The market for android iptv boxes is growing. The demand for these TV boxes continues to increase. Indeed, their usefulness and ease of use allow them to replace most multimedia devices already connected to the television.
This market is still in its infancy and manufacturers release new models of their Smart TV box almost every month. To help you find the best android box , here is a regularly updated comparison of the different existing models. Reading this buying guide allows you to answer the question: What is the best android box?
What is an IPTV box?
Above all, it is important to understand the differences between all the appellations. Indeed, its tv boxes are also called iptv box, smart tv box, streaming box, torrent box… and many more. It should be well known that almost all the names ultimately correspond to its same multimedia boxes that work with Android TV software . What will generally change the name of the box is simply the use that will be made of it. The only name that is almost wrong is that of Smart Box. The term “SmartTV” is normally reserved for connected televisionswho use OS software other than Android TV, but this remains a detail. Another important point for android boxes, antiviruses are useless. On the other hand, it will be necessary to choose a VPN for Android TV. I will return to this point below.
Therefore, an IPTV box is an android box primarily intended for use with an IPTV subscription. While most subscriptions are legal, such as Netflix, Disney+, Rmc Sport, Téléfoot… there are a host of pirate IPTV providers. They illegally broadcast the video streams of rights holders to their subscribers. All for a pittance. It is also these famous subscriptions that made IPTV boxes (pirates) known.
In this buying guide, I am therefore focusing on TV boxes allowing the use of all types of IPTV subscriptions.
The best boxes for IPTV today
- Xiaomi Mi Tv Box S
- Formulate Z8 Pro 4K
- Android 10 4K
- Android TV Box X88 Pro 11
The Top IPTV Boxes
1. Xiaomi Mi TV Box S – 4K Android TV box
Xiaomi is a world famous manufacturer. Renowned for manufacturing inexpensive and high-performance products. Arrived two years ago on the android box market, he quickly demonstrated his know-how with his first Mi Box which had then revolutionized this sector thanks to its perfect integration of Google TV. The current model is the Mi Box S. This product is just as efficient and easy to use , which has allowed it to keep the title of “best-selling IPTV box”, despite its slightly higher price than its competitors less known.
But we must admit that the manufacturing quality and the ease of use of the case work wonders. The remote control is a delight to handle and of formidable precision. Equipped with the “Google Home” button, however, it lacks the buttons for dialing iptv channels , which makes zapping enthusiasts a bit goat. On the other hand, it is perfect for transforming a television into a multimedia center despite its lack of connectivity. Its 4k video quality is superb on large high-definition screens.
2. Formulate Z8 Pro 4k – The top in IPTV
Formuler is THE brand of IPTV box . Formuler has entered the niche of pirate boxes allowing you to watch all pay channels for free . If these boxes do not give direct access to the different television channels, it is on the other hand totally optimized for this function. The boxes work well with Android and allow you to install all the applications, but above all they have the MyTvOnline application. This app gives a new dimension to iptv subscriptions. Simply thanks to this app, it is possible to record TV as with a VCR. This app also has an extremely powerful video playback software.(the best decoding in the android TV market). The components of the Formuler boxes are of course also ultra efficient. Everything is there to make them racing beasts.
And if until a few more months Formuler offered TV decoders incompatible with Netflix (yes yes, you read that right: their niche is really pirate subscriptions!!) things have now changed. The latest, the Formuler Z8 Pro offers all the qualities of its predecessors but also brings compatibility with Netflix and all official offers available in HDR, Ultra HD and 4K quality . These decoders have therefore become the perfect media center devices offering MyTvOnline2: an optimized, simple, fluid application, the recording of your programs live and delayed, a TV remote control and a connection allowing completely adapted to home cinema. In short, Formulate and itsZ8 Pro is truly the pinnacle for watching TV in perfect conditions. Note, only the Z8 Pro (well rated the PRO) is Netflix compatible, the Z8 (without the word “PRO”, is not)
3.Bqeel Android 10.0 TV Box
Bqeel is a recent but well-known brand in the manufacture of android TV boxes. Formerly Beelink, these boxes have always been of high quality with extremely efficient components for the price . Like the other tv boxes in this comparison, you will access your IPTV applications in UHD on your TV. The difference with Xiaomi’s Mi Box, for example, lies essentially in two points: the integrated Android version and the connectors.
