Originally Posted by sog35
I'll argue both the Roku/Apple TV are both easier to use than the chromecast. For the simple reason you don't need another device to run it. And chromecast isn't really that portable since for most tv's you still need the AC adapter or hdmi plug in. Comparing the complexities of a HTPC to a Roku is laughable, and you know it too. If you can run a vhs/dvd player you can run a roku. I'm pretty sure my dad would have a hard time setting up a chromecast. But really the worst part of chromecast is you need to run EVERYTHING through ChromeOS. Which means everything you watch will be kept in a log by google. Spy away. Remember: Apple/Roku makes money selling you PRODUCTS. Google makes money gather INFORMATION about you and selling it to advertisers.
Just playing devil's advocate. I don't normally stream from my HTPC, I don't own a Roku or Apple TV. I've used them, and think they're wonderful, but I will never buy one due to the expense. My BD players do more for a lot less money.
I have yet to use the AC adapter on my Chromecast, as every TV I've tried so far has a USB port and HDMI. If I'm limited to composite, I won't be watching anyway. I'm too spoiled by HD. I already keep a USB cable in my laptop bag, so that's nothing additional to carry. That beats carrying remotes, cables and batteries. I don't ever anticipate using Chromecast in my home (except to play with) since I already have several streaming devices as good or better than Chromecast. But it is portable and easy to use, for me at least, which is all that matters. I wouldn't buy one for Grandpa, nor would I buy a Roku or Apple TV. His smart TV and blu-ray player work just fine.
The rare occasions I do use my HTPC streaming, it's dirt simple. I just use my remote for up/down/left/right and ok, just like you do on a Roku or other streaming device. Granted, Grandpa probably couldn't set it up, but he could certainly use it. If your HTPC isn't that simple, you're doing something wrong.
While I don't like the spying aspect, everybody else spies on you too. If you think Apple doesn't do it, think again. Heck, Xbox One literally watches and listens to everything you do in addition to what you watch or play, including everything you watch on TV. Google only tracks what you type and click (and now watch). So if I had to pick a lesser of two evils, I'd pick Google.
The more I use Chromecast, the more I am impressed by its elegance and simplicity. It's a very clever design, and you can't beat the price. Case in point. I had my son initially set up the Chromecast for me while I went to do something else. Five minutes later, he was watching Netflix. I asked if he downloaded the app for me, and he said, "there is no app". That blew my mind. There is no spoon. An $11 device that does this much is simply amazing. You can nitpick this and that, and say $100-$1000 devices are a lot better. Of course they are. But for $11, this in one hell of a streaming device and one I'm glad to have in my laptop bag.