Buying an Android TV box is an absolute minefield. Chances are you’ve ended up here because you either know what an Android TV box is and want some buying advice, or you’ve been advised by others that an Android TV box is the solution to your streaming problems but have no idea what one is. If it’s the latter, I have some bad news: no-one really knows what an Android TV box is – there’s no general definition for these streaming boxes, and it appears that some don’t even run Android TV.
Confused? You should be: the Android TV box market is a confusing place. However, with our guide, you can safely navigate your way to the best Android TV box.
If you don’t know what an Android TV box is, it’s a small set-top box – about the size of an Apple TV – that runs on Google’s Android operating system, or a re-skinned version of it. This means it’s an incredibly flexible device that allows you to stream content to your TV over the internet or from local storage on the device.
These Android TV boxes come in various guises but many of them market themselves as Kodi or XBMC devices. If you decide to brave the wildlands of eBay, you’ll find many devices calling themselves Android TV boxes, claiming to come “unlocked” or preloaded with hundreds of channels and free content. Resist temptation – these devices are technically illegal.
This is where Android TV boxes start to venture into strange legal territory. To get the functionality many of you are hoping for, the easiest route is to purchase one of these legally grey devices. However, the Kodi platform isn’t actually illegal to use – the way you decide to acquire the content to stream could be – and you’re better off buying an off-the-shelf streaming box and installing Kodi onto it yourself if you want to stay on the right side of the law.