it if you have an old smart TV that doesn’t support apps you use regularly.

It makes very little sense to buy a Chromecast if you already have a smart TV. The only real advantage is that Chromecast can be much faster.

However, Chromecast isn’t an independent device. You can’t go to bed, turn the TV and Chromecast on, and simply open your favorite TV show.

You have to cast it from your phone, tablet, or computer.

The only exception is the Google Chromecast 2020 model that comes with a remote and a user interface.

Most smart TVs generally have a very good, fast user interface. They’re also fully independent. Simply grab the remote and turn on your favorite Netflix show in seconds.

But older smart TVs don’t have that many features.

I remember when they first came out. They were pretty slow compared to computers from that period. And computers from that period were very slow.

So, a Chromecast can breathe some new life into your old TV. Chromecast is very fast because the TV just acts as a screen.

Smart TV

When Does Chromecast Make Sense?

Chromecast makes sense when you don’t have a smart TV. You can use it with any regular TV to stream content from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and so on. Chromecast also makes sense if you have an old smart TV that lacks support for apps you want to use.

Most Chromecasts are small dongles that plug into the HDMI port on your TV.

Thanks to their small size and HDMI being a popular standard, you can turn most old LCD TVs into smart TVs.

If you’re happy with your current TV in terms of screen size, sharpness, resolution, colors, brightness, and so on, Chromecast makes sense.

Simply plug the little dongle into the HDMI port, and just like that, it’s a brand-new smart TV.

But what if you bought a smart TV when it first appeared on the market?

You probably don’t have support for any apps, maybe except for YouTube. Plus, it takes forever for the TV to load a video.

That’s where Chromecast can help. It’ll be an instant upgrade. You can watch any movie you want, play music, and stream your favorite TV shows from any platform.

Google Chromecast device is plugged into the hdmi port of a projector

Should I Buy a Smart TV or Chromecast?

You should buy a smart TV instead of a Chromecast device in general. Smart TVs are an all-in-one package, so you can save money instead of purchasing a non-smart TV plus a Chromecast. Conversely, if you already have a decent TV, buy Chromecast instead.

Pretty much every smart TV on the market today has more features than an older Chromecast dongle.

We could compare a new smart TV to the Chromecast that has Google TV built-in. You essentially get the same functionality with support for the same apps and voice control.

The only slight edge Chromecast has is that it uses Google Assistant, arguably the best voice assistant.

Some smart TVs have support for multiple voice assistants. So, your mileage may vary.

But it makes no sense to buy a Chromecast and a non-smart TV in today’s market. Most smart TVs are more or less the same price as non-smart TVs, provided you can even find the latter.

That’s mostly because smart TVs make up the lost money by selling your data or by selling you movies and TV shows.

I’d normally say that it’s horrible that TV manufacturers are selling your data, but Google does it, too. In fact, they’re probably the worst offenders.

Google Chromecast 2 White background

Do Smart TVs Have Chromecast Built-In?

Most smart TVs have Chromecast built-in. You can use it to stream content from your phone, tablet, or computer. Also, you can use the TV as a secondary display from Google Chrome on your PC.

Since most TV manufacturers bake Chromecast directly into their smart TVs, a Chromecast dongle is redundant.

You can use the built-in Chromecast on Android TVs to mirror the screen from your phone.

This feature is very useful if you want to show your cat videos to the whole family. Or maybe you’re showing them a cool move you did in a video game.

Another very useful feature that Chromecast brings to the table is the support for Google Chrome. Use Chromecast to cast a Chrome window from your device to the TV.

You can check whether your TV supports Chromecast by going to the manufacturer’s website and looking up your TV model.

Final Thoughts

Chromecast isn’t worth buying if you already have a smart TV. Unless we’re talking about the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV, the dongle has fewer features than any smart TV.

But if you have an old smart or non-smart TV, a Chromecast is a perfect device.

It’s much cheaper than going out and buying a brand-new TV, and it gives you much of the same functionality. You can stream videos, TV shows, movies, and music using a Chromecast.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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