Kodi is the best piece of software used for streaming content to your television. Kodi was previously known as XMBC. It is an intelligent, open source software allowing us to stream video and music files over the local network also can install plug-ins to stream from a broad range of services listing from Amazon Prime Instant Video, Spotify and Youtube.
Best Android TV Boxes
With the handy guide installation on the Kodi is made easy, from low-powered Linux machines to Android set top boxes which are capable of outputting at 4K resolutions.The only downside of this software is that Kodi doesn’t have a box of its own for the software.
There are boxes available in the market which has Kodi pre-installed on them. With a huge range of choices, we have listed the best android tv boxes below.
1. Nvidia Shield – Best Android TV Streaming Boxes
As one of the first 4K-capable Android TV box, the Nvidia Shield has much to live up to in terms of anticipations. It was the first streaming device which is capable of managing Ultra HD video streams from the major services. It has the ability to link with a 4K-capable TV present in your living room and offers you UHD movies and shows, that too in rich 3840 x 2160 resolution from the likes of HBO, YouTube or Netflix now.
Some of its current Android TV-based rivals like Mi Box or the Fire TV could boast of this. You will need to figure out a few things if you are looking into Android TV and are considering the Shield. Firstly, you will have to check whether Nvidia’s Grid streaming services for games will make sense for you. You would also require a 4K-ready TV, an up-to-date model.
After you have gone through the current catalogue at NVidia if you still feel positive about the idea, it is better that you check with those who are already using one. One great source of information is online forums for mobile users, particularly on what can be supposed in setting up as well as updating a unit. You may find the Shield worth its relatively high price if this box fits the needs of many and you happen to like those games.
The Nvidia Shield runs Android TV as an operating system and because of that reason Kodi can be easily installed from the Google Play store, and Nvidia has officially sanctioned its use.
Nvidia’s only downside is its price point. Just like the most costly device on our list, it’s hard to sell. Shield TV could be the perfect fit if you are also in the market for a games console. For the money, you are getting a powerful streaming box including enough horsepower for a range of other applications
- With the Tegra X1 processor, Nvidia is one of the most powerful machines and it is more capable of streaming videos at 4K resolutions.
- The other benefits of the box are media experience with graphically intensive skin, and this is a system which can be used to play and stream games.
- The operating system for Nvidia is Andriod TV and Kodi can be installed from Google Play Store and is officially sanctioned by Nvidia.
- The price is relatively high, starting from $200 and its expensive from the available boxes in the market. But for this money you are getting a powerful streaming box with high horsepower which is used for wide range of applications.
2. Amazon Fire TV – Most Popular Streaming Box
Amazon has updated its Fire TV set-top-box in 2015 including some key new features after the enormous success with its 2014 model.
More like the Fire OS and Amazon’s tablets it is built on an Android base and got a brand new operating system update recently which makes it more simple to find as well as viewing content despite the source. It should especially be pointed out that the advanced versions of the game and remote controller now get connected via Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth and hence have lower latency.
With Amazon Prime Music built prominently into the menu system, the Fire TV devices are focused heavily on Amazon Prime content. Lots of other content services accessible through Fire TV individual apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus. Apart from all this, the huge advantage of Fire TV is having all of your Prime content immediately at your fingertips.
This miniature square box is deceivingly powerful. It is capable of streaming TV programmes as well as movies through broadband and also has apps for BBC iPlayer and other catch-up channels, Curzon Home Cinema and Sky News. If you have subscribed to it, you could enjoy Netflix which has a huge load of content. In order to get the best out of this box, subscribe to Amazon Prime as it offers lots of shows and movies with various high-quality originals. If you possess a compatible TV, it is capable of 4K Ultra HD transmissions as well. The remote control comes with a microphone to help you in searching for movies and shows using your voice. It is very handy and works flawlessly. It hears everything because the microphone is on the remote.
- The enormously popular streaming device, Amazon Fire TV offers 4K streaming. The 2GHz quad processor makes its snappy and responsive device.
- This box is available at Amazon for $100. FireTV is exclusive to Amazon marketplace for app installation. To install Kodi, we can perform Sideloading, by which we can install it without downloading directly from the Google Play Store.
- 4K support means the Fire TV is scalable to 4K television which helps you to watch Ultra HD videos (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps. To enjoy these features, you need to have a compatible TV with an HDMI 2.0 port which supports HDCP 2.2 along with a very fast internet connection.
- The Fire TV allows you to install apps and play games using the bundled remote or the optional game controller. The setting up is so easy as you need to connect to wifi or ethernet cable and enter your password along with Amazon email address.
- The Fire TV is an excellent set-top box which is robust and well designed.
