Are you in need of a technology that can deliver a custom-made watching experience? Then, one of the easiest ways to stream movies, TV series, etc, on your TV is an Android TV box. Let’s learn about this technology.
What is Android TV Box?
Android TV box is a low-cost invention that allows TVs that lack smart TV capabilities to stream movies. It also allows you to browse, play games, and use other apps. This one is a media center box that can run on Android OS which gets connected to the TV and plays series, movies, TV shows & apps like games.
It is the same OS as on the smartphone, tablet and other devices. Most apps that you are able to use on an Android smartphone, will run on the Android TV box. These are capable of turning older TV sets into smart TVs. As the name is suggesting, you can definitely understand that it is powered by an Android OS.
Although Android boxes were introduced some years ago, there are multiple options available now. These are especially used for streaming video content. Any TV can become smart because of the multiple features of these small boxes. People mainly use these to stream movies or TV shows from streaming sites like Netflix, Disney, YouTube, or Hulu. You can store videos locally, like an extensive video library.
How Does An Android TV Box Work?
When you connect a box to a TV and the internet, you can install the apps. For instance, you can install a YouTube app for streaming YouTube videos. Android, an operating system, was made by Google, especially for smartphones. It runs on ARM-based processors, because of which it becomes portable to devices running the same hardware. As the Android OS is free and open source, it is quite cheaper to manufacture hardware depending on this.
The Android OS can help to keep the cost down, the result of which the Android TV boxes become good low-cost media centres. Although Android is mainly used on smartphones, you can install this on small boxes that run the same hardware but provide better input & output options. These boxes are able to output HDMI to a TV and offer HD viewing ability. These are able to use a remote control, keyboard, or mouse for input.
Initial Setup For An Android TV Box:
You can easily set up an Android TV Box. Hence, you need to connect this to a TV, & WiFi, and then you have to download apps.
- First, your task is to connect the box HDMI video cable to your TV.
- Ensure that you have set the TV to the correct HDMI Input.
- As soon as you connect this to a TV and turn it on, you can connect the Android TV box to the WiFi.
- A few boxes come with a setup screen for WiFi. For others, you can find this in the settings section.
- Alternatively, you can plug an Ethernet cable into the unit.
- As soon as you turn on the box and connect it to the WiFi, you can use this.
How Can You Install Apps To An Android TV Box:
- Using Google Play Store is the initial way of installing Apps on an Android TV box.
- You need to sign in with a Google Gmail email address, which is required to download Apps.
- Alternatively, you can install Apps from other locations like websites.
- Android uses apk files just like Windows uses exe files. And the apk files are possible to be installed from anywhere.
- For instance, Kodi is a popular Android App that you can download & install from the Google Play Store. Or you can download it from the Kodi site.
What Can An Android TV Box Do?
You can use an Android TV box to play music, stream videos, play games, etc. You can even use this to check the weather. The main usage of the Android TV box is streaming video content to users so that they can watch movies & TV shows that they prefer.
Although it is their major use, they can perform anything a standard computer is able to do. With the help of smartphones based on Android, you are able to install apps from the Google Play Store. Several apps are possible to be installed to create a document, check the weather, etc.
Pros of an Android TV Box:
It has a lot of benefits. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option to enjoy all the available benefits of a smart TV without purchasing a new TV set, then you should use an Android TV Box. These come with high-resolution & excellent audio output support. Let’s check the benefits of an Android TV Box:
Access The Google Play Store & Google Assistant Support:
This box can access the Google Play Store, and it is one of its biggest advantages. Play Store allows you to download most Android apps and run these on your old TV set. In the Play Store, you can find plenty of apps. So, it can be said that as there will be millions of apps in the Play Store, users will always have something to watch, or listen to with an Android TV Box. Additionally, it includes a Google Assistant button, which you can see on the remote control. It becomes more convenient to search for queries, using Google Assistant.
