There are so many streaming devices out there that making a buying decision can be a bit daunting; especially for someone not quite familiar with some of the sleek technical jargons that manufacturers use to woo buyers. The purpose of this article therefore, is to simplify things a bit so that you when you make a purchase, you can be sure of getting value for money. As the title suggests, the focus is on Android TV boxes.
So, what’s an Android TV box?
An Android TV box is simply a streaming device (or if you prefer, box) that runs on the Android OS. What this means is that if you are already familiar with an Android smart phone or tablet, you won’t have much of a problem navigating an Android TV box.
There are other types of TV boxes which run other operating systems; these include Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The advantage of having a smart TV box running on android however is that being an open-source platform, developers can tweak it to improve its performance and features. Then on the user end, the platform gives you a lot of flexibility to pick and choose which apps you want to run. With other streaming media players, you are mostly restricted to apps within their ecosystem.
Android TV Vs Android TV box
It’s important to make this point because people sometimes confuse the two. An Android TV is a smart TV that runs on a special version of the Android OS’ with apps that are specially designed to run on a TV, rather than on a touch screen. This means that not every app will be able to run on an Android TV. On the other hand, an android box offers you the smart TV experience without you having to upgrade your TV set.
Choosing your Android TV box
Deciding which is the best android TV box for you depend largely on factors such as your budget, what platforms you love to stream from, and the picture quality you desire. If you love streaming videos from Netflix, for example, you will need an Android Box with the relevant hardware license to allow you stream in HD.
The best Android TV box featured here (NVIDIA Shield Android TV Box) has the necessary DRM (Digital Rights Management) services as well as other features that ensure you won’t need an upgrade anytime soon. These include
- Minimum of Android OS Version 5.1
- 265 Hardware Decoding
- The latest Kodi Version
- Over The Air (OTA) Firmware Updates
- Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi and\or Gigabit Ethernet
- USB 3.0
- HDMI 2.0
NVIDIA Shield Android TV box comes with a slick User Interface, 3GB of RAM, a Tegra X1 CPU and a 256-core GPU for high quality streaming. While it may not compete favorably in terms of pricing, this smart TV box, makes up for this in its high quality YouTube, Amazon prime and 4K Netflix streaming capability. For storage, you have a choice of either the 16GB or the 500GB version.
If this option is a little too pricey you should check out the huge range of options available online, nowadays with so many TV boxes around you are sure to find one to suite your needs and budget.