. 5.1 Audio Passthrough. Fire OS – Proprietary version of Android. OTA Firmware UpdatesIf you’re buying your first streaming media player, I created a perfect starting point to. Or, look here if you’re just looking for a good,. Won’t any device work?Let me be clear about something: The best streaming media player depends on what streaming services you want to use.If you’re going to be using it solely as a Kodi box, then the field is open, and you have your choice of TV boxes. Butif you’re planning on streaming a good portion of your content through Netflix or Amazon Prime, then you’re going to be limited., and.Why?
That’s a good question.The short answer is that there are DRM (Digital Rights Management) services which will limit who can see specific content to those devices that run those services.Think about it this way: Would you rather watch a crappy camcorder version of the latest movie or go see it in the theatre? Sure, the cam version is cheaper (i.e.
Free), but you’re missing out on the experience.For Android media players, you need Netflix Approval and a Google Widevine Level 1 licence to playback DRM 1080p or 4K video streams. For you’ll need a Microsoft Playready licence as well.Without the right hardware, you’ll never get better than Standard Definition (SD) resolution with those streaming services. What should I look for?There are some “must-have” features that you should be looking for in your next Android TV box, so I’ve made this list with those in mind.Note: If you’re wondering, click on the link to find out. Each of the devices I recommend will have a list of which features it supports and which ones it doesn’t. Think of it like your own personal shopping checklist. Missing features will be highlighted in red.
5.1 Audio Passthrough. H.265 Hardware Decoding. Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher). Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching.
OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0. USB 3.0. Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet. TheNot every device on this list will have all of these features. That would make things way too easy. But, the way I’ve set this up, you can decide for yourself which of these features is important to you, and which you can skip this time around.If you’re just starting out and want to get more information before you choose which TV box to buy, I’d suggest reading “.”Best Overall: 1.
Skystream ThreeSkystream is back again with the SkyStreamThree and this time they’ve doubled down on their success.OKsorry for the bad pun. I can’t resist. 🙂In all seriousness though, Skystream took what made the a killer Android TV box and doubled it.The processor has been upgraded to the Amlogic S905x2 octa-core CPU – double the cores from the One.
The regular version has 2 gigs of ram and 16 gigs of storage, if you opt for the “plus” version you can upgrade to 4 gigs of ram. System memory hasn’t quite been doubled, but it has definitely been given a big boost. There’s now 3 GB of memory, up from 2 GB. And now DDR4 memory, which has the edge in performance over the older DDR3 in most TV boxes.There’s also a slick new custom interface which is more modern than the brightly colored interface from their older boxes. You’ll still find most of the large icons where you’d expect them to be, but they don’t jump out at you as much as they used to.What really gets me excited is the extra features that they’ve crammed into the Skystream Three.They’ve integrated Google Voice Search into the media center so you can search for whatever you want to watch instead of typing it out on the on-screen keyboard.
With Google Assistant, “OK Google” is always available to answer questions.Also new on the Skystream Three is Widevine certification. It’s one of the main requirements for getting Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Hulu in HD quality.What to love: Looking at the specs, there’s a lot to love. More CPU power. More storage. Pair that with the famous Skystream support network, and we’ve got a great TV box.What’s missing: Still missing USB 3.0 which will really hurt transfer speeds from external hard drives. There’s also an increase in price to go along with the increases in memory, storage and CPU.
Checklist:. 5.1 Audio Passthrough. H.265 Hardware Decoding. Android 7.1 Nougat. Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching.
OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0. Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet. The latest version of KodiFind the best price on the Skystream Three directly fromIPV 728×90 (set 8) Runner Up: 2.
HAOSIHD T9 Android 8.1 TV BoxI was excited to see that this Android 8.1 box offers both 4k and 3D output, but people with older TVs might not like the fact that thy’ll need to use an HDMI to AV 3 converter to get the box to communicate with their sets.The Ultra-High-Definition streaming is smooth, sound quality is awesome, and the box is user-friendly – perfect for people who are new to the idea of using an Android TV box. The voice search option is fantastic.What to love: The 4k and 3D output make this a super-versatile option for watching whatever kind of media you want to. This box offers ultra-fast performance thanks to 4G RAM + 32G, and the Android 8.1 Nougat is fast and responsive, too.The mini keyboard and remote control are great once you get used to them, and the box is compatible with Netflix, Kodi, and many others, including Hulu and Amazon.