Watch Free Movies Online and access Streaming Services:
Now, you can stream shows and watch them from streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. It is necessary to pay a subscription for such streaming services. If you don’t feel like being online, then download shows & movies that you can watch later from YouTube, Tubi, and Kflix, etc. Kodi also can be used to watch TV shows and movies. But ensure that you aren’t tempted to pirate any content.
Use The Android TV Box With Or Without Internet:
Downloading favorite content can be done to watch later. Or you can plug in the flash drive or other external storage devices for playing movies.
Simple To Set Up:
You can easily set up an Android box. Hence, your only job is to connect the box to the TV. After that, you have to connect it to the internet. Now, you are able to download apps.
Operate It Using Various Control Options:
You can control this type of box using a keyboard, remote control, or a mouse. In this case, you can connect your keyboard & mouse by using the USB ports.
Available In So Many Varieties:
Although the Android TV’s concept is the same across all manufacturers, these boxes are available in different sizes, shapes, and price range. Multiple brands are available to select, and you can find many models to select from every brand. The models vary in features & hardware according to the price range. A few have a larger internal storage space compared to others, mainly the higher-end boxes.
Access The Internet Using Your Old TV Set:
With your old TV set, you are able to access the internet, and it is one of the biggest benefits of the Android box. It allows you to perform all those things that are possible with a smart TV.
It enables you to watch stuff online, play games, & even browse. So, what you need to do is only download the apps that you wish. For example, you are able to download Google Chrome & thereafter use this as a browser.
Whether you are unwilling to connect to the internet, then watch the locally stored movies using the internal storage.
Cons Of An Android TV Box:
Android TV Boxes are simple to use and affordable. But these have some shortcomings.
Too Many Updates To Keep Up With:
Android OS has a lot of update cycles, and it is one of the biggest drawbacks of the Android TV Box. As a result of which, it becomes difficult for Android box manufacturers sometimes to keep it up. You can see that a few manufacturers take years to make certain updates.
Slower Startup Speed:
If you do not find an Android box with a powerful processor and sufficient RAM, you will experience slow speed whenever you start up the box. The truth is in most cases, these boxes seem budget-friendly as they deliver subpar performance.
Not The Best For Playing Games:
Although playing games is possible using an Android TV box, you don’t get such an experience as you can have while using a gaming console. When you purchase any cheap Android box, it is particularly true.
The reason is that cheap boxes mainly have older Android versions that are not compatible with the latest Android games. Limited games are available to select unless version 7.X. or older is available.
Besides, it only enables you to play simpler games, not the hardcore ones such as Yakuza or Monster Hunter. The reason is that these do not have the power that is required to run hardcore games.
Remember that the hardcore games are comprised of multiple effects and graphics, which need huge power for both loading & running, but Android TV boxes don’t have. Although it is not for gaming, you can use it for watching & surfing.
A few cheap Android boxes face issues while connecting to the wireless internet. Hence, it is necessary to take some technical assistance when you set up.
What Movies & TV Shows Can You Watch On An Android TV Box?
These boxes are excellent if you want to play videos that are stored locally. It indicates that if videos are not stored at your home, a provider for the videos will be needed with services like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney Plus.
Every provider competes with each other and has various content (TV shows & movies) to watch. Their pricing is different, and the monthly fee ranges from $20 to $70 a month.
You can also see free streaming options, which won’t have the latest TV shows & movies. But these have plenty of content.
You can play your videos from internal storage. It indicates that you can store a large video library on the unit & watch this at any time. Remember that every unit comes with different hardware, but with limited internal storage.
Can You Watch Normal TV on an Android Box?
Yes, you are able to watch movies or TV shows, depending on the service you have subscribed to. Each service comes with different TV shows, movies, or other services like sports. People who prefer live sports can see FuboTV, which includes multiple options for sports packages.
Netflix is one of the services that is popular because of TV shows & movies. You can research every service to see the one that matches your viewing habits.
How Do You Watch Movies & TV Shows On An Android TV Box?
You need to look for the best service for the type of TV shows & movies that you are willing to watch.
- Your first job is to download the application for the service from the Google Play Store, or you can download it from the provider’s website.
