- Powerful 2.0 GHz octa-core processor.
- 3 GB of memory and 32 GB of ROM.
- Supports 2.4 and 5.0 GHz WiFi.
- 10/100/1000 MB Ethernet.
- Latest Android 7.1 OS.
- Compatible with the latest version of KODI.
Sounds confusing right? Lot’s of numbers and letters and computer BS!!
There are hundreds of Android Tv box options out there and it can be a daunting task to pick the right one. We are bombarded with different types in ads on Facebook and other platforms and usually ads throw lots of jargon and numbers into their blurbs which can be confusing.
Below is a simplified guide of what to look for. I won’t cover everything, just a few key points to get you on the right track.
RAM & ROM
Lets start with RAM. In simple terms, this is how fast the box will process information. The higher the number, the faster the box. It can effect the speed that menus or programs load up or how many things the box can run at once but that’s it! It won’t give you faster streams for your movies. Once a stream is selected, you are relying on your internet speed. So unless you’re a stickler for menus loading fast, it’s really not a big deal for streaming. Also DDR is sometimes mentioned in conjunction with RAM, again the bigger the number the better but not essential if streaming is your only interest. A typical cheap box will have 1GB RAM and there’s nothing wrong with that.
ROM is even easier to explain. This number refers to the storage space on your box. Most people are used to understanding storage space as we use USB drives every day. As above, the higher the number the better but it’s really not necessary. Most of the time, you’re only streaming content so you don’t need large storage space. Unless you’re downloading movies (A big no no) you only really need space for the apps themselves. Most apps are only a few megabytes in size so you should never really run into issues even with low storage space.
A typical cheap Android box will have 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM. If all you want your box for is streaming, then go cheap!
You should pay attention to which version of Android is on the box you buy. Older versions won’t always run the latest apps and also most likely won’t have firmware updates or good support. Any box with Android 7.0 (Android Nougat) or above is perfectly acceptable. Be wary of buying anything with a lower Android version number. Some boxes can be upgraded but really most boxes these days (even the cheap ones) come with a decent version of Android already installed.
A small but important point. A lot of Android Tv boxes are prone to overheating. Their cheap plastic build, lack of good ventilation and lack of auto standby mode shortens their lifespan. Regardless of which box you have it’s always good practice to use the following couple of steps to lengthen it’s life: Make sure to set it to standby or power off completely when not using it. Also keep it in a cool dark space and make sure theirs no clutter around the box.
And that’s enough to get you started. This is a very very basic guide, there are lots of nuances to each box but just for streaming…..go cheap. Me personally, I would pick a box with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM simply because I like mine to move a little quicker and usually the prices are still pretty reasonable with these specs.
If you’re looking for a box to do gaming or emulation, then that’s a different story! I’ll cover retro gaming in a future article.