It’s good for gaming, too.What’s missing: This TV box is compatible with Kodi and comes with RKMC installed, but not great compared to other options. If Kodi is your thing, you’re better off with a different TV box. Checklist:. 1 Audio Passthrough.
265 Hardware Decoding. Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher). Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching. OTA Firmware Updates. USB 3.0.
Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet. The latest version of KodiBuy the HAOSIHD T9 Android 8.1 TV Box Media Player direct from Best For Gamers: 3.
NVIDIA Shield TVHonestly, this isn’t even a fair fight., the graphics powerhouse behind most of the world’s top performing PC gaming systems, stormed on to the scene in May 2015 with the NVIDIA Shield Android TV console. Unlike the, which never really caught on, the Shield has a devoted following of Kodi enthusiasts, developers and causal gamers that have made it extremely popular.Now redesigned for 2018, the Shield TV is aimed at the user who want more power and storage from their streaming device than a Roku or Fire TV can give, but don’t need to go into the super high-end streaming devices like the. It has the high-end Tegra X1 CPU, 3GB of RAM and a graphic processor with a whopping 256 cores!The Shield user interface is one of the slickest I’ve seen.
Google’s official interface runs on top of Android 8.0 Oreo – the only device on this list to use the latest version of Android.What to love: The Shield TV has most of the items on our checklist. It is also one of the few devices to have 4K Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube streaming.
Both the controller and remote fit comfortably in your hands, and both include NVIDIA’s voice search using Google Now. As one of Kodi’s, NVIDIA has the support of Team Kodi, so you can be sure that the latest versions of Kodi will work the way they’re supposed to.What’s missing: Not much now that Amazon Prime Video has joined the party. It’s worth noting that while it has 5.1 and 7.1 audio passthrough, there are some issues getting HD audio passthrough to work within Kodi at the time of this writing. Other services do not have this issue.
Checklist:. 5.1 Audio Passthrough. H.265 Hardware Decoding. Android 8 Oreo. Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching.
OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0. USB 3.0. Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet.
The latest version of KodiThe NVIDIA Shield isn’t cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. It’s not quite the perfect streaming device, but it’s as close as you can get at this point. The 16GB version lists at $179, while the 500GB model will set you back $299 US.Find the best price on the NVIDIA Shield TV at Are you a Kodi beginner?
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It’s OKwe’ve all had to start somewhere. That’s why I’ve created my largest ever guide on. Check it out here or using the image below!Best TV Box for “easy setup” 4. Amazon Fire TVIf I had to pick a streaming device to give to my mother, the new would be the one.But, if you want to get the best quality from your subscription, then you’re going to need the Fire TV since it’s the only player that will stream in both 4K and HD.
The cheaper (and more popular) Fire Stick will only play in HD quality.The Fire TV runs a proprietary version of Android, designed for media players. It has the familiar updown menu system with the main categories listed along the top row. There’s a large preview window, with your recently used apps and recommended videos underneath.What to love: Easy setup. The Fire TV has a simple, “Plug and Play” interface that even the most technology challenged can feel comfortable with. Full 4K and HD streaming for Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube. The Voice search is amazing, and with Alexa, it’s only getting better.What’s missing: The Google Play Store.
The Amazon App Store is great, but it doesn’t offer that same level of familiarity and comfort as the Google Play Store. Plus, some apps are curiously absent. If you’re looking for Kodi, for example, you’ll need to side-load it or download an alternate app store, like the.If you’d like to see how the Fire TV Pendant stacks up against the NVIDIA Shield TV, check out my here. Checklist:. 5.1 Audio Passthrough. H.265 Hardware Decoding. Fire OS – Proprietary version of Android.
Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching. OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0. USB 3.0.
Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet. The latest version of KodiBuy the Amazon Fire TVYour TV box is only as good as the streaming services you use. Find out what we think the are!5. VANKYO TB80 4K Android 7.1 TV BoxThose looking for a cheap Android TV box might like this one from Vankyo.
The TB80 is a bestseller, with everything you need to enjoy 4K streaming and 3D, plus easy setup plug and play features. With 2GB DDR3 RAM and 16GM eMMC ROM, it has plenty of storage although less than some other popular options.What to love: This Android TV box deosn’t come with a keyboard, but it is compatible with keyboards so you can use one if you like.It’s got an AV port that lets you connect an older TV if you want to, and SPDIF makes it easy to hook up audio equipment.What’s missing: Like a few other TV boxes that made their way onto this list, this one is missing the latest version of Kodi.No big deal, as it is compatible with Kodi and you can easily install the newest version on your own.
