What is an Android TV Box?

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Streaming has begun to take over cable TV for a number of reasons. We have so many other options for streaming with the multitude of apps ready at our fingertips, and it condenses your bill own from cable and internet to just internet. So, buying a streaming device may seem like an obvious choice. But, where do you start? Knowing what device offers you what is the best place to begin considering there are so many different types of streaming devices out there.

Roku, Fire TV, Apple Tv, Android TV, and Android Box are all different types of streaming devices that in their core all do the same thing. They use the internet to bring streams of media to your TV. Their main differences are stated in their names. Different brands and different operating systems. But, you’ll notice two of those names I mentioned above are both Android. So what’s the difference?

A android smart tv box┬áis just a TV box that runs on the Android operating system. Just like your phone is a cell phone that runs on an Android operating system. Easy right? You’re able to download apps that run on the Android operating system which is exactly what you can do with an Android TV box. Instead of seeing it on your phone or tablet you’ll see it on your TV.

The other devices I mentioned work in the same way except they aren’t boxes. The Fire stick is similar to a USB that’s plugged into your computer and adds content from its internal storage. The Fire stick pulls data and media via the internet just as your phone does when running apps like Youtube or Netflix. The Apple TV is a version of a smart TV that runs on Apple’s operating system. Like any other product from Apple it’s only compatible with other apple products and comes with quite a price tag. Roku and the Fire are most similar as the Roku is another plug-in device that offers certain apps and streaming options directly down on your TV.

But, what makes the Anroid Box different than the other streaming decives?

Like many purchase options presented to us on a daily basis our decision lies on a few key factors. ‘What do I need this for’ and ‘What will work best for me?’ Smart TVs including Apple, Roku, and Fire eliminate the option of needing an extra device plugged in to your TV for streaming but they do come with their own set of drawbacks. Are these TVs simple to use? Of course! They’re optimized for simple uses and not much else.

Their systems are set in stone including what apps you’re able to download and run. Seems a bit frustrating to have you TV dictate what you can and can’t watch doesn’t it? Especially for the amount of money you tend to have to drop to get a decently sized TV for your living room or family room.

With the Roku stick you’ll get a great device for streaming but it comes with limitations. Their interface, display, and operating system has been set in stone from the moment they hit the sales floor, and sadly they do not allow for any type of customization. This includes the selection of apps you’re able to stream on your device.

Devices like Roku and the Fire stick won’t allow you to download certain apps and some smart TVs even have limitations to the apps they’ll allow you to download. For instance certain smart TVs don’t have the Youtube app available on their system and there isn’t a way to add it unless you purchase another streaming device and add it that way. If it’ll allow you to do so.

Android operating systems are incredibly easy to navigate but also give you the options to customize which apps you’d like on your device. Like an Android phone or table that runs on an Android operating system apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube are all available for download and instant streaming success.

Now that we’re talking more about the benefits of the Android Box you might be wondering why not just go out and purchase Android TV. Well, you could but there are a few differences you should know about before making that decision. Both run on the Android system, but the Android TV runs on Android’s special operating system made solely for TVs.

It may not seem like it but streaming from your phone versus streaming on your TV is vastly different. Your phone or tablet are all touch screen correct? You swipe with your finger to browse genres or movies, and then swipe to the right or left for different options. How would you swipe left or right on a TV? Therefore, the apps that are designed for Android TV are manufactured to work on your TV alone. The Android TV Box has an equally good operating system, but they are different just as the operating system on your phone differs from your laptop.

What does this mean? The Android TV has app limitations and is only available on newer, Smart TVs. Models made before 2015 are not compatible with the Android box, and because most of us don’t go out buying new TVs every couple of years for fun it isn’t plausible for everyone. If you’re looking for a great streaming device with a variety of options and apps without the hassle of having to purchase a new TV I suggest looking into the Android TV Box. It could be a match made in streaming heaven.

Sources:

https://www.cnet.com/topics/media-streamers/best-media-streamers/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_media

http://www.findingtop.com/top-10-best-online-streaming-music-services-reviews

http://westchester.news12.com/category/324515/live-stream

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