Android boxes are most definitely a hot buy right now and have been over the last 2 years here in T&T. There has also been a ton of speculation, myths, wrong information that have been circulating as well. So I want to clear up some of that and talk about some of the F.A.Q’s I personally get surrounding Android Boxes.
Do the Boxes Auto Update? – Yes and No. People don’t know that there are hundreds of applications available in the cord-cutting community. A lot of them will definitely an auto update for themselves, while others may not and you will have to download the new version and reinstall it yourself.
Depending on how you have installed Kodi for example, either a manual install or installed from the Play store will dictate if Kodi shall auto-update when the new update arrives. The apps that you install inside the Kodi platform however auto update. Also, the actual OS of the box does not auto-update, and you will need to find out if there is an update for your box and do the manual installations.
Do the Apps Frequently Go Down? – Apps are very unpredictable. The App developers, for the most part, are everyday people like you and me, and work on these apps for free, usually receiving donations for their work. If they decided to stop developing an App which can often happen, then an app will go down. There is no way of knowing when this is about to happen.
The only advice I have, you can either start following the cord cutting community to learn about the thousands of apps available or find someone who does, so that they can help you out whenever apps go down. This is important so that whenever you run into problems, you got someone that knows of other good apps to get you back up and running.
Why are the prices for boxes all over the place? – I get this one a lot. I have seen boxes selling locally from $500 to $1200. I don’t argue over prices because it’s pointless, just buy where you are comfortable. People who usually complain do not ever take into consideration a few details. We live in the Caribbean, and pay high customs fees on items, just because you saw an item for $40usd online, does not mean that is the cost landed. My simple pricing formula is this.
For, ex, If I buy a box for $40usd(TTD$270) + $200 customs +$250 service charge for programming = TTD$720. You can save yourself money by learning how to program the boxes your self, but if you don’t want to learn on your own, then you can pay a service fee to have it done for you. Now everyone buys boxes from different sources and use different ways to bring the products into the country which can result in a wide variety of costs. Some people simply buy devices and do not program them, just sell you the box with whatever it comes with, others may not have a warranty and lastly, some companies may or may not be reputable.
There is no right or wrong way for pricing, as a consumer do your due diligence and buy where you are comfortable. Others just need to stop complaining about the prices because they do not know where people buy stock or how they get it into the country. Not everyone has a link to customs to bypass some of these costs.
Do I need a smart TV? – No, Android boxes, Chromecasts, Apple TVs all do more than smart tv’s and turn your TV into a real smart tv.
I have a big back, can this work? – Yes, the only difference is that you need the AV to RCA adapter, instead of using the HDMI cables.
Is 8gb storage w/ 1gb RAM enough? – This is another popular question I get. When I am selling a box, I always find out what people will be using a box for. There are reasons why most manufacturers keep selling 8gb/1gb RAM boxes. If you are simply using these boxes for streaming purposes, it is MORE than enough.
Some people who program these boxes tend to put too many or use larger Kodi builds that eat up all the memory which results in boxes having no memory to operate, causing a lot of problems. If you are gaming, doing word processing or wanting to use Kodi builds, I would say get a box with at least 16gb of storage, 2gb of RAM.
The most important part of these boxes is the CPU it comes with. So if you are using it just for streaming, a good programmed 8gb box with the right processor can give you fast and fluid performance and is definitely all you need.
What Internet speed do I need? – You need a minimum of 15mbps to run your HD streams and live TV effectively. If you are playing 4k streams, I haven’t had any issues with buffering with at least 60mbps.
Typically 4k below that, I have seen the buffering start. If you have a speed below 15mbps, you are only going to be able to run the SD streams without buffering.
If you guys have any questions that I may not have answered here, feel free to contact me and I will definitely answer any questions you have on the topic.