Before you buy a Smart TV Box: What to Know

Smart TV Boxes are getting more and more popular, that is a fact. People may still be very sceptical: How do they work? Can they continue to give such great content? We believe the answer to this is a very big YES Internet TV is here to stay and will get better and better as time goes by. If Apple is investing in Internet TV there must be something in it.

Disruptive Technology

The boxes can be classed as disruptive technology; a disruptive technology is where a new technology comes along and shakes up an industry, the industry in question here are the cable or satellite companies.

We were all brought up with TV channels. No matter from what provider we signed up with, we would use the remote and flick between channels. How many times did we curse that, as Bruce Springsteen wrote, ‘There’s 57 Channels and Nothin’ On’?

That was then and this is now, when something new is knocking very loudly on the door. When the public open that door and let a Smart TV Box (also known as an Android TV Box) into their lives, just wait and see how home entertainment will change, and how enjoyable TV will become again.

Imagine a world of TV or Music at the touch of a button. Although unthinkable a few years ago, now with Broadband getting better and better the world of TV and Music can now be in every home: TV and Music where you choose the content, where you choose what to watch when you want; you will not only be the master of the remote control but the director of the viewing content.

Even if you are not in the mood for TV or Music you can also use your Smart TV Box to turn your TV into a giant monitor where you can browse the internet, read the news on line, shop on line, check your social media, send emails or get lost in a world of You Tube. The world is your oyster.

How easy is it to install?

So how easy is it to use and install?

Let’s start with install. We get asked this question at Smart TV Box all the time:

‘Do you need a Smart TV?’

Absolutely NOT. As long as you have a HDMI slot on any TV you are good to go.

All you need to do is:

Attach the Smart TV Box to your TV by HDMI cable

Go to the HDMI setting on your TV

Switch on the box

Go to the setting on the box and connect to the internet by either Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

If your router is beside your TV it is always better to connect straight to the router by Ethernet. If your router is a distance and you have to connect by Wi-Fi you may consider using boosters also known as home plugs. You need to plug these in directly into the plug sockets of the house, not into extension leads. We always recommend the boosters that double up as an adaptor because you don’t lose a plug socket.

How easy is it to use?

Well it is different, its television by apps: You need to go from one app to another to get your content. While you may be used to channel hopping from one provider, here you have many providers so you need to go between the apps for the content- let’s call it app-hopping. Once you get your head around this you will get so used to it you can never go back to the television of the past.

What TV content do you get?

Well this is where the sceptics or non-believers as we sometimes call them differ from our customers, who, upon purchase cannot be parted from their Smart TV Boxes. They have access to great content such as:

1. Movies from any era to present day.

2. Box setsall seasons all episodes.

3. Live TV and Sportsfrom all over the world.

4. Retro TVall the shows you grew up with.

All on demand, all at the touch of a button, all for FREE

Where to Buy

If you are in the market to purchase a smart TV box there are a number of factors to pencil in:

Who am I buying from?

What is the back up?

What is the box?

What are the specifications?

What is the cost?

All of the above are very important considerations and we recommend they be checked out in detail.

Buying on ebay or amazon

When a seller says their product comes fully loaded this may be true but:

The links could be old

China has limited internet access

They don't fully know what Kodi is all about

They would not be up to date on the sources

The box you buy may have been loaded months ago, delivering outdated sources or content

Ask yourself the question: Where do I go to update or keep the content fresh into the future? Shipping may be free but be prepared to wait four weeks in some cases.

If buying on the Internet or through local ads, do make sure the box you buy is not a fully loaded Chinese version; it is easy for the reseller to land a box from China and then ship out as per their ad “Fully Loaded Box”

Regarding backups simply ask any seller can they maintain a box into the future with Over the Air (OTA) updates or is it up to the individual themselves to do this update. We at Smarttvbox.ie have two backups to keep your box in tip top shape:

1. Our Smart TV Box Wizard which will maintain the Kodