Android TV Box Sales and Service - Belleville - Kingston - Napanee - Picton - Quinte West

 What is an Android TV box? What can they do? It turns out, this part of the question is actually very simple. An Android TV box is simply a TV box running the Android operating system. This is the same operating system as the one running on your smartphone, tablet and millions of other devices throughout the world. Sometimes it’s a slightly older version like KitKat (Android 4.4) or Lollipop (Android 5) but most now run Android 5.1 or 6.0. If you know how to use your tablet or smartphone, you can usually run most (if not all) of those apps on an Android TV box. What’s the difference between an Android box and a Roku or Apple TV? You’ve probably heard a lot of different terminology being thrown around different sites, forums and Facebook groups: Streaming media device, TV box, IPTV box, set top boxes, media streamer, HTPC, Kodi box, and my personal favorite the Android TV box. They’re all basically the same type of device – something that gets content from your home network or the Internet to your television. If you’re new to streaming devices and TV boxes, then this is the place to start

Why so many different names?

 

In Canada, these devices are normally called Streaming devices or Streaming Media players. Sometimes, they’re mistakenly called Roku boxes. Let me give you an example of something similar. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you call that sugary, carbonated beverage Pop, Soda or even Coke (even when it’s not Coke). So, unless it’s actually a Roku that you’re talking about, please don’t call it a Roku box. It can create confusion for you and the person who you’re talking to.

 

In Europe, they’re generally called Kodi boxes due to the popularity of installing Kodi and some of the streaming addons that are available. They can also be called IPTV boxes because it’s much easier to find an Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) service on that side of the Atlantic than here in the US. To put it simply, IPTV is a way to get live TV over the Internet.



What makes it an Android TV box?

 

So what makes it an Android box?

 

Different companies can create different skins or launchers to give it a customized look and feel. Generally they’re trying to make it easier to use from your living room couch, or have it look more like Netflix, which makes sense. Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming service, so imitating their interface makes it easier for new users to familiarize themselves with their new TV box.

Since Android is an incredibly customizable operating system, if you don’t like the launcher that came with your device, in most cases, you can simply add a new one and start using that launcher instead.

 

There’s one important thing to remember here, though:

 

There is a big difference between Android TV and an Android TV box.

 

Wait…what?

 

Android TV vs TV box

 

At the I/O conference in 2014, Google launched Android TV. It’s a system that organizes your content into one platform for easy organization and searching – including Google’s own voice search functionality.

 

If that sounds familiar, it should.

 

Android TV is Google’s attempt to run your media hub. We’ve seen similar efforts over the years from Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (Playstation and connected blu-ray players), Roku, Amazon, Apple, and the list goes on and on. Android TV is the second attempt from Google in this space from Google – the third if you count the Chromecast. Google TV, which was their first attempt at ruling your living room, but never really caught on.

 

The difference between Android TV and an Android TV box, lies in the operating system itself. Android TV is a special version of the core Android OS. Android TV can’t run every app, at least not without rooting your device. But, the apps that it can run are specifically designed to be run on your television rather than a touchscreen.

 

Why is that important?

 

Well, lets use Netflix as an example. If you’ve used Netflix on your smartphone or tablet, then you’ll remember swiping up and down to scroll through the list of genres. Once you found what kind of movie you’re looking for, you can swipe left or right to see what’s in that genre.

So, the Netflix Android TV app was built from the ground up to use the remote control rather than a touchscreen. It’s the same for every other Android app.

There’s usually only one question left by this point: What should I buy?

Well, that depends on you.

Streaming devices like the Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV are great. I have nothing against them and they’re extremely easy to use. I gave my eighty-year-old mother a Roku 3 and she was able to learn how to use it in a few minutes. Does it do everything that my T95M does? Absolutely not. Can it run every app like my MXQ PRO Android box can? Nope.

 

 

 



Android TV boxes are here to stay and are a nice fit into any home entertainment center.

Android smartphone users will have no problem quickly moving about the interface and finding what they want. As with any computer those that are new may have a slight learning curve as to how things work.

 

Most all units are different and will have different features and hardware. Most dont come with much internal hard drive space and use micro-SD cards or flash drives to give more storage space.

Some high-end units give large internal hard drives which of course will cost more.

Low-end units are popular since they are cheap and a nice place for many to feel comfortable starting with.

If you have some knowledge of android based systems than using a low-end box will likley be fine.

Reading reviews and watching YouTube videos on the different Android units available is best to see which one would fit your skill and home setup.

Also keep in mind the wireless the box offers. Streaming video over WiFi can be challenging at times even with good equipment. Running a wired Ethernet cable is always best but sometimes not feasible. If you do need to use WiFi be sure to read how well it streams video content over a wireless setup.

 

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