When Google unveiled their $35 Chromecast I was genuinely interested. It was cheap and offered a lot of really cool app integration such as streaming from Songza, VEVO, Netflix, Plex and more. I ended up picking a Chromecast up, setting it up in my bedroom and... barely ever using it. Why? Because I'm invested into the Apple ecosystem and they have me hooked with the Apple TV. So, Chromecast was essentially a waste of $35. But what about folks not already invested in the Apple TV? Is the Chromecast a better, cheaper option for them? That very question popped up on the iMore Forums recently...
If you're using Google apps, you'll get your uses out of it.
Although Apple TV's are reasonably priced, often available for under $90, at $35 the Google option of a Chromecast is even cheaper and offers a lot of what Apple TV does in a smaller package. When Google initially released the Chromecast, to say the options were limited is a bit of understatement. They only had three or four apps signed on for it but since then, support for the device on iOS has grown and it no longer just feels like a 'Google' thing.
You can stream from your Windows PC via Chrome browser to Chromecast. One has to have a Mac to stream to Apple TV.
One benefit the Chromecast has over the Apple TV is the ability to stream things from Google Chrome on Windows to your TV. With an Apple TV, you need to have a Mac in order to have desktop mirroring or purchase a third-party app to do so like AirParrot. But if that's not really something you plan on doing a lot of, it's a bit of a useless feature.
I would not replace Apple TV with it. It's more of a secondary device.
Personally, I think having a Chromecast kicking around is a good addition to also having an Apple TV. Maybe you have several TV's in your house and don't want to be bother moving your Apple TV around or purchasing additional units just to fill in the gaps. A lot of what Chromecast offers is an overlap of what an Apple TV can do, so at $35 it just might be what you're looking for.
What do you all think? Is a Chromecast a suitable replacement for an Apple TV and worth the purchase cost? Is it more of an add-on purchase to your already existing TV?