What Android TV Box really is ? its simply a TV Box built mainly for streaming media to TV device and it can turn your normal TV into a smart TV. Android TV Box also called as Kodi Box, Stream Box, Android Stick and OTT Box. It always comes with streaming apps like Kodi or XBMC and some additional streaming plugins and add-ons. Andorid TV Box allows you to stream any movie or TV channel to your TV. The beauty of Android TV Boxes is that it not only provide you with streaming box to your TV but also allow you to download many apps and games and enjoy them on your TV screen. Mainly people use Android TV box device to de-attach their expensive cable or satellite TV subscription and save hundreds of dollars each month without loosing access to their favorite channels and TV shows.
The Streaming Box devices depend on the internet to stream media to your TV, so if you have good internet connection with enough quota then you will be very happy with your streaming Box. from our experience a 4 Mbps connection is more than enough to make you enjoy all your favorite channels and media.
There are many Android TV Box devices out there with different price tags and different capabilities, this variety of choices will make you confused about which device you should pick. therefore we compiled this list of the Best Android TV Box in 2017 to help you make your choice easy.
In the TV streaming technology there are many terms that can confuse anyone who is new to this market. So to make your life easy while you are searching for the right device to buy for your home media streaming problems we will explain these terms and names first.
What is Kodi? Kodi is an open source streaming application that can work on different OS and is designed and built for home media entertainment. It was originally created for Xbox and was called XBMC or Xbox Media Center, then it evolves to work on different other platforms from PC to Android.
Kodi app can turn your PC, Android Phone or tablet into set-top box and allow you to stream any files and media from the internet. There are plenty of Kodi plugins made by Kodi community to allow you to stream different TV channels and live streams, you can also use it as media player and play files from your device storage.
While Android TV Box is mainly a device that runs android OS and you can install any application from google play store on it, its mainly depend on Kodi application for the media streaming and to turn your TV into media center with Kodi. still there are other streaming options on the Android TV box beside using Kodi app.
Another well known name that you will hear when asking for TV streaming solution is Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV stick, Amazon fire runs android same as android tv box but still it is not defined as Android TV box as amazon fire only allow you to use the preinstalled applications or download new apps from Amazon store only. Still there are workarounds that you can do to install applications that are not listed on amazon store like Kodi application.
Top Best Android TV Box in 2017
1. Amazon Fire TV
While Amazon Fire TV is not officially promoted as Android TV Box, still Amazon fire TV have the same functionality of android TV Box and runs android OS with custom amazon interface that is well designed and easy to use. The amazon Fire TV is one of the best devices to buy if you are looking for a solid TV streaming solution that support Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.
Amazon Fire TV support Full HD streaming as well as 4K streaming, It also integrate with alexa echo and you can do a voice search from alexa echo to find your favorite movies and files.
Fire TV is very easy to setup and play, the plug and play experience of the Fire TV is the most amazing experience among all other Android TV Box devices.
Amazon Fire TV is not only for media streaming but also you enjoy playing android games and run different apps. Fire TV allow you to download games and apps from amazon app store but still you can sideload apps from different sources.
Amazon Fire TV 2nd Generation Specs:
2. Amazon Fire TV Stick
Working like Amazon Fire TV but with limited functionality and features the Fire TV Stick is a good solution if your looking for a simple media streaming device with easy to use and reliable performance. Amazon fire TV stick comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage but lacks the expandable storage features that comes with the Fire TV. Bluetooth remote control is included. Fire TV stick runs with the same User interface as the Fire TV and still have a great streaming performance but with no support for 4K streaming.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Specs:
3. NVIDIA shield With Controller
NVIDIA Shield has proven that its the best Streaming box and best Kodi box since it is introduced to the market by nVIDIA. its not only a set top box for streaming but also it can be counted as gaming console. you can play android games on NVIDIA shield and enjoy the android games on your wide TV screen. The Box also come with gaming controller to provide you with the best gaming experience. Its a full home entertainment solution for all the family.
NVIDIA Shield Design:
The Android NVIDIA Shield box designed in a elegant black look that will blend with your home TV setup and look. The device have many different ports, it comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports and a micro-USB port to gives you all the connection options. it also have Ethernet connection, microSD card Slot and HDMI output.
The NVIDIA Shield have the best performance among all other Android TV Boxes that we tested. it gives you a very decent user experience in terms of gaming performance and streaming media. it is powered by NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor and have 3 GB of RAM that secure the best performance among all other Streaming Boxes. With 16 GB storage you can install all applications and games that you like with the ability to use the extra microSD to extend this storage.
we tested the NVIDIA Shield performance with games like Modern Combat 5, Marvel Heroes and SkyForce, it was great gaming experience. and the big thing here is that it support 4k resolution which is a great advantage of NVIDIA box.
And here is a video review with unboxing the NVIDIA box
4. Razer Forge TV
Razer Forge TV beside its capability to stream movies and media to your TV screen, it was originally built to bring android games and gaming experience to the big screen of your TV. Quality graphics and gaming controls will provide you and your family with the best fun experience in the living room. Razer Forge TV have the ability to connect up to four gaming controllers to make you enjoy the multi-player gaming with your friends and family.
Razer Forge TV Design:
The device built into a sleek and compact design with black covering featuring a silent thermal solution. The device contains one USB 3.0 port, HDMI output and Ethernet port. It also support WIFI connection and Bluetooth.
Razer Forge Performance:
The device is powered by a Qualcomm snapdragon 805 quad core processor with great graphics capabilities, its performance is designed to serve Full HD gaming and media. Razer Forge is equipped with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage.
The device also come equipped with good collection of apps to stream and watch your favorite movies and TV shows.
5. Coolead Q-Box 4K
Coolead Q-Box is one of the best Android TV available in the market, it support 4k resolutions and has a variety of connections options like WIFI, Bluetooth and Ethernet. It comes with kodi addons pre-installed. Normally all Android TV box devices comes with TV remote controller but Coolead Qbox additionally comes with wireless compact keyboard that allow you to type and search very easily on the console.
There nothing more to say about Coolead Qbox design it has an elegant black design with the normal input connections and HDMI output.
Coolead Qbox performance:
despite the moderate price of the Coolead Qbox it has a very good specs to provide you with smooth apps and streaming performance. it comes with Quad Core S905 CPU paired with the powerful Mali-450, 5-Core GPU, 3D GPU Graphics Processor. The device also contains 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. beside the usual remote control it comes with mini keyboard for easier usage of internet browsing and gaming.
6. CX919 Android Stick
For a lightweight and cheaper option, you can go with Android Stick. Despite its small size the CX919 Android stick shipped with 2GB RAM and quad core CPU and Android 4.2.2 version. the stick measures 4×0.43×1.85 inches which will not be seen when plugged to your TV USB. An important note when you look at this device, don’t let its small size trick you , as this Android stick can provide you with all that you want for an OTT Box or Android TV Box.
Design and Performance:
The Stick is compact and you need to be careful when you plug it as it feels fragile. It also contains an antenna for better wireless signal. the Android TV stick comes with HDMI output , USB and mini USB for power. It also contains micro-SD for external storage.The stick contains 1.6GHz quad core RK3188 processor. This processor combined with the 1GB RAM make it possible to play games.
If you are looking for TV streaming box or gaming console for your living room TV, then one of the above devices will suite your needs and will provide you with great gaming and streaming experience and lot of fun.