- Then, you need to sign in to the application. After that, you have to begin streaming.
- Tubi TV is something from where you can start, as it comes with multiple movies and TV shows.
- Navigate to the Google Play Store. Then, you need to download this application, or you have to open a browser like Chrome. Then, you need to move to the Tubi TV website.
- You can watch Tubi TV from the app or web browsers like Chrome.
Do You Need the Internet to Use an Android TV Box?
When you want to stream videos from online sources, you must require an internet connection. But if you want to store videos locally & stream from a home video library, you will not need an internet connection.
An Android TV box is like a small computer. So it doesn’t require an internet connection to operate. However, the internet helps to enhance a TV box’s capabilities.
If a large video library is stored on a flash drive or in an external hard drive, you don’t need the internet to play local files.
What Type Of Video Streaming Services Are Available For An Android TV Box?
Several paid streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, etc, are available. You can also find free streaming services that often play commercials but are free like Tubi TV, Roku Channel, Pluto TV, etc.
Every steaming service comes with an app, or you can watch each of them using web browsers like Chrome. With any paid provider, you can research the service to see what movies and TV shows they have. Additionally, you can use free providers.
What Types Of Boxes Are Available?
These are available in different shapes, sizes, pricing ranges, etc.
Several manufacturers are introducing improved computer-related hardware. However, you can find low-cost budget boxes, along with high-end units that are equipped with the latest and fastest hardware.
Every box includes its own setup because manufacturers of the machines modify the Android code. The Android TV box you will choose depends on what fits your needs & price range. You can read reviews of the units to see what is best according to your price range.
Difference Of Android TV vs. Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV:
Apart from the Android tv box, there are multiple ways to give smart capabilities to your old TV set. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick & the Roku stick are two other ways that can be used to offer smart capabilities to your old TV set. However, these have both pros and cons. So, it is necessary to consider these factors before you pick any of these.
Android TV vs. Amazon Fire TV:
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is basically a small USB-like stick that you can connect to any tv set’s HDMI port. While it is usually available in its 3rd generation, this one is also compatible with up to 4k content quality. It supported 720p or 1080p for a long time.
On the flip side, the Android TV box comes in various sizes & shapes and you need to plug it into the HDMI port of the TV.
|Fire TV Stick||Android TV Box|
|It uses the Amazon App Store to search apps and install them.||This one uses the Google Play Store.|
|It uses Alexa.||It uses Google Assistant. Besides, it has updated hardware and runs on a faster as well as more powerful processor.|
Android TV Vs. Roku:
The Roku stick includes a simpler interface. This one is simpler to use than an Android TV box. It is why non-tech-savvy users like to use this.
Several streaming services, which are paid, free, popular or unpopular, are supported by both Roku and the Android TV box.
However, a Roku stick enables you to access more channels ( less popular) than an Android TV box.
|Roku||Android TV Box|
|It works with both Google Assistant & Alexa.||It works only with Google assistant.|
|More channel options.||Fewer channel options.|
|The user interface is simple to navigate.||The user interface is sleeker & more responsive.|
|It gets updates more frequently.||It gets updated less frequently.|
It can be concluded that Android TV boxes can be a good fit into any home entertainment centre. Most of the units are different and come with different features & hardware. Internal hard drive space is unavailable in most units which use micro-SD cards or flash drives for providing additional storage space. A few high-end units come with big internal hard drives, and the price of these units is higher. Besides, low-end units are available at a cheaper price range because of which these are popular. Although cheap units perform well, these need some skill to operate.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the difference between smart and Android TV?
Smart TV is a costlier option than Android TV’s unlimited features. Converting a TV into a Smart TV is possible using the Android TV Box. But it is impossible to convert a smart TV into an Android TV.
- Does an Android TV box have free channels?
The Live tab provides you access to free channels from Tubi, Plex, Pluto TV, and Haystack.
- Is an Android TV box worth buying?
One of the biggest benefits of the Android TV box is using it, you are capable of accessing the internet with any of your Old TV sets, and it allows you to do almost everything that you are able to do with a smart TV.