This box doesn’t support Dolby sound, nor does it support 5G WiFi. Checklist:.
1 Audio Passthrough. 265 Hardware Decoding. Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher). Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching. OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0. USB 3.0.
Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet. The latest version of KodiBuy the VANKYO TB80 4K 6. Dolamee X2 A95X MaxAndroid 8.1, a newly updated Amlogic S905X2 quad-core, and the ability to support recording make the Dolamee X2 A95XMax TV box a great choice. This box has plenty of speed and memory – 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM mean you’ll never run out of space. It’s one of a few we’ve found that supports 5G WiFi, so if 5G is available in your community or coming soon, this box is all ready to go.Pricewise, this box is a little spendy but considering all the upgrades, it’s definitely worth the extra money. 4K and the ability to record make this a great choice.What to love: Not only does this TV box have USB 3.0, it also offers Bluetooth 5.0, so however you transfer data, it happens quickly.The hard drive is big, plus it’s expandable.
You can add up to a 2TB 2.5” notebook-sized SSD/HDD if you like, without worries about freezing or buffering. If you expand, make sure you format the SSD/HDD before you add it to the TV Box.What’s missing: Like a lot of TV boxes, this one has a low-end remote and the user manual isn’t that great, either. Kodi is installed but you’ll want to update to the newest version. Overall, this box does not disappoint. Checklist:.
1 Audio Passthrough. 265 Hardware Decoding. Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher). Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching. OTA Firmware Updates. HDMI 2.0.
USB 3.0. Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet.
Defend your cabin hacked games. The latest version of KodiBuy the Dolamee X2 A95X Max 7. Greatlizard TX6 Android 9.0 Smart TV BoxAndroid 8.1, a newly updated Amlogic S905X2 quad-core, and the ability to support recording make the Dolamee X2 A95XMax TV box a great choice.This box has plenty of speed and memory – 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM mean you’ll never run out of space. It’s one of a few we’ve found that supports 5G WiFi, so if 5G is available in your community or coming soon, this box is all ready to go.Pricewise, this box is a little spendy but considering all the upgrades, it’s definitely worth the extra money. 4K and the ability to record make this a great choice.What to love: Not only does this TV box have USB 3.0, it also offers Bluetooth 5.0, so however you transfer data, it happens quickly.The hard drive is big, plus it’s expandable. You can add up to a 2TB 2.5” notebook-sized SSD/HDD if you like, without worries about freezing or buffering.
If you expand, make sure you format the SSD/HDD before you add it to the TV Box.What’s missing: Like a lot of TV boxes, this one has a low-end remote and the user manual isn’t that great, either. Kodi is installed but you’ll want to update to the newest version. Overall, this box does not disappoint. Checklist:. 1 Audio Passthrough. 265 Hardware Decoding. Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher).
Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching. OTA Firmware Updates.
HDMI 2.0. USB 3.0. Dual-Band Wi-Fi andor Gigabit Ethernet.
The latest version of KodiBuy the Greatlizard TX6 The VerdictAs I mentioned when I started, the best Android TV box for you, depends on what services you use.So what do I use? My main device right now is the 16GB version of the NVIDIA Shield, but I also have a new Amazon Fire TV as a secondary device on my office TV.
Both will give me great 4K resolution in Kodi, but the Shield just feels quicker to use. It doesn’t hurt that it can also play some games during downtime either.What do you think? Have anything that you think would be a better choice? Let us know in the comments below. Want a new Android box that won’t break the bank? Check out the that I recommend!.Disclosure: This article is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Reader Interactions. Please tell me you didn’t already buy one of those.Seriously.
Retailers like them really get me furious. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why an Android TV Box should be $299, especially one that is based on the Amlogic S802 chipset. Put it this way, you can find something built on the same exact hardware like the Tronsmart Vega S89 for under $100. And that review was written almost a year ago, so there’s plenty of newer (and better) devices out there.As far as “free streaming of just about anything”, that is all a feature of the software that is installed. Usually its done through Kodi addons, which may or may not be legal where you live.
