Thinking of buying an android TV box? Check out our top ten tips for buying, loading and looking after your Android TV box
1. Not all Android TV boxes are made equal.
Like mobile phones, Android TV boxes are constantly evolving. Last years best Android TV box is this years joke. The rule of thumb here is check the specification of the product. Lots of the information may just look like a bunch on numbers and silly words but sift through the jargon and what you need to focus on is the RAM and buy the highest you can afford. 2GB is the ideal if you're looking for watching free movies. Next thing to have is as much hard drive space as you can afford. This could be labeled as HDD or internal storage and 8GB is the magic number for a near problem free experience. The rest of the information is just padding and will have very little impact for the general Android TV box user.
2. False promises and high expectations.
A Google search for Sky Sports live stream, free movies on line or fully loaded android TV box will bring out the best of the worst sellers. Sky Sports streaming on Android can be achieved but can not be depended upon. It is a great alternative if you're on a budget but be weary of sellers trying to hook you with the line of free sky sports. These streams can be intermittent and at times hard to watch. No seller can guarantee you a perfect Sky Sports stream and if they can it will typically only last for a short time.
3. Don't buy Fully Loaded Android TV boxes.
Fully Loaded sellers are making illegal sales and the authorities are clearing them out. They are Android TV boxes that the seller says "Plug and Play", what they have done is installed Kodi and made a very basic build that in 9 out of 10 cases will consume over 80% of your hard drive space. What do you think will happen to your warranty if the seller just disappears or reinvents themselves? So you have a couple of options here, buy an untouched box and install your android streaming apps yourself. This will save you a lot money and time if you use our apps or apps we have made for clients. The other option is buy from a seller with a custom Kodi updating app pre installed. We've worked with lots of Android TV box sellers to create them an app that will update Kodi over the air from cloud storage and keep them within the law. With these sellers you get a hassle free experience without any of the hard work sourcing streaming links and you know they aren't going to disappear from the e-bay or Amazon market place.
4. Buy from a seller in the country that you live in.
You will get an unreal price if you buy from China but with 30% of electrical products having some kind of failure in the first 12 months are you really going to spend £30.00 sending back an Android TV box that you only paid £35.00 for? So it makes much more sense to stay within your country and pay a little bit more for peace of mind.
5. On a budget? Get an Amazon Fire TV Stick.
£35.00 for a well made product with a great remote and user interface. The fully loaded hucksters are already selling these for TWICE the RRP labeled as "Jail broken Amazon Fire TV Stick". Where did this term jail broken come from? Apple products that only allow you to install Apple verified apps? Where ever it came from it does not apply to this product. Android as an operating system was made to allow third party apps and the Amazon Fire TV Stick is no different. So always be skeptical of anyone that says they can give you a Jail broken Amazon Fire TV Stick, just nip to your local Argos or buy one from Amazon for £35.00 and use this guide and app to get your own "Jailbroken Amazon Fire TV Stick" and you will not only have subscription free streaming but you won't have to maintain the streaming links yourself. Amazon Fire TV Stick = £35.00, streaming app = £FREE, subscription free streaming that you don't have to maintain = priceless.
6. Thinking of using Kodi on your Android TV box?
Why wouldn't you, it can be great and most people have bought for this reason. It does come with an element of becoming a hobby, if you need a hobby then that's great but if you just want a Netflix experience then Kodi or at least Kodi alone might not work out for you. In the Kodi world things change, things stop working all the time, new great things appear and then fail, just like that. So it's up to you to search the Internet and social media groups for the next best thing that's going to make your life worth living again. Don't jump in with both feet and NEVER use Kodi wizard addons if you use Kodi on Android. Here's why, the people behind them make them far too big for android devices and load them up to the brink with total rubbish. The worst part, they require you to force close or remove the power from your device for them to start working. Just don't. Android TV boxes can not handle it and over time your little TV baby will fail and then you're left with this expensive paper weight, unless you need an expensive paper weight of course.
7. You get a 12 month warranty.
If you need to use it then use it. Don't be left with a box that failed in less than a year from taking ownership of it no matter what the seller tries to say to you. If they sold it you then they have to honor this. For extra consumer security buy from Amazon, pay with PayPal (make sure the item your are buying matches the item description in your PayPal receipt) or a use credit card. Never pay cash. You're buying a product designed to bypass TV subscription payments, you have one foot in trading on the black market with a lot of shady sellers so just take a few steps to protect yourself. If your Android TV box seller is legitimate what harm will it do taking steps to protect your consumer rights?
8. Don't take the wireless remote bait.
You don't need it and if you do you can get a better price by buying your wireless remote individually or just plug a normal USB wired mouse in to the USB port on the Android TV box. It works much better with the only restriction being on the length of the mouse cable.
9. Maintain your Android TV box the Android way.
Never use Kodi maintenance tools, use the Android settings on the TV box to look after your device. Much more efficient and safer. Select Settings > More Settings > Apps > Clear cache or Clear Data (for fresh start) or Force Close (if Kodi crashes - and it will).
10. Buffering is not worth getting upset over.
The main two reasons for getting buffering in Kodi, someone on your Internet uploading files to YouTube, Dropbox and so on. You're connecting to a busy or a poor server, stop what you're watching and choose a different provider from the list of sources. That is pretty much all you can do. If you have over 2mb/s Internet connection you have enough, getting worked up on test my Internet speed checkers isn't going to change much.
That's it, android TV boxes are great devices that will bring you a degree of joy and save you a lot of money. Stick to the 10 steps and give praise to your providers and developers. Too many people only surface to say "This isn't working", "This isn't good enough" why not pop up to say, "This is great THANK YOU!" It goes a long way and costs you 5 minutes.
Fisstops - Kodi expert and Author