If Xiaomi integrates a real Android TV system (official Google), Beelink is content with an Android-based OS (in version 10.0). This version is therefore modified by the manufacturer to be compatible with televisions. The navigation is clearly different between a box under Android and a modified Android. One isn’t better than the other, it’s just very different. If Android TV will be easier to use, modified Android will be more complete and more open to access less official content.
4. X88Pro Android 11.0 Smart TV box
Because not everyone has the same needs, I had to show you an IPTV box below 50€. There are hundreds of models on the market, and honestly, they are almost all worth it. Indeed, when you read their technical data sheet, they all have Android 10, all 16GB of Ram, all the Rk3318 64bit, all the A53 chipset… exactly like the Bqeel presented above. The difference is generally in the quality of the components, in the simplicity of use and in the continuity of the updates. Clearly, these boxes are inexpensive, quite effective, totally correspond to occasional use but have a few more bugs. For this comparison, I selected this model because it has almost the same characteristics as the Bqeel and also offers a mini-keyboard remote control. It is just a little less fluid in navigation and is really more “cheap”.
How to choose your box for IPTV?
Android vs. AndroidTV
Back to Android TV . This operating system is present in these brilliant little multimedia boxes that you plug into TVs. This software is almost the same as the one that is present on android tablets and mobile phones. The major difference is that it is suitable for use with a remote control, unlike “classic” android which is optimized for touch. Otherwise, both Android and Android TV have a Playstore (to download applications), manage Google Assistant, act as Chromecast, and everything else.
Regarding the Google Playstore, once again, whether it is android or android TV, you will often find the same applications. But the management of touch (or not) profoundly changes the use of applications. This is why developers create or adapt apps for android TV and the use of a remote control. Imagine having to zoom with your zapette… Fortunately, the remote controls of IPTV boxes almost all have a key to turn into a mouse. Or if necessary, it is always possible and easy to change the remote control (like changing a mouse) on a computer.
For the past few months, iptv boxes that work with Android (and not Android TV) have encountered difficulties with official applications. I’m talking about Netflix in particular. Netflix has removed its application from certain iptv boxes on “normal” Android. Nothing to worry about, just get the application from an alternative store and you’re done. However, this requires knowing how to install an alternative store and above all this requires you to believe in certain Netflix features such as 4K! The case of Netflix and its application is not the only one. This must therefore lead you to choose between a box that works under Android (normal) or under Android TV.
Why choose an Android TV box?
Android TV boxes (therefore with the Android version expressly made for TV and developed by Google) are TV boxes manufactured by renowned manufacturers. The monitoring of these boxes is therefore, in general, of better quality and the box will have a better chance of being updated regularly, which increases its longevity all the more.
Another important point, with an android TV box, you are sure that the official applications (such as Netflix) are available and compatible on your box directly. These TV boxes are therefore more suitable for people who do not want or know how to install an alternative store to have Netflix.
Why choose an android box?
Android tv boxes, on the other hand, are generally less expensive and with slightly better features. The first advantage is therefore the price of these boxes. The second advantage is to have a box that is not restricted. It is much easier to install third-party applications on android boxes than on official android TV boxes. These enclosures are indeed “without protections” and therefore accept all applications.
To conclude on this important point, I would therefore say that if you want to look for an android box mainly to use the official SVOD applications (Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc.) then go for an Android TV box. Conversely, if you want to use the services of a third-party provider, play games, etc. then prefer an android box.
Both allow you to have it all. it’s just easier to have the official apps on Android TV and the non-official apps on android tv box.
What characteristics for an IPTV box?