If you want more information on those types of addons, one of the most weel-known places to look is tvaddons.agNo matter what you do, please, please don’t waste your money on a Digistream box, or any other shady outfit like that. I haven’t tried any of the Android TV boxes with a touch-screen monitor, and here’s why.Most people looking at these devices are looking for something to hook up to their living room TVs to stream movies to. Those people really wouldn’t have a need for a touchscreen monitor as well as their TV.There is a smaller set of people who are looking for digital-signage devices and come across an Android box as an option.Those people may want a touchscreen as a display screen for their digital signage box. Unfortunately though, you’re the first person since I started this site to even ask about touchscreen monitors.I think digital signage boxes are one of the cooler applications for Android boxes and something I want to look at in the future. Maybe there’s an article down the road, now that you’ve planted the idea in my head.
🙂Thanks for your comment!PS: Check out my initial thoughts on the Voyo V2 mini-PC here. I have owned an android mini pc since they were dual core (a minix ) it was kind of buggy. Since i’m on a fixed income i had to settle for a tronsmart mxlll 2g 8g. I gotta tell you its a nice little box. It does everything i need it to and more.
I have them on all my tv’s. At this very moment i am putting movies and tv shows i had on my hard drive on my desktop to a micro sd card. Then all i do is plug the card into my box and open kodi and hit play. And it will play all night if i let it. I also have blutooth headphones so i dont disturb my wife while she sleeps. One day i hope to afford a really nice box.
Until then this one serves my needs pretty well. Based on some research and your article, I just orderd the Minix Neo X8H Plus. I was running mini ATX desktop with Plex because my original hacked Xbox classic went missing in my last move. (Damn you, Craigslist movers) It died a couple weeks ago and I’ve been looking for a replacement. I bought a couple chromeboxes to Kiosk at my job and started looking into set tops.
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Thank god there’s a Plex Server add-on for Kodi. Hopefully, I’ll have this thing tomorrow so I can start setting it up. Looking forward to my 800+ movie collection on my 4tb external.Anyway. Thanks for the helpful reviews.
Hi Tim,I have a fairly new M8S (bought new about 3 months ago). It’s my first android tv box. I bought it to run KODI through my TV. It is pretty good but buffers a lot and often jumps out of the menu or just freezes up.
I am frequently rebooting it to restart it from the home screen. I have the highest speed fibre internet service available so I think it is the M8S causing the problem. I had an Apple TV and ran Netflix without any problems. I have heard the NVIDIA Shield TV box is the best and your review seems to support this. I can’t find any direct comparison reviews between the two.So, my question is – is it worth buying an NVIDIA Shield TV box? Will it be significantly better than M8S?Thanks in advance for your help!Paul. Thanks for your question.
If you are -solely- going to use it as a Kodi player, then the Shield isn’t going to give you a big enough difference to justify costing at least twice the price of the M8S or any other Android TV box. Butif you want to get the best resolution out of Netflix, YouTube or any of the other major streaming services, then yes, it absolutely will. I wrote an article a few months ago about, and it’s a pretty small list.One word of caution though, if your Kodi setup is buffering, there are a lot of different reasons for it which have nothing to do with the box itself. For example, my own personal setup buffers because of network traffic on my own local network. Others will buffer because they’re using slower streaming servers.
Some just itself. Unfortunately, it involves a lot of testing to figure out exactly what the issue is on each individual setup.But the bottom line is that if you want to use the device for more than just Kodi, then the NVIDIA Shield is the way to go. Hi, I really need help I have read your reviews and they are great but being sixty seven years old and a dinosaur in this field I don’t understand most of the terminology you used sorry. So if I tell you what I have and what I want to get can you please help. I have over in Spain a Samsung smart tv and 6mb Wi Fi and I want to watch British TV ie BBC / ITV 1-2-3 etc plus Films and Sport live football and golf on sky if possible?. I was advised to buy a Minix x8 plus but now I am completely confused so can you please teach an old dog new tricks with you expert advice. Regards Barry.
Interesting review – thank you. Since your review, the MINIX NEO U1 now has a lot of competition. The Beelink M18 is, IMHO, a far better deal as it costs about half the price of the Minix device, and performs just as well. It has exactly the same spec – I guess that’s progress eh?BTW – I live in Spain – the guy (Barry) that was asking about the MiniX X8 a few posts back – I say forget the Minix – buy the Beelink M18 – but NOT before upgrading his 6Mb internet 😉Oh & BTW – I am even older than him 😉. MINIX will still support the device – no matter what apps you install on it.