3. Cubox i2 – Cheapest Android TV Streaming Box
If you are the type of person who considers having Kodi pre-installed is a major selling point, then I assure you that you could do a great deal worse than take a look at the Cubox. But if you are willing to spend a little more money, you would obtain a much more powerful machine and that too with only a marginally more involved setup process.
The Cubox i2 has got a couple of strong arguments in favour. It is darn cheap, coming in at only $90 and also it comes with Kodi pre-installed for minimising the amount of time required for setting up the device.
You are going to love the Cubox i2 if ease of use is important to you. Kodi is installed on the box right out of the gate, unlike many of the other boxes on this list. You will be able to start using Kodi as soon as you get this streaming box set up. This box isn’t just a handy streaming device, and also it is an affordable streaming device.
Because this box only uses a 1GHz dual core processor, it isn’t the best choice for people that are interested in 4K streaming. However, if you are going to be streaming content on a regular HD TV, this box should provide you with everything that you need.
It is most certainly an impressive mini PC. The CuBox-i offer a lot of flexibility. It does excel at running kodi, and its support for Linux and Android is excellent. With that all being said, if you compare it to others on the list of top rated kodi streaming boxes, the Cubox’s 1GHz dual core processor is low-powered. Also, it does not support 4K playback, and it is not made available outside the US.
We can agree on the note that, the CuBox TV is probably not a great holiday gift to your less tech-savvy family members and friends. But this could be worth a look if you would rather botch than to trust on often-unreliable streaming companies for your apps.
- It box comes with a price tag that fit in common man pocket. CuBox-i can be used your office as well as home use.Cubox comes with pre-installed Kodi to minimise the time in setting up the device. Amazon cost this device $90 and it’s cheap when compared to other boxes along with the features.
- Cubox has 1 GHz dual core processor of DRAM and doesn’t support 4K and currently not available outside the United States.
- The packing box contains CuBox i2, a Power Adapter ( 110V / 220V ) , an 8GB Micro SD Class 10 card preloaded with Kodi and an optional IR remote control.CuBox-i has a low carbon footprint and is extremely power efficient, working silently with no moving parts. CuBox-i is entirely flexible and can be installed with different OS like Android or Linux, Python, Perl, compilers, IDEs, and media player.
4. CompuLab Utilite – Powerful Streaming Box
It is a multi-purpose ARM-based mini-computer which has the ability to run on kodi on Linux or Kodi on Android and both making use of firmware images presented by the CompuLab development team as well as the third parties out of which many comes with pre-installed Kodi.
Its hardware is built around the scalable and the open source friendly Freescale i.MX6 family of SoC with 2D/3D hardware graphics processing unit, video decoding, encoding acceleration hardware, HDMI 1.4 1080p 3D output support and with ARM Cortex-A9 processors.
The CompuLab Utilite is surely not lacking in the power department, unlike the Cubox. Its 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 is powerful enough for meeting most of the streaming needs. This is the reason why the 4K playback isn’t supported on such a powerful device.
For installing a Kodi-flavored Linux distribution, you will need to jump operating systems instead of installing the traditional Android version Kodi on this machine.
At this price and that too without 4K playback, the Utility probably doesn’t deserve your purchase and this in itself isn’t particularly tricky.
- CompuLab has 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 which is powerful enough for most streaming needs. Even if it’s a powerful device, 4 CompuLab doesn’t support 4K.
- It is available in the market with $192. Delivering high performance and productive Input/Output, Utility supports fully featured, desktop-grade Ubuntu Linux or Android operating systems.
- The connectivity can be through WIFI, Ethernet or by using a cellular modem support. This is flavoured with Linux platform.
5. Gem Box – Best Budget Android Streaming Box
We next have the Gem Box, On the theme of highly powered devices without 4K playback. Compared with the utility’s, its price is significantly lower. It’s Android configuration is what makes installing Kodi a breeze. The Nexus Player doesn’t support 4K playback, despite a moderately powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor.
If you are not the type of person who gets disturbed by the lack of pixels and you don’t mind Full HD playback, then the Gem Box’s easy Kodi installation and ample gaming options which cover streaming over both Game Fly and the steam link might actually make this your favourite droid.
The Gem Box is perfect for those who like to play light Android games on a stream PC titles or Tv to the big screen. It is wonderful to have a compact streaming and low-cost Android TV box. It comes with an Aptoide which is an alternative to Google Play and also a fully so supported Kodi and its many builds, hence it is easy to install and accessing the Kodi content is a breeze.
Do not trust those 3.5 stars you see for the GEM Box on Amazon. The PCMag has rated this device a lowly 2 and described the Gem box as underwhelming, underwhelming as well as underpowered. Let me tell you that this description has been verified by multiple user reviews and criticisms across different forum posts.