The comparison between android tv boxes and computers is not limited to this possibility of connecting or changing accessories in order to obtain the best box for our use. Indeed, just like computers, it is important to take into account several characteristics before choosing the android tv box that suits us. RAM memory, processor, video chipset, remote control, android version and brand are, in my opinion, the most important points to consider in order to choose the perfect case.
The amount of random access memory (RAM) on a multimedia tv box is
essential. It is this amount of memory that will determine the amount
of information that can be processed simultaneously (to keep it simple in my explanation). Just by starting the tv box, android will use a few hundred Mega. Then the “background” applications will also consume it. Finally, if you launch a movie, for example, the application playing the movie will use memory and so will your movie. The more memory there is, the more things your multimedia box can do at the same time.
For video streaming or IPTV, this essentially plays on buffering, ie buffering. The more RAM available, the less risk you have of seeing jerky video on your IPTV box.
Graphics processor and chipset
There are two processors in an android tv box. There is the main processor and the graphics processor. The main one will take care of managing the speed of the background tasks, of having good fluidity in the menus, of managing the information between the different applications. Roughly speaking, it influences the general fluidity of the tv box. The video processor (or graphics chipset) will be dedicated to video processing. It will therefore be the most important component for an android box dedicated to video games. And it is equally essential in the image quality of films and their image processing.
For the main processor, the most common references are the S905 (version S905, S905W, S905X, S905X2…) and the S912 (version S912, S912X2..) it’s like at Intel, all Pentiums have neither the same frequencies or the same characteristics.
Ditto for the video chipset, you will very often find Mali 450, Mali 550,… and RK3328, RK3338…
As you will have understood, as a general rule, the larger the number or letter, the more recent the component. But it remains difficult to navigate because the suppliers play a lot on the name of their box.
The remote control of the box used in iptv
In my opinion, this accessory is almost more important than the rest of the features. There is no point in having the best iptv box in the world if the remote control makes you want to throw your tv box out the window. No, I’m not exaggerating. Many android boxes have a generic remote control and a first price infrared receiver. As a result, you spend a few seconds each time trying to press the buttons on the remote control in the direction of the multimedia box so that your request is taken into account.
I said it is possible to change the remote control, but then it is a cost to consider when buying. To give you an idea, you can read my comparison of the best android TV remote controls.
Most recent and quality boxes now have bluetooth remote controls. This is clearly the ideal.
The version of Android TV installed
Android TV is the equivalent of windows on computers. In other words, it’s a bit he who determines the ergonomics of the tv box but also its performance. For example, with the same components, Android TV 8.1 is about 32% faster than Android TV 7.1. You therefore understand that it is important to choose an android box with the most up-to-date Android TV version possible. Another example, with a multimedia box whose version of Android TV is lower than 7.1, you will not have access to Google assistant… Since December 2019, Android TV has been upgraded to version 10 , and is also more efficient and intuitive than its predecessors. IPTV boxes are therefore much more fluid in the menus and intuitive.
The brand of the android box
The brand of the case is not the most important point but still enough if you want to buy a case that will last you over time. There are several reasons for this.
- A reputable brand IPTV box will have better product tracking. This is important to make sure your android box will receive updates. And so that you will have an “updated” box for as long as possible and which allows you to receive “recent” applications.
- A branded tv box will, in principle, have better manufacturing quality and will therefore be less subject to breakdowns and malfunctions.
- A branded android box will also have more users. It will therefore be easy for you to find a forum talking about your tv box or find someone with the answer to your questions. This is important because no manuals come with android tv boxes.
It is true that it is difficult to know if a brand is known or not because the android box market is still recent and above all there is a lot of “chinese” in there. You will find brands such as Bqeel, Xiaomi, Beelink which are quite well known. So easy to spot. But you will sometimes find the boxes of these brands under other names, simply because the tv box is imported by a third party.
Here is an example: the HK1 tv box. This case is manufactured by the (well-known) Bqeel brand. But if you do a search on Amazon, you will find it under the Bqeel brand, but also Livebox, Xuanyang, SeeKool, KiGoing, and many others. The differences: often none, sometimes the remote control, the accessories provided.