Unless you open up the case or root the device, it will still have the the manufacturer’s warranty.The nice thing is that it’s not hard at all to upgrade Kodi. It can be done through the Google Play store, just like you’d download any other app. The “hardest” part is switching the shortcut on the launch screen to point to the new version instead of MINIX’s version.Kodi updates their software frequently – say every 1-2 months.
It all depends on what parts of the program they’re working on and how much progress they’ve made. If you install it through the Google Play store, you can set it up for automatic updates and then you don’t have to worry about it. SM said this on June 26th. “The latest version of Kodi” is not available. How would this affect the consumer?”. I can only state what the new version of Kodi 16.1 has meant for me.My box is a MXQ Pro+ and came loaded with Kodi ver.
16.0 as a pre released version. One of the problems was is that it would not shut down correctly. It would take between 15-20 seconds to shutdown. I uninstalled that version and installed version 16.1 and that problem went away. So in my case, updating the Kodi software fixed a problem.So the moral of the story – at least in my case is this. I recommend you select the latest version of Kodi you can get your hands on that is NOT a test or pre released version.
That version will normally give you the best results.Oh and my MXP Pro+ box – I don’t recommend it. Someone for some reason decided to lock down the box as far as updates from the app store are concerned. Couldn’t update Chrome which was a very old version. Had to sideload the new version. Couldn’t update most of the Google apps. Netflix wouldn’t work nor would many other apps.
Also at least 50% of the preloaded repositories did not work.I deleted everything and started sideloading everything I wanted. After about 8 hours of work I finally have a box that works MOST of the time but still randomly reboots every once in awhile. This box is NOT for someone who wants a plug and play device, ha ha.Have a great day. What an excellent post, I have been searching around for a while now for a good comparison for the best performing android boxes on the market. I have to agree with your number one the Shield, but for me it’s not worth the hefty price tag, when or if it comes down in price I will more than likely buy it.
I wanted to know if you have much experience of HPH Nagrace? They have a 4GB ram 32GB rom version on a RK3288 chip, In the UK it’s hard to find it’s on this site bit.ly/2fdtquJ The company seem to make a lot of development board under the name firefly, I would be really interested in a review. I see a couple of red-flags. First, please, please, please,! The same goes for buying a TV box at a county fair, or flea-market. You don’t know exactly who you’re buying from and that’s just asking for trouble.Second, anything can connect to Netflix.
The hard part is if Netflix certifies your device to play 4K or even HD videos. I’ve go into more detail about what’s required for 4K or HD Netflix above, so I’ll just say that it’s very hard for a manufacturer to get their device certified. Some random device on eBay won’t be able to get.Third, be careful when someone advertises and Octa-Core device. At this point, I’ve only seen eight-core video, not eight-core CPU’s.
If you think about it this way, most of the higher-end desktop PC’s are running 4-core Intel CPU’s. And that’s enough for them.
A sub-$100 TV box isn’t going to have a faster CPU than Intel is putting out.Something smells fishy with that to me. Probably BD3D is not urgent need, but I have a pair of shutter glasses which costed me much, so I’m not ready to get rid of them.5.1 Audio Passthrough is needed, cos I want my Pioneer receiver to process sound for me. In fact, it can do it in 7.1, but I don’t have enough space to place back-surround speakers, so I think 5.1 might be enough for me so far.Could You explain the difference between MeMoBox MBX-Q Amlogic S805 & MeMoBox MX Max?
The second one has more powerful processor and memory, but costs twice and a half higher.Can first of them cover my needs, or You can suggest some better model?Sorry for my English,Regards, Vladimir. I wouldn’t buy anything that runs Android 4.4 anymore.
Even devices that run Android 5 are now two versions of Android behind, now that Android 7.0 Nougat has been released. Side note: it’s pretty good. Noticeably better battery life on my Nexus 5X.Any time that a new Android version comes out, you’re going to see a bunch of new devices that come out shortly after. TV boxes won’t come with Android 7.0, but you’ll start seeing more and more with 6.0.As for my recommendationsdid you read the article? Thanks a lot. That’s a relief.
