Today, we can do almost everything on the internet. We can do research, watch videos, even stream movies and shows directly on the TV. To be able to do all this, we need to have a streaming box that uses an Android operating system, more commonly known as Android TV box.
It is simply a set-top box, the size of an Apple TV, which uses Android software in order to be able to stream content and games on your TV via the Internet. Currently, there are many Android TV boxes on the market.
What is the best Android TV Box on the market?
Certain aspects are fundamental before making the purchase. First, you will have to think about the contents that you want to see through the internet and make sure that the model is compatible with them, either Netflix or Hulu, for example.
Then, it is essential that you consider other features that may be relevant to you, such as the ability to tune in and watch live television, compatibility with storage devices such as an external hard drive or microSD cards.
At the same time, there are boxes compatible with Android and iOS phones to control the configurations and with services such as Apple TV or Android TV; others include fun games, different levels of quality of streaming playback, intuitive and fast interfaces, convenient and complete remote controls and also support different multimedia formats.
In the next comparison list, we will help you choose an economical and high-quality model.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro
If you know Nvidia, you will see that it is a globally recognised brand in electronics and this model is widely recommended for its capabilities and functions.
This media streaming player offers 4K HDR resolution, although it can also play HD 1080p content. It has 16 GB internal memory and a powerful 3 GB RAM. Also, it comes with the Android 9.0 operating system and works with Android TV, of course.
You can stream your PC games, it has more than 100 apps and includes a remote control and game controller.
XIAOMI Mi TV Box S
Android TV 8.1 Marshmallow: This Xiaomi Mi Box S runs on Android TV 8.1 Marshmallow and allows navigation on the Google interface smoothly. Note also its very appreciable speed of execution. The remote control is very simplistic since it only has a directional circle surrounding the “validate” button, a button for volume, a back button, another for a reception and a last one to activate voice search.
Compact design: This is probably the first remark we make when we see this Xiaomi Mi Box for the first time. It is indeed more compact than the majority of boxes on the market. Consequently, its size is reduced to the strict minimum, and finding it a small place will not cause you any problem. As for its weight, the device weighs only 176.5 grams.
Voice search control: The Xiaomi Mi Box S is able to support voice control. This will make it easier and faster to find your favourite apps, videos on YouTube or open other programs like Netflix for example.
Compatibility Google Cast: The support of Google Cast by the Xiaomi Mi Box S allows you to send the content of your smartphone directly to your television. This function can be used with Netflix, HBO Now, YouTube etc. applications. Google Cast also gives the option to record your favourite TV shows or movies.
Videos in 4K HDR: The Xiaomi Mi Box S is able to support 4K HDR. You will then benefit from very high resolution and extremely detailed images. Despite this functionality worthy of the best boxes on the market, the Xiaomi Mi Box S remains at a rather affordable price. Its value for money is therefore, one of its greatest assets.
MINIX NEO U9-H + MINIX NEO A2 Lite
With this model, you can enjoy a home cinema experience, as it supports a wide variety of image and video formats such as MP4, MPEG, AAC, AVI, WMA. In turn, it can offer a video quality higher than 4K HD, that is, in 4K UHD. Besides, it comes with HDR image processing, eight-core processor and Android 6.
As for the sound, it comes with Dolby Digital Audio software that offers cinema-quality. The remote control includes a QWERTY keyboard and a 6-axis gyroscope.
Android TV Box T95Z Plus
If you only guide yourself through the comments of other users before buying a product, I recommend you choose this one. Its buyers highlight WiFi connectivity 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.0, 4k UHD 3D quality and its fast operation thanks to the 8-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM.
This model of smart TV box has Android 6.0, has two USB 2.0 ports, SD card reader and not only uses a wireless keyboard but also supports the physical keyboard and mouse.
Roku Streaming Stick 3800R
Roku offers this model in the form of USB flash memory which, although it is a 2018 model, is still valid and can continue to show quality content. As it is from the Roku brand, it offers its application service separate from Google TV, Android TV and Apple TV.
Regarding quality, it is capable of playing Netflix content in HD 1080p resolution and Dolby 5.1 audio quality. At the same time, the interface is friendly and fast, and users love what is portable.
Mini Q-BOX TV Box
The first thing that stands out about this product is its aesthetic finish, but once you go deeper, its functions are also very cool. First, it has a 4-core processor, a capacity of 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM, as well as WiFi connection in 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz and Bluetooth 4.0.
The operating system used is Android Lollipop 5.1, has H.265 Professional video decoding technology and Dolby audio processing, supports a large number of multimedia formats, includes a remote control and HDMI cable.
Choose an excellent android TV box, among many that are in the market, depends mainly on the services you want to see. If it’s Netflix and YouTube, most of the boxes will be perfect for it. However, if you’re going to do other things such as sharing your video games by streaming, you will need high-resolution models and good processing capacity.
At the same time, compatibility with external devices such as hard drives or cards is essential so you can easily record the contents in them. Do not leave aside the quality and look for those boxes with the highest resolutions and excellent audio quality.
How does an Android TV box work?
It is true that it is difficult to find yourself in the jungle of products from the latest technologies. Box TV, Android TV, Smart TV Box, IPTV Box, Kodi Box, etc., but what is all this gibberish? To see a little more clearly, let’s try to explain what an android TV box is and how it works.
Turn the old TV into a smart TV
The role of an android TV box is to make an old TV a smart TV. It has a simple TV screen, nothing will come of it unless you plug it into an antenna, decoder or a box.
Now take your Smartphone. It has a system and a graphics card, allowing you to surf from one platform to another and (among other things) to play videos on its screen.
The android TV box works more or less the same way. It includes a processor, a graphics card and an Android system to surf between the different streaming platforms ( YouTube, Netflix, etc.). It will use your TV as a screen.
Connect your smartphone to the TV
On some android TV boxes, there is a feature (Cast) to display the content of your mobile devices on your TV. Your mobile device will then be “the player” or “the computer”, and your TV will be the screen. The android TV box will be the bridge between the two, it will take advantage of it to improve the quality of the image significantly in passing.
This is how your content on Smartphone can even be displayed in 4K on your 4K TV, or at least in HD or HDR.
Android TV box: Buying Guide
The processor of an android TV Box is supplemented by a RAM memory, which is instant memory. It is more or less efficient depending on the model chosen. Typically, 1 GB capacity is enough to boot. It all depends on your use, but if you want to enjoy the fast performance, you can look into devices equipped with 2 or 4 GB of RAM memory.
The second criterion to take into account when purchasing your android TV box concerns the connectors. Indeed, it is important to check the number of USB ports offered by the device. This is an important point if you want to connect a home theatre, a USB key or any other device in addition to your TV. It is also essential to check the presence of an HDMI port, which will allow you to connect your Android box to your TV, and enjoy a high definition image.
Storage is also an aspect to take into account. In general, the minimum offered on an android TV box is 8 GB. It is, however, preferable to opt for a device offering 16 GB of storage for greater freedom. The purchase price will not be much higher, and you will not regret your investment if you have a lot of content to store. Note that some models allow you to add a micro-SD card to increase memory if necessary.
Brand and budget
The purchase price and the brand are also two important criteria in your quest for the best Android TV box. Indeed, it is preferable to opt for a device marketed by a recognized brand. You will benefit from an interesting guarantee, quality and reliability over time. Regarding the price, it all depends on your budget and the features you are looking for. You can find cheap android tv box for just £40, and also high-end boxes can be priced over £200.