What is an android TV box used for?
So these tv boxes have a lot of utility and as many uses as possible. Still to compare to a computer, android TV boxes have almost endless possibilities . The possibility of installing applications, as on mobiles and tablets, allows them to do almost everything that is asked of them. Here are the most common use cases for android boxes.
Box Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+
Using a box that uses Android TV to turn it into a multimedia powerhouse is disconcertingly easy. This is, in my opinion, the first use that is made of these boxes. Indeed, all you have to do is plug the box into the TV and connect it to the internet. Everything will then already be operational to be able to take advantage of your Disney+ , Netflix or Amazon Prime video subscription . Clearly, if you want to know how to put Netflix on the television or how to have Netflix, here is the answer: get an android box! Same for streaming, just install a good streaming appto enjoy movies at will on the screen of his TV. All these applications are either pre-installed on the box during the purchase, or present on the Playstore and it is therefore sufficient to download them.
Box for IPTV
IPTV is the possibility of watching television channels directly via the internet. Android tv boxes therefore easily replace operator tv boxes. IPTV boxes can easily be installed on a living room TV, in the bedroom, in the kitchen… Then just install an application like Molotov and you will have access to all the channels and Replay. No need to rent a TV channel decoder from orange or other, perfect for saving money!
In order to transform your android box into an IPTV box allowing you to have all the paid TV channels for free, all you have to do is install an application from the Playstore, such as VLC and retrieve the IPTV file corresponding to your official internet operator. Or, for iptv subscriptions that do not offer an m3u file, you will therefore find the application directly on the Playstore. Find the best IPTV offers on this comparison.
Box torrent – seedbox
To download torrents, it is very easy and very economical to use a box that works under android rather than a computer. Just install the torrent application, connect the android box to a Nas or an external disk and install the VPN. The low power consumption and silent operation of these android boxes is perfect for turning them into a torrent box. Films and series can also be played directly from the box on the TV, in particular thanks to the Kodi application!
android gaming box
When we think of home game console, we rather imagine a PS4, a Wii or even an Xbox. But android boxes also make excellent game consoles. The best reason for this is that you can play all the games available on the Playstore directly on your TV. There are therefore millions of games, most of them free, which will be available to you for download on your Smart TV box. There are of course some restrictions. For example, some games are easily playable only with a touch screen. But most recent or updated games are well compatible with android boxes. If the performances are certainly not as strong as those of a new generation console, the catalog of games is much larger and less expensive.
Do you need an antivirus on a box doing IPTV?
Here is a question that is difficult to answer. If I tell you no, and you catch a virus in the coming months, you’ll be angry with me… But to be honest, I still want to tell you NO, no need for antivirus on an android box . In my opinion, and this remains purely personal, viruses have gone out of fashion and are not present (or not very present) on Android TV. Yes there are viruses, but nowadays hackers have understood that they make more money with ransomware than with viruses. And on that side, Google is doing its job pretty well on the Playstore.
Instead of antivirus on boxes with Android TV
Android boxes do not have the same programming languages, the same software as computers. Above all, they do not have the same utility as computers. Therefore, instead of recommending an antivirus, I will however recommend that you install a VPN for IPTV box .
A VPN why?
VPNs have several uses. In the case of tv boxes, there are especially two that make them essential.
The first reason is that VPNs encrypt the data that passes through your internet connection. This protects your privacy because only you know what you are doing with your internet connection. No institute or hackers can come and bother you! Even if you are not doing anything illegal (downloading, streaming, iptv), you are not safe from launching a streaming file whose website does not have a license and has not paid the rights. ‘authors or to come across a phishing site that will capture all your internet data.