Just couldn’t get OPPO out of my mind))) Now I hope I will.Another thing; Some say, that to watch 1080p video on android boxes and not having them overheated, one must dril some holes in the housing, install additional radiators and coolers on the chip and so. Are there items that do fine without “dancing with a tambourine” (a russian idiom expressing some strange shamanistic activities to make something (esp.
Made in China) work properly.Which brand is more reliable in this case? I’m looking at MINIX NEO U1, MeMoBox MX Max, Tronsmart Vega S95 Pro, R-box Pro,MECOOL BB2, YOKATV KB2?Last three with the latest Amlogic S912 and Android 6.0 on board, and HDMI 2.0, everything as You suggested.Nvidia expressed me much. But it doesn’t have 3d playback feature.Still have a pair of 3d shutter glasses for my Panasonic Viera, so I don’t get rid of the idea of 3DBD Iso playback. Tronsmart Vega S95 Pro even has “Support 3D MKV,3D BDMV and 3D ISO Playback, can play 3D Blu-ray folders directly, also support BD-J Menu Navigation via Vidon XBMC” in the specs.
Can others do it also?And 5.1 audio passthrough via SPDIF is nesessary, cos my receiver doesn’t have HDMI port.Any suggestion would be appreciated.Regards, Vladimir. I haven’t seen any TV boxes yet that are running Android 6, so you may be stuck with one of the Android Lollipop TV boxes out there.
Unless you go for the official Android TV (coughShieldcough)The original date of the article is over a year old, but it’s been updated several times since then. The Shield is still my main box (it’s sitting in my living room), and I still love the NEO U1 (it’s on my bedroom TV).That being saidI’m really psyched about the, but I haven’t gotten to try one yet. Who knows, it may find its way on this list. I haven’t heard much about the X92 until now, so I’m afraid I can’t say anything one way or the other. As for the MINIX, I’m really looking forward to that one and I think it will end up replacing the NEO U1 on this list. The Amlogic S912 chipset is a little rough around the edges right now because it just came out. All it needs is someone to develop the right firmware and it’ll be the next mainstream CPU.MINIX, as a company, are a class act.
They’re supportive with their customers and release regular firmware updates. You can’t go wrong with one of their TV boxes. I am trying to decide between the nvidia shield and the sky stream one cable cutter. I want to replace my cable and be able to get local stations too. It must have Amazon prime video, Netflix and hboGo on it and be easy to use. I would like it to have an HD quality on all the signals plus access to tons of movies and sports.
This will be my first box. My wife does not care for tech stuff and will want as easy as possible.
Do both of these products update the apps frequently? Are there any other boxes that might better fit my needs? Wilke, thanks for the recommendation. I looked at this unit and liked the specs, it also has a good looking case, but it is brand new without any reviews and living in Costa Rica I don’t want to take a chance on it and go through the trouble of getting a new one shipped to me if it fails.Not sure why I have not heard back from Tim.I want to let others on this site know that I called Sky Stream twice and left a brief message both times and I had return calls within 10 minutes, which amazed me. I am in Florida now and If Tim doesn’t respond to my questions with a different recommendation I will order a Sky Stream One to take with me when I return to Costa Rica this week.Vernon. Tim: Just wanted to say I have enjoyed your reviews a lot. I am 66 years old and never had an android box but after watching your review on the SkyStream 1 I’ve been really considering getting one.
I have a Roku 3 previous to that I had the 2 and they work very well for Netflix and Amazon and HBOgo but thats about it. If I get one the SkyStream looks like the one for me I also went to their website and FB. My friends that have been talking me into one are all retired programmers or something else to do with computers but I am not. The SS1 looks pretty easy to set up out of the box. Do you think the air mouse remote with the keyboard on the back is a good one or would I be better off for about the same price getting a full size logitech with a USB Dongle and also my internet since I live in the country is 20Mbps but I can upgrade to 40Mbps and thats it unless I go through a lot of expense to get cable internet a lot I have Dish.
They said there is a lot of bandwidth in this area which I also don’t understand but said I would get a steady 35-38Mbps. Think I would need to upgrade?
Roku works fine. Sorry didn’t mean for this to turn into a book but this stuff is confusing but interesting and I would like the Support included with the SS1. Thanks for the comment and the kind words. I appreciate it!I’ve been using the air-mouse features of my remotes less and less as time goes on. I think it’s because apps like Kodi, Plex and Netflix are designed to be used with a regular remote with a directional pad, or up/down/left/right arrows. There’s really not as much reason to use an airmouse with the most popular apps. Nowif you’re running an app thats designed for an android phone or tablet, then all bets are off and you’re going to need something to simulate the “swipe” on the screen.
