When you think about TV streaming, the first devices that may come to mind are streaming sticks, an Xbox or the PlayStation. However, this is not the only way to get great content nowadays. Recently, Google introduced Android TV, a smart TV platform that runs on the Android platform. Unlike many conventional streaming sticks such as the Roku and Amazon fire which have a closed ecosystem, the Android TV platform is open and allows developers to make modifications according to their preferences. Android TV users can stream content to their TV through apps that can either be free or paid for.
When using the platform, a user can navigate through the menus using their phone in place of a remote control or using an Android TV Box. Android TV boxes have become the obvious choice for most users because of their versatility and powerful hardware.
Advantages of an Android TV Box
- Lower costs – Compared to cable TV on a long-term basis, the cost of having an Android TV Box is considerably lower.
- Impressive multimedia streaming capabilities -Android TV boxes offer a wider range of apps with HD content.
- Gaming -For those that love games, Android boxes offer a number of fascinating games that you can enjoy when you are not streaming content.
- Entertainment on the Go -Most Android boxes are compact and portable. This means you can carry them around when traveling. Once you have settled in in your office or hotel room all you will need is an internet connection to begin streaming your content.
What you should look for when buying an Android TV box
The market is currently flooded with thousands of Android TV brands; however, it is important to note that they don’t have all the same capabilities. Some android TV boxes have better features that allow them to perform better than their counterparts. These are the must-have features of the best Android TV boxes on the market.
- H.265 Hardware Decoding
- 5.1 Audio Passthrough
- Android 6.0-Marshmallow (or higher)
- Dynamic Refresh-Rate Switching
- OTA Firmware Updates
- HDMI 2.0 support
- USB 3.0 Support
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi support
- The latest version of Kodi
Best Android Boxes on the market
Xiaomi TV box
This internationally acclaimed TV box runs on the latest Android-TV 6.0 platform. It is very user-friendly and offers both voice controls and Google Cast support. The TV boxes high-performance CPU and GPU allows users to stream 4k content and play high-resolution games.
NVIDIA Shield TV
Even though the TV box doesn’t come cheap, you definitely get what you paid for. NVIDIA Shield TV not only offers 4K steaming but high-performance gaming capabilities that are comparable to conventional gaming consoles. What’s more, Nvidia enjoys the full support of Team Kodi since they are one of their main sponsors.
The TV box comes with an integrated Google Voice Search functionality which you can use to easily find content. It has a powerful CPU and extra storage space for those who would like to download content. It comes with Widevine certification which allows a user to access content on Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and Netflix in HD quality.