Your ISP (internet operator) does not see it in a good light that you use your internet speed for video streams that do not pass through them. They want to have control over information about their customers (in order to resell them in particular). They therefore do what is called “ throttling” . It is the action of limiting your flow for certain type of internet flow. Thus, your ISP will save bandwidth (thus money) and encourage you at the same time to prefer their video services (thus more money for them). Orange and Free are the champions of this technique! The VPN will therefore scramble your use and the provider will no longer be able to throttle.
The third reason is that VPNs hide your IP address . The VPN will assign you a new IP address and thus hide your identity on the internet. This makes you anonymous. But it also and above all allows you to believe that you live in another country (like the USA). And conversely, take advantage of your French subscriptions when you are traveling abroad. You will thus be able to access content that was then inaccessible. You’ll bypass Netflix’s geoblocking, you’ll get access to Disney’s USA catalog plus, you’ll be able to get Sony’s streaming video service for free, and more.
VPNs have become essential. As much as antiviruses are essential on computers, so are VPNs on Android TV boxes. For VPN, I recommend NordVPN. It is THE known and recognized VPN provider. I use it personally and am more than satisfied. In particular, you can install it on 5 devices for the same price, which gives you the possibility of also installing it on your mobiles, tablets and computers in order to protect everyone. NordVPN is promoting its VPN with over 70% off. I give you the link to the promotion
Some information on other android tv boxes?
You will surely have understood it, the choice of the tv box will also depend on the use for which it is intended. Fortunately, these boxes are powerful enough to be versatile all the same and suffice in a lot of cases for occasional use. Here is the selection of the best android boxes for each use other than IPTV.
X96 mini android TV Box (not Android TV)
There is currently, on the market of android boxes, a model that is all the rage in this category. It’s the X96. All TV boxes (or almost) under €50 will have the word X96 marked in their name. The X96 is a tv box that has been around for several years and is regularly updated. Pay attention to the characteristics of this model which vary from one reference to another. It is important to choose an X96 mini box with an S905W processor and 2GB of ram. Otherwise, you will end up with one of the old models that is no longer up to date. This box is ideal for giving internet access to a television. We place the box under the television, we connect the internet, and your tv becomes a small media center with USB ports, Live TV, Vod… This therefore allows, for a low price,test and opinion on the X96 mini .
Fire TV Stick – Android TV compatible
The Firestick is not in the form of a multimedia box. It’s actually a dongle (a sort of big ucb key) that you plug in behind the TV (on an Hdmi socket). This tv stick is made by Amazon, it is of excellent quality, has more than correct technical characteristics (in video) and the support is assured given the reputation of the manufacturer. The remote control is also well thought out and of good quality. It is therefore, in my opinion, the ideal purchase for those looking for a cheap android box. Only drawback, there is no USB port on the stick to add accessories. Otherwise, it is a much more interesting purchase than an X96 which costs the same price. To read: test and opinion of the Fire TV Stick. Perfect for installing your video on demand subscriptions like Disney+ and Netflix, but not for pirate IPTV use.
Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV, new version, is perfectly suited for IPTV use. If the old Shield was mainly designed for gamers (see below), this new tv box is SVOD and video stream oriented. Nvidia has also sacrificed the controller which is no longer supplied with the box. LA shield runs on android TV, updates are frequent and performance is incredible. It is the most powerful box at the moment. The integration of the various official SVOD services is perfect. Add a controller, and you get an excellent android game console.
The best android gaming box: Nvidia Shield TV
NVIDIA is first and foremost a graphics chipset brand. They are the origin of the best graphics chipsets in the computer world and also develop the chipsets for the best video game consoles. It is therefore with immense knowledge of the field that they have manufactured their console dedicated to video games on Android TV. This console, named Shield TV is therefore above all a game console. But it also allows you to run all the applications from the Google Playstore. And each update made by Nvidia further improves the functionality and usability of this android tv box. The Shield, for example, was one of the first to correctly and fully manage the Google assistant voice function.
If you really want to play games, this Android Shield box is made for you. Nvidia follows its product perfectly and updates it regularly. No fear of obsolescence. Nvidia is especially looking to conquer more market share with its Shield and continues to promote it.
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