Android TV boxes are a great way to get all your favorite streaming content in one place. With just a few clicks, you can be watching your favorite show or movie on a big screen TV. But with so many different boxes on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. That's why we've put together this Android TV box buying guide. We'll help you figure out which features are important to you and show you some of the best boxes on the market.
Things to Consider
When you’re shopping for an Android TV box, you need to take into account a few different factors. The most important specification to consider is the chipset. The chipset is what determines a box’s processing power, and as such, is one of the most important considerations when purchasing an Android TV box. Other specs to look for include the number of USB ports, the type of WiFi connection, and the amount of internal storage. It’s also important to decide which operating system you want your box to run on. Android boxes come with either Android 5.1 (Lollipop) or Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) pre-installed. Finally, it’s important to consider the price and ensure that you’re getting good value for your money.
Android TV boxes run on a dedicated operating system. This OS is just like the one that runs your smartphone, except it's specifically designed for TV boxes. While you might not think much of the OS when you're buying a TV box, it's actually very important. The OS is responsible for the look and feel of the user interface, as well as the app lineup. But it does much more than that. The OS also affects the performance of your TV box. For example, it determines how much memory is available to apps, and how well apps can take advantage of OpenGL graphics support.
While not all Android TV boxes come with audio passthrough, the feature is frequently found in KODI boxes due to its versatility. Some TV boxes even have 5.1 audio passthrough, which is great for those who want the best possible sound quality. If you're someone who enjoys watching movies and TV shows with impeccable sound quality, then be sure to keep an eye out for this feature when shopping for an Android TV box.
Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching
If you're shopping for an Android TV box, you'll want to be aware of the term "dynamic refresh rate." Dynamic Refresh Rate is another technical term you may or may not be familiar with. This refers to how quickly your TV or computer processes and projects what you’re viewing. A faster refresh rate is always better, because it means that you won’t see any blurring or ghosting in action scenes or gaming. The downside is that usually, the faster the refresh rate, the higher the price tag. 60Hz is considered to be ideal, because at that refresh rate, the human eye can no longer detect blinking, or how fast the computer redraws the images.
HDMI, Ports and WiFi
For the sake of economy, I’m lumping a variety of important ports together in one category, such as HDMI, Ethernet and USB. While these ports have little in common with one another, they are all very important to your TV box. Easily the most important of these ports is your HDMI port. This is the port that will output your video to your TV. Make sure you have a good quality HDMI cable to get the best possible picture. Ethernet is important if you plan on using your TV box as a streaming device and don’t have WiFi. Most TV boxes come with a standard USB port, which can be used for a variety of things such as expanding the storage space on your device or connecting a keyboard or mouse.
KODI is an open source software program that lets you stream content from the internet to your TV. Think of KODI as what OpenOffice is to productivity software or what Mozilla is to internet browsers. Because KODI is open source, it can be installed on almost any TV box. With KODI, you have access to a comprehensive program that can function on your phone, tablet, TV or other electronic device, including NAS (Network Attached Storage). In effect, KODI is a media hub that compiles all of your media entertainment into a single, easy-to-use program. And because it’s open source, it can be customized almost endlessly to your preferences.
Making a decision to purchase an Android TV Box can be difficult with the huge range of boxes on the market. By considering the key features and factors before you make your purchase, you can ensure you find the perfect box for your needs. Our Android TV Box buying guide will help you to understand the different aspects of each box and make an informed decision about which one is perfect for you.
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