Long gone are the days where owning a cable TV was everyone’s biggest dream. Nowadays, Android TV boxes are becoming more popular than ever (and for more than a reason).
Imagine having a world of movies and music at your hands. No more annoying ads and time wasted moving from channel to channel. With an Android TV Box, you can choose the content you want to watch, play, and listen to.
Despite the name, Android TV boxes offer a multitude of features. They’re not only used for watching TV. You can also surf the Internet, read the news, shop, check your social media feed, and send emails. You name it. The possibilities for using an Android TV box are practically endless.
The point is less about why you might need an Android TV Box and more about how to pick one among the vast selection available online. That’s why you need to know more about this product before making a purchase.
We’re here to help by sharing the best tips to guide you towards picking the best Android TV Box for your needs. Let’s get started!
But first, let’s get back to the basics.
What is an Android TV Box?
An Android TV Box is a mini box that runs an Android software or a replacement version of a standard Android. In other words, a TV box is used for streaming content from your device to your television through an Internet connection or a NAS drive device.
How does an Android TV Box work?
The Android TV box is most often connected to your television through the Internet. It is powered by the Android software that allows you to install apps, watch movies through video apps, and play songs with music apps.
How to Choose an Android TV Box
Now that we have reviewed the basics let’s move on to the most useful tips for picking the best Android TV Box among the many models available on the Internet.
- The Processor
When it comes to Android TV Boxes, RAM and processing power are the most important features. There’s no point in spending money to buy an Android TV Box that lags when you are using it.
That’s why we recommend choosing a TV box with at least a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU or even higher. If you have the chance to opt for an octa-core processor, then you’re set for an amazing video experience!
Here are our top picks:
- DynamIQ Technology: it is a more advanced version of the big.LITTLE processor with an octa-core configuration because of its dual ARM CPU core;
- Tegra X1 Processor: this processor is used mostly with gaming devices. It doesn’t have a configuration like the ARM big.LITTLE, but it’s still capable of running 4K content.
- The Storage
The operating system of an Android TV Box runs mostly because of enough memory storage in the device. For this reason, the operating system and memory storage are equally important factors.
Most Android TV boxes have internal storage of only 8GB. Plus, the operating system even takes up a big portion of it.
For this reason, we recommend you choose an Android TV box with at least 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It’s even better if the TV box supports a 64GB microSD card or higher external storage.
- The USB Ports
The perfect Android TV box should have at least 2 USB ports, which can be used for the peripherals and the Bluetooth receiver.
Choose a TV box that supports USB 3.0 for a more effective speed than the USB 2.0. A USB 3.0 is perfect for those who use external hard drives. Of course, you can still go for a USB 2.0 if you plan to use ordinary peripherals.
- The Video and Display
Besides the technical specs we just mentioned, the video and display options of a TV box are incredibly important for long-term use.
We recommend choosing an Android TV Box that supports the streaming of 4K videos and HD contents, especially if you plan to watch videos from Netflix or YouTube.
Here are other aspects to consider when it comes to the video and display of a TV box:
- HDMI: opt for an HDMI 2.0 if you are a fan of 4K streaming;
- Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching: this feature adjusts the refresh rate between the TV and the source automatically. In other words, it ensures that you enjoy the best possible display;
265 Hardware Decoding: (also called “high-efficiency video encoding” – HEVC) it’s a standard to compress and easily transmit videos through a network. An H.265 efficiently compresses pictures and videos for up to 8K resolution;
- The Operating System Version
When it comes to operating systems for TV boxes, we suggest you pick an Android TV Box with an operating system higher than Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Don’t go for older versions, as those TV boxes can’t be updated.
It’s even better if you can buy an Android TV Box with an operating system equal to Android 6.0 or higher.
- The Network Connectivity
Another aspect to consider is what network connectivity is available for your Android TV Box. In particular, here’s what you should be checking for:
- Wi-Fi: the Android TV Box should have at least 802.11ac for smooth video playback. There’s nothing worse than video buffering for TV boxes. Also, go for a dual-band router and network adapter for a faster signal;
- Gigabit Ethernet: you don’t need to worry about the signal or interface, as this already provides a consistent connection;
- The Bluetooth Support
When possible, always choose an Android TV Box that supports Bluetooth connectivity, which can be used to transfer files from your phone to the TV box or connect other peripherals through Bluetooth.
- The Google Play Support
We recommend choosing an Android TV Box that supports Google Play. This way, you can spare yourself the effort of installing other apps directly from other websites. Plus, when a TV box has pre-installed Google Play, you can use it just like a smartphone.
- The Extra Features
Not all TV box features are made equal. Some are more useful than others. A high price isn’t always a synonym of quality.
Here are some features that you can easily give up when looking for a new Android TV Box:
- Dual-Boot: having two operating systems in one device isn’t as useful as it might sound;
10-bit Color: more color variation doesn’t make the display better. In fact, the player can’t support more than 1025 different color variations. For this reason, buying a 10-bit color TV box would be useless if your TV doesn’t support deep color;
- Other Android TV Box Specs
All the features we just mentioned are equally important if you want to ensure that your TV Box checks all the right boxes:
- Outstanding performance
- Firmware updates
- Over-the-Air updates
- Forum support
- After-sales support
We hope this quick guide was useful in sharing the information you need to make the best purchase. However, even before taking this step, you might want to read the product reviews and pick a reliable online store.
We at Teknistore have over 100000 products to offer, all with free shipping. Take, for example, the Tanix TX3 MAX (with 32% off!) and the H96 Pro Plus. Plus, our after-sales service won’t disappoint you. Have fun buying your next Android TV Box from our wide collection!