Although if we buy a television right now, many are going to be compatible with SmartTV features, they may not be fully compatible. That is to say, not all of them have AndroidTV (the best smart televisions due to their possibilities), but they are compatible with certain applications that we also have on our mobiles, such as YouTube or Netflix.

However, there are ways to turn a current non-Android TV, or any HDMI-enabled TV for that matter, into a full-fledged SmartTV. Amazon, Google, Xiaomi, Nvidia or Apple have their own ”boxes” to turn a TV into a SmartTV, and we can never leave the Raspberry Pi out of the equation.

And it is that, Google’s Raspberry Pi and Chromecast are two of the best alternatives to have a smart TV due to everything we can do with each of the devices, and then we will tell you what is more worth it, if a Raspberry Pi or a Chromecast to connect to the TV .

Leave the Raspberry Pi keys

We are going to try to make the comparison differentiating between user profiles , and for this we are going to see the characteristics of each of the devices. If we start with the Raspberry Pi, we basically have a miniature computer, with all that that means.

When we buy a Raspberry Pi, we are already on the fourth numbered version, we have to go through an adaptation period in which we install the components (a fan like this is not a bad idea), we install the operating system and we test that everything works.

What do we get if we buy a Raspberry Pi? Power (they are even capable of playing video games) and versatility, since it is a device that we can have in the office converted into a Linux PC and, when we feel like it, connect it to the television to have a very complete multimedia center with Kodi or Plex .As we say, it is a PC and it has a large community of developers behind it who are continually polishing the system and expanding its capabilities. The basic Raspberry Pi 4 (it helps us to do everything described perfectly) costs about 50 dollars, but the best option if you want to seriously get your hands on the device is this 110-dollar pack that includes the 4 GB board, a box, a fan, power supply, 32 GB card and card reader.

And the strengths of Chromecast

On the other hand, we have Chromecast. At this point, we are not going to discover what a Chromecast is worth, since it is one of the most popular devices and, although Google is sometimes a regular at creating hardware, with this one they were completely right. This is a device that is very, very easy to use: it connects to the TV via USB and we only have to give it power via a microUSB.

Once that is done, we use the Google Home app on the mobile to configure the device… and we would already have a conventional television turned into a SmartTV for a few dollars. With Chromecast we have Netflix, YouTube, HBO, Movistar, Atresmedia, YouTube Music and a lot of other applications that we can play on our mobiles and on our televisions.

Raspberry Pi vs Chromecast, which one interests you more?

That being said: Chromecast or Raspberry Pi, which one is worth it to create a smart TV? When we make a comparison, we always have to take price into account, but this time it is something that does not matter at all because they are devices that basically cost the same. Therefore, we must take into account the key characteristics of each device to decide on one or the other.

That is, we would recommend a Raspberry Pi for the television if :

  • You are users who are going to tinker with the equipment.
  • You want something more than a mobile screen duplicator or apps like Netflix.
  • You want a PC connected to the TV to have a personalized NAS with a video player.
  • You are looking to have Kodi or Plex reliably and completely on the television.
  • If you dig really deep, you might even have a kind of Chromecast.

The downside of the Raspberry Pi is that, obviously, it is more complex to have those functions, since we have to install an operating system, make everything work and install the board and components in a box to make it work better (and the fan, since the Raspberry Pi 4 has overheating issues depending on what we want to do).

On the other hand, we recommend a Chromecast if :

  • You want a device that is plug and play.
  • You just want to have Netflix, YouTube, Google Photos and other video apps on TV.
  • If you are one of those who want to surf the Internet in a big way and duplicate the mobile screen.
  • In the future it will be compatible with Stadia.

Obviously, a Chromecast does not have the same functions as a Raspberry because one is a device with a specific function and the other is a miniature computer, but there are many who do not need everything that a Raspberry offers and are the ones who should buy a Chromecast, and vice versa.