What is an Android TV Box?
Android TV boxes are popular items these days and allow a user a wide range of uses from surfing the web, to streaming video straight to your TV. These small boxes can turn most any TV into a smart TV with a wide range of options. Most people use them to stream movies or TV shows from their favorite streaming sites, such as Netflix or Hulu.
How Does It Work?
The Android Box is connected to a TV and setup to the internet via wired Ethernet or WiFi connection. After a box is connected to a TV, and the internet, apps can be installed. For example a YouTube app can be installed to stream YouTube videos.
Android is a Operating System, like Windows or iOS, that was created by Google mainly for mobile phones. It runs on ARM based processors which makes it portable to any device that runs the same hardware. Since the Android Operating System is open source and free, it is much cheaper to manufacture hardware based on it and sold. While it is mainly used on smartphones it can also be installed on small boxes that run the same hardware but give better input and output options.
For example Android TV boxes can output HDMI to a TV giving it HD viewing ability. They also can use a remote control, keyboard, or mouse for input.
What can an Android TV Box Do?
They are mainly used to stream video content to users allowing them to watch their favorite TV shows and movies on demand. While that is their main use they can also do most anything a standard computer can do. As with android based smartphones Apps can be installed from Google Play Store that can do most anything that can be thought of.
A very large variety of apps can be installed that can do everything from creating a document, to checking the weather.
What Type Of Boxes are Available?
Units come in all shapes, sizes, and pricing formats. Like all things computer related better hardware is introduced constantly from many manufactures. Low cost budget boxes are available along with high-end units packed with the latest fastest hardware. Each box will come with its own setup as manufactures modify the android code to fit their machines. The best way to see what is best for your setup is to read reviews on units within your budget.
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.
Mostly all units are different and will have different features and hardware. Most don’t 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. While many cheap units work well keep in mind they often require some skill to setup and operate. If you have some knowledge of android based systems than using a low-end box will likely be fine. If you have never used one before than having some technical support may be best which low-end boxes don’t usually offer.
Reading reviews and watching YouTube videos on the different 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.