I find myself using an with a trackpad when that happens.As far as your internet speed, you should be fine with 35-38Mbps. My internet speed is between 45-50Mbps and it’s overkill for my needs, except when I’m downloading files from a cloud server. For streaming, anything above 10-15Mbps is good enough for two concurrent streams in HD and a little extra for your other devices. I haven’t had a chance to try the KodiElement Element Ti8 yet, but it looks like a really good device from the specs.From what you want to watch, you’ll need to make a choice. Netflix, is really picky with what devices it lets run in HD and 4K. Similarly, Amazon and Google are fighting, so if you want Amazon Prime on the Shield TV, you’ll have to.All three boxes are some of the top options out there, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. It all depends what is most important to you.
The short answer is yes, the SkyStream One has the ability to watch live TV.Butthere’s much more to it than that, unfortunately. To be perfectly honest, EVERY Android box has that ability. So does your smartphone, PC, tablet and (yes) even your Apple TV.There are several different ways of doing it. You can get different addons through Kodi, which may or may not be legal in your country.
Personally, I like HDHomeRun and an HD antenna. I actually write a summary article for the tuners if you’d like to find out more. Hi Tim, I have started doing lots of research on android boxes, and I think I’m more confused than ever. Out of all the articles I’ve read, I find yours the most useful. I live in Canada. My main goal is to get Kodi, but I’m not sure what direction to go. I have the 4th gen Apple Tv, and thought I may install jodi on that.
Not sure if that’s a good idea. I think I should just by a fully loaded jodi box? Which one would you suggest? I would like to get free live tv with lots of live sports, including american channels. I would just like to watch Kodi on my tv. I need to know what device is the least expense but still great for downloading and watching Kodi without issues. I downloaded Kodi and set it up on my android phone and my tablet along time ago.
Now that I’m home more I want it on my tv. Unfortunately I have the world’s worst “Smart” tv as in it’s not smart at all. It’s a Hisense 42″ that says it’s smart but you can only use apps from it’s Opera store which is full of apps and movies no one on earth has heard of or cares to use. It has a Google browser but you still can’t download anything from it or even watch videos online like Watchseries32. Can someone help me out.
I would really appreciate it. PS this is the first flat screen I’ve ever had. I’m use to watching tv on my phone as I was never home before. I’m feeling clueless for a reasonably intelligent person. I have been reading the articles.
And streaming movies is easy. What’s a good box and set up for streaming live sports and live tv on kodi? Sports is always hit or miss for me. I either have a somewhat HD stream. Or glitchy sub par blocky stream. I have a 2g box with 2.3/5g wifi. I have it directly hard wired on my Ethernet.
And have broadband 150! So I want a box where I can stream any content without buffering and blocky issues. Movies and tv are easy with exodus on pretty much any half decent box.I’m looking forward to your response because I’d love to cut my cable completely and recommend it to others. But not until I find a reliable set up.Thx!! Hi Tim,I am looking really hard at the NVIDIA Shield 2017 but am not sure if it will function properly for me.
I am currently overseas in Germany and have heard many people say if the device isn’t “unlocked” it won’t work. I have no idea what this means. Is this a fact? Will I need to unlock it somehow or is that false? It would seem to me if I purchase a product directly from the manufacturer it should come ready to operate once plugged in and hooked up. Also, is this only because I’m in Germany and not the US, and will it work once I move back to the US. I’d appreciate any assistance or knowledge on the subject you can provide since my current understanding of this is very limited.Thank you,SJ.
This looks to be another box seller trying to overcharge for old tech. The box is $325 (on sale) and can’t stream 4K.They SAY “Our Android TV box is 100% legal! All our software does is provide links to content that is already posted on the internet. We do not host any content, nor do we know who does.
We do not promote illegal conduct of any kind.”Then my only question is why would anyone pay almost 3 times the going rate for streaming devices when they link to stuff that you could find for free anyway?Bottom line: This is another scam like. Save your money and get one of the boxes on this list. I own a few boxes the NVidia shield pro first gen great box but had issues with iptv, I also have the himedia q10 love this box for everything and I love the storage on this box my main unit is the egreat a10 it plays everything with no issues, and I also bought the skystream one for my parents as they are not techie plus at 149 not bad bad price plus they really have a great help desk for people to use, I am looking to buy a new box for my family room but still looking for something better then the egreat a 10. What do you think of StreamDaddy?
I purchased one two years ago for just under 300 bucks at a state fair. I did so because I knew people who had purchased one the year before and were still happy with it. Now, I have zero tech ability, and I don’t think the people I took advice from at the time do either.
The SD seems to have an active support department, as they are always upgrading and dumping old add-ons that don’t work, and there is a community of users and support folks that are always giving advice of where to find the most recent add-ons the box has to offer. As a user I don’t have to go find new add-ons all the time, they are just put on the box for me. I wouldn’t know an add-on or where to find one from Adam. Is it dumb for me to think I have paid 30 bucks for the box and 260 for the support for the last two years and counting?
Talk to me like I’m 4. (I don’t have cable or or over the air TV, only interent at 10mg and live in a rural area. I can barely figure out my wireless internet). Sorry this is a total noob question.a buddy of mine says go cheap and just buy a China box (ie a95x A1) and pay a third party to do the hard work for u (I assume updates etc). He pays $15 a month and says he doesn’t have to worry about anything.
2g Live Sports Tv
My question is, is it worth the money to pay for a nicer box (I know the answer to that to be honest) but will you still have to pay someone else to babysit the box for you? I see Rveal u can buy the box and service and not have to worry about it but is the price tag worth it? I imagine these boxes date themselves as fast as computers doWe are a live sports family living in Canada and just want to watch hockey games hah. What do u suggest. Thanks so much!! I’m not opposed to paying someone to keep the device updated.
After all, that’s basically what you’re doing when you take your car into the shop for an oil change. Just make sure that you feel like you’re getting a good value for the money. $15 per month sounds reasonable, as long as they’re keeping things running smoothly.You can get a good box without spending a ton of money. As much as I love my NVIDIA Shield, you don’t have to spend that much to get a great box. The new Fire TV gives it a run for the money in terms of picture quality (not for speed), and it’s less than half the price. You are right about the boxes getting dated quickly though. Normally I’d say that you get at most two years out a box unless you’re deliberately buying for the future.I feel you with watching hockey – Go Habs.
I actually don’t use an addon for my sports viewing. I have a subscription to Sling TV and get the NHL TV upgrade. $30 a month and it gets me most games including HNIC, which is hard to find in the States. What is the current (26-mar-2018) best advice re Android Box if one in Canada wants to:1.
Watch movies, nba, international basketball and championships, etc., that are of much, much higher quality than what one can find on ROKU 3 box (that one paid over $100 and got 0 i.e. ZERO in return. I mean is there anything worse than ROKU 3?! I cannot believe that I paid $110 for that piece of junk).No 4K so 4K is not the requirement. I’ve heard Netflix US is much better than Netflix Canada, so the requirement is Netflix US (should in that case Express router be a necessity?2. Continue with 1) for at least 3 years, hassle free3. Doing 1) and 2) completely free of charge (I mean if I have to pay, shouldn’t I then go back to ROBBERS and pay them like I did for DECADES, on contracts I COULD NOT cancel?).
When I first started with android boxes, I got the Matricom G-box q. It was ok, but required alot of resetting because it would hang. I now have a minix u1 and u9.
They both work well and I have no issues with either. No updates to u1 recently. One thing to note: most android boxes run a version of android os designed for phones, not tv’s. Android TV was meant to run on TV’s, so it doesn’t assume you have a touch screen, so apps work great with only the remote (having wireless keyboard still helps). With that in mind i purchased nvidia.
My biGGGGG issue with nvidia is very limited apps available on google play store. Couldnt get chrome and some apps required manual install of APK file.
Tunein radio app version on play store did not have a version that allow you to login so you could play favorite channels. So even though performance is there, make sure app store has and supports your media player. I am one of those suckers that bought the bulebox s4 from streamsmart and sorry to say I now have a paper weight.It totally disconnect the box from tvapp store where you have to go to get the update and of course it comes back no results. I called the 800 number(save your time) then told me the only thing I could do was buy another box at a discount.Hell no, turns out they refuse to even tell me how I could revive my box. Everyong stay away from streamstart now called stream station. Not happy at all.