Most of us want to cut the cable and still enjoy HD streaming video on our TV screen. The price of cable television has gotten way out of hand, and an Android TV box can cost less than a month subscription. Local commercial television, though now having great HD quality, just doesn’t appeal with its constant barrage of advertisements. This very demanding task thrown at any device can cause trouble, especially at one this small. Thankfully, mobile devices, TVs, and PCs now have the processing power to handle complex tasks such as streaming and displaying HD content. An Android TV box will let you do all of this and more, but what exactly is an Android TV box? What makes it so special and which one is best for you?
What is an Android TV box and what can you do with it?
Right away, you should note that no product named Android TV box exists on the market for purchase. On the contrary, this is a TV box that you can either create yourself or purchase as a preassembled (and often preloaded) product created by someone else. People specifically design these boxes to transform any TV into a Smart TV. With an Android TV box, you can access the web, stream nearly any type of video content you want—all without much restriction.
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Taking a few potential problems into consideration before using an Android TV box can save massive headaches down the road. This rings especially true when used to stream movies, TV shows, or sporting events that you haven’t purchased the rights to.
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Some applications, and even their add-ons, can keep content from you based upon where you are accessing it from. Called geo-blocking, many high-profile companies do this. The BBC iPlayer (both Android app and Kodi add-on) blocks anyone attempting to access their content from outside the UK. There are numerous professional sports apps and addons that geo-block when a team plays at home. This is primarily to force your attendance at the game; gotta sell those exorbitantly priced tickets somehow. A proper VPN will give you the appearance of accessing the internet from anywhere in the world you choose. If your team is playing in Ashburn, VA, you can appear to view from Bangladesh if you choose with IPVanish. With guaranteed anonymity and security along with their 7 day money back guarantee, you cannot go wrong.
How does an Android TV box work?
Essentially, people create an Android TV box with the following idea. load a small box with Android and the Google Play Store (or similar), then connect it to a TV. Once done, you typically give it access to the internet through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, depending on availability and needs.
With the box connected to the internet and transmitting to your television screen, you can install Apps. Obviously, this is all up to you, because each user will want an Android TV box for different needs. For example, some people will want to opt for YouTube streaming. Others will want to watch Twitch. Still more people will want to stream their favorite TV shows and movies with Netflix and Hulu, among others!
The Android Open Source Project allows OEMs to freely use Android on their devices. Of course, you’ll likely want to customize the box, but you’ll find that easy as installing Pokémon GO onto your phone.
What can the Android TV box do?
As we mentioned above, each user has their own set of needs. Primarily, people purchase an Android TV box because they just want to stream videos and watch movies on demand. Some users will simply want to have the full Android system on their TV. This gives them the ability to check the weather, create a quick document, or anything else done an Android. Once comfortable with the Android TV box features, it may occassionally replace your phone or desktop computer.
What type of set-ups are there?
Most of the time, the Android TV box will come in the form of a small customized box. It’ll use a system similar to Raspberry Pi or another micro hardware tool with the ability to stream content. Hardware differs, but will typically handle an operating system and installation of a few streaming software solutions. They don’t often come with much headroom.
Many Android TV boxes have media center software such as Terrarium TV, Plex or Kodi installed for this reason. This helps you create your own HTPC with little to no effort, then you’re customize it to suit you.
As for Android TV boxes themselves, they tend to have various shapes, formats, and sizes. The price will also differ, based on the processing power, available memory, graphics chips, and many other factors. All of these things can add up to the total price, so you have to take them into consideration. The Android TV box models do tend to have one or more of the aforementioned streaming softwares pre-installed.
Many people really want (or need) to have everything ready to go when plugging in this type of tool. Marketers recognize this fear of tech and make a wide range of products including everything you could want in televised entertainment.
However, one of the challenges here is that some Android TV boxes don’t have the best build quality. That’s why you need to opt for a durable one, especially if using it as a portable streaming solution.
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Overall, it’s not hard to find an Android TV box to meet your needs if you take your time and shop around. Just remember that you need to study the overall features, pre-installed software, and so on. Finding the best Android TV box to fit your needs should come down to convenience, hardware, software and overall price. If everything works out, then you should have no problem getting the results that you want from such a unit. Focus on convenience first, then take your time studying each Android TV box you come across. You should quickly find the one that suits your needs!
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