Don’t buy a new Apple TV. Get a Chromecast with Google TV instead

If you own a third-generation Apple TV and you fired it up to watch YouTube this week, you probably saw the following message:

Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, iPhone, or iPad. With AirPlay, you can also stream YouTube from your iOS device directly to any Apple TV (3rd generation or later).

In simple terms, if you want to easily watch YouTube on your TV, you need to find another way. Apple’s suggestion of using AirPlay to stream YouTube from your iPhone or iPad to the Apple TV will work, but it’s a hassle. And since you’re probably not looking to trade in your TV set for a newer one with a smart interface, you’re going to need a new streaming box.

Of course, you could buy a new Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K, but it’s going to set you back at least $149. And since I wouldn’t recommend buying an HD box for more than $29, you’re looking at $179 for the 32GB Apple TV 4K, which is crazy expensive. And while there’s reportedly a new model on the way, it doesn’t look like it’s going to cost any less.

But there is a solution, one that’s not as expensive as a new TV or Apple TV or even a Roku Ultra that’ll provide the convenience and simplicity you want for the long term: Get a Chromecast with Google TV for $49.

Wait, did I just recommend replacing an Apple product with one from Google? Yup. For most people, the Chromecast has the services and features that most people need—including Apple TV+—for a much lower price.

Get your favorite services and more

I own a TV that’s not that old, but it doesn’t have built-in apps for the streaming services I use most often: Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, and YouTube. Years ago, I bought a Chromecast and I used it to stream shows from those services from my MacBook Pro to the TV. It was good enough for my purposes and I couldn’t convince myself to spend the money on an Apple TV HD just to get access to those services I could watch with the Chromecast.

gtvhome Jared Newman / IDG

The Google TV interface puts content before apps.

Then some good news came last month. The Apple TV app for Chromecast with Google TV became available, joining the host of other streaming apps on Google’s newest device. Now for just $50, I could get easy access to the streaming services I use. It’s an investment I made without hesitation.

In addition to the services I mention, you can use Chromecast to access video services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, Google Play Movies, as well as music through Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and others. There’s access to sporting events, Google Photos, games, and there’s still the ability to cast from a device to the Chromecast. See the list of services available.