At this time of writing, the device has 20 reviews on Amazon. You can be mostly sure that bulk of positive reviews comes from people who work for the company in producing this device or may be those who were paid to write positive reviews or they might have been offered a device in exchange for a good review. On Amazon, this is one common practice from the part of non-name brand electronics dealers, so it will be better that you are cautious of clicking buy on this one.
The Gem Box’s only downside is its slightly fiddly interface of the app because not all Android apps play fair with the GEM Box controller. If you fancy splashing an extra £30 on the optional remote this is easily solved, but the thing is, you should be fine.
- The GEM Box console is used to stream your collection of games from your PC to your TV and to turn television into a Smart TV. Despite having moderately powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor, the Nexus Player doesn’t support 4K playback.
- If you are not looking for full HD playback, GemBox is a good option. The cost for GemBox is $99 available in Amazon.
- It provides ample streaming options with arcade quality video games with GameFly streaming. You can plug in the microSD card or USB memory device into your GEM Box console helps you to view photos, play music and watch videos on your TV.
- This box comes with a connectivity of WIFI, Bluetooth and Ethernet cable. Kodi can be easily installed in GemBox.
6. Raspberry Pi 3 – Most Recommended Android Streaming Box
It is one of the most recommended Android Streaming boxes. The latest Raspberry Pi 3 quad core 1 GB of Ram carry out a much better job of running kodi.
This recommendation does come with a caution: Well, depends, if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty shouldn’t probably go for this, instead try moving on to the next model. No one has ever dared to caption the Raspberry Pi 3, an easy-to-use device.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is a device meant for hobbyists because it is simple and plain. You are in for one great deal if you are into the whole DIY scene. But let me remind you again, the actual box not included.
It is low-powered in an underwhelming way as all it has to offer is just a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU. The installation of Kodi is managed by making use of a Kodi/Linux hybrid once again. It does not support 4K, and it doesn’t even come with a case in its stock configuration.You, literally, just get the circuit board.
Basically, The Raspberry Pi is designed to be used as a basic tool for getting people coding which implies that the installation of Kodi on it will take a heap of effort and your time.
- The third generation Raspberry Pi has a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU, 802.11n Wireless LAN, and Bluetooth Low Energy and it’s developed in the UK.
- This box is recommended to use in low power and suitable for schools or any general use. The credit/debut-card sized device is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, like MS office and playing high-definition video and games.
- There’s no power button and the PI will boot as the power is on and simply shut down once turned off.
- The USB ports can output up to 1.2A enabling you to connect more power USB device. This device has improved power management and supports powerful external USB devices and comes with built-in wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Installing Kodi on Raspberry requires more time and effort.
- Raspberry Pi3 is available in market at $35.99 with Amazon. It doesn’t come with a case, and you can install Kodi on a Linux hybrid and doesn’t support 4K.
7. Razer Forge TV – Best Gaming Console in 2017
Razer revealed its own new game console at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show. A tiny Android TV set-top box of $100 which assures playing Android games and also for streaming games from the desktop gaming computers. It was named as the Forge TV and it was supposed to be launched along with the Razer Turret which comes with an innovative mouse and keyboard crafted to be used on your lap by making use of a magnetic mouse surface for keeping the mouse from sliding.
The Forge Tv was launched in June and that too with no Pc gaming streaming, no Netflix support and no lapboard. The Forge TV was stopped being offered by the Google on its store soon after its launch and also it accumulated so many poor reviews on Amazon just before it disappeared entirely.
Razer is never scared to branch out into new territory, consider its sound bar, the Razer Leviathan.
There isn’t much surprising about Forge TV at face value.
The Forge Tv is crafted eye-catching and green, sleek; the definite traits of a Razer device.
The goal of Razer’s with the Forge TV is building a uniquely awesome ecosystem encompassing a relatively basic entertainment hub. The Sabertooth Bluetooth controller for Xbox is changed by the company and adapted it into the Serval gamepad. Even though it is designed for Android, it does work for a wide range of platforms such as Steam Boxes, and it also comes with a clip which will let you connect your phone to its top and help in converting it into some kind of makeshift Nvidia Shield device.
The Forge TV is barely distinguishable from the typical Android smartphone’s specs with an Adreno 420 GPU, 16GB of onboard storage and 2GB of RAM. The device is unimpressive at its base price of $99.99. As you don’t even get a physical remote control and are forced to trust on the Android app to control streaming to the box.
- Forge TV is a hard-core gaming and entertainment console to the big home screen. Forge TV has a sleek, eye-catching and green with the traits of a Razer device.
- This device has great gaming hardware with 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and gaming-grade graphics; the Razer Forge TV has the beatable performance on Full HD games and media. Available in the market with $100, Razer Forge
- TV is cheap, and Kobi installation is much simple.
- The only drawback for Razer Forge TV is that it doesn’t support 4K.
8. WeTek Core – Best Kodi Streaming Box (Movies, TV Shows)
The WeTek Core is born to be the Best Streaming Device. For watching movies, Tv shows and IPTV as you relax on your sofa, the WeTek Core is the probably the best streaming device you can get. This box provides all the entertainment you are looking for from a 2GHz Quad-core processor to 4K Support and 8-bit H265.
It is the best with plug-and-play with no fuss, Kodi content onto your TV in minutes box we have seen. It does come with pre-installed Kodi. It is pretty powerful with the 2GHz quad-core processor, and also it supports 4K. You should get this if you are looking for the simplest plug-and-play Kodi streamer available in the UK.
You shouldn’t have any trouble with this machine as it is even got Kodi pre-installed. You could plug it in and watch straight away.
It is also discouraging to see that the WeTek Core only supports Wi-Fi up to 802.11n rather than the newer 802.11ac, well, not that it really matters. You are going to want to hardwire it into your network by making use of the gigabit ethernet port anyway for best results streaming 4K.
You could use dual load OpenELEC and Android on this device. It’s easily usable for Kodi users as it runs on an Android TV OS. Its video quality is excellent too.
With that being said, constant negative reviews do exist for this device. A noticeable number of users have complained about the significant amount of stuttering on that end. Well, on the flip side, another user labelled it as one of the best Android box[es] on the market. So it is fair to believe a bit of both. You could believe you will get a good experience out of this one based on user experiences and specs. It might be worth the price for hardcore Kodi users at just over $100. You won’t be able to find this one on Amazon or any other 3rd-party dealer, so you will have to buy it directly from WeTek.
- WeTek Core is the best streaming device you can have to watch IPTV, Movies and TV Shows. It’s is the best Kodi streaming box. This box can provide you all the entertainment with a 2GHz Quad-core processor, 4K Support and 8-bit H265. The Core has 8GB of Flash storage and Bluetooth compatibility.
- You can watch all your favourite TV channels up to Ultra HD 4K quality with WeTek Core.
- It comes with the Kodi pre-installed, and you can just need to plug it in and watch your favourite show relaxing on a sofa.
- For getting better 4K experience, you need to have gigabit ethernet port and supports Wi-Fi up to 802.11n.
9. Matricom G-Box Q2 – Best App-Friendly TV Device
Matricom G-Box Q2 blurb claims that it is actually a full Android computer that comes with far more flexibility when compared to its competitors, despite marketing itself an Android TV box. Like the Tonbux Q-Box, it doesn’t come preloaded with Kodi but viewing as the G-Box Q2 was built with Kodi in mind. Matricom has made it amazingly simple for transferring content and to install Kodi builds from the external storage. It is great if you plan to stream Kodi content from your PC as the Matricom has also equipped the G-Box Q2 with enough power for pushing out 4K video content and also its 16GB of internal storage. You will be able to plug in a microSD card or a USB 3 storage device for expanding your storage.
It will do 4k Ultra HD resolutions and full 1080p. It is somewhat larger than a Roku in size but does so much more. With smooth and vivid playback you can watch live streams and movies. The latest launcher on the G-box is excellent and very easy to navigate. It comes with a Quad Core S812 CPU which is paired using the powerful Mali-450 Octo Core 3D GPU Graphics Processor. The G-Box Q² comes with more than four times as much power as the MX2, plus 25% more power when compared with the original G-Box Q. The Quad Core S802 CPU plays back 4K video without dropping any frames and has no issues playing back full 1080P. This box is rather very quick going in and out of apps and so very simple for setting up as you first take it out of the box. Without any huge efforts, it could play MP4s, AVI and MKV. It has the ability to handle games such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush really well and that too without any freezes or glitches.
- G-Box Q² is the latest technology and it’s designed in a way to be TV user-friendly. It has been developed in Kodi Media Centre, and It’s is 4K-compatible and comes with a nippy quad-core 2GHz processor. Available in the market with reasonable cost in both the USA ($100) and UK (£89).
- G-Box is the only real Android app-friendly TV device on the market running with Andriod Lollipop and can have full access to the Google Play Store without limits.The G-Box Q2 does provide HEVC decoding and Ultra HD playback at up to 30 frames per second.
- You can personalise the experience the way you like with G-Box Q². The 16GB internal storage gives you enough space and freedom to install favourite apps and no need to think about running out of space.
Build Your Own Kodi
Kodi is a multi-platform alternative to Windows Media Center for home-theater PC which is highly customizable, and various plug-ins are allowed for the users to access streaming media content via Amazon Prime Instant Video, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, and YouTube.
The installation is so simple that it can be installed on a desktop device.
Check Out Top 3 Android TV Boxes in 2017 | TechAdvisor