Nobody want to waste time and money on a wrong choice. If I want to buy an Android set-top box, what needs to be considered? Here I simply list some points.
1. Do I Really Need An Android TV box?
If you already have or are about to buy a Android-based smart TV, you don’t have to buy an Android TV box, because these TV brand will work with mainstream applications suppliers and and pre-install these popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, etc. And you can also install any third-party Apps in smart TV like a Android TV box.
2. Price Budget
If you are not short of money, I will directly recommend you to get Amazon fire tv / stick, NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Roku or Apple TV. Because their product quality and supporting services they provide are optimal and will not bring you much trouble. The only problem may be their higher price.
Currently, the mainstream chips used in TV boxes come from Amlogic, Rockchip and Allwinnder. Even though Rockchip and Allwinner performance parameters look better than Amlogic at the same price, the most Android TV boxes are equipped with Amlogic, because reliability is definitely more important.
RAM determines the running speed, so many people thought that the larger the RAM, the smoother TV box should be, but it’s a misunderstanding. For current Android system, 4GB and larger RAM is just idle. Currently, It’s certain that 1GB is not enough, more than 4GB is wasteful. Recommended affordable options are 2GB and 3GB RAM.
Inner storage capacity is also a costly part. For most Android TV boxes, the main function is for streaming, few files need to be stored in TV box, so we don’t need large storage space, 16GB or 32GB is enough.
4K TV box will not be regretted if you have a 4K TV. Just make sure both Android TV box and TV support 4K 60Hz, because many products that claim to support 4K actually only support 4K 30Hz, it’s basically useless.
I have been bored with the entangled network cable and even installed a wireless network card on my desktop computer. So please make sure you’ve got at least 802.11 ac wifi, because the speed of the wireless network directly determines the buffer time when you watch streaming content.
PS: In general, Android boxes that support 802.11ac wifi support Gigabit Ethernet, which is a good situation if you might use a network cable.
8. HDMI 2.0
If you need 4K 60Hz content, TV box must be equipped with HDMI 2.0a or HDMI 2.0b port, the older HDMI 1.4 can only support 4K 30Hz video content, if you only need 1080P, HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.3 port will be enough.
9. KODI and Add-ons
If you are familiar with Kodi (XBMC), you must know that the add-ons will be updated frequently. No one want to waste too much time in looking for the newer version and updating it manually, it’s better if your Android TV box support one-click update service for Kodi Add-ons, but this seems to be a complex task for suppliers, so recommend to refer to this post: https://www.tvaddons.co/kodi-addons/
10. Perfectly Run Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Not?
Almost all Android TV boxes with current hardware configuration can run these apps smoothly, but most of them are limited to watch and operate by copyright issues. So please be sure the TV box you want run these apps perfectly, more than just supporting the installation of these programs.
11. System Online Upgrade
If you don’t want to waste a week to contact the seller to get a stable system and then manully repair it with a very low success rate, please make sure the Android TV box support OTA update and make sure that the online upgrade is valid and will be updated regularly, not just a useless icon.
It’s best if the supplier has a complete and professional technical support, which can indirectly determine the strength of the brand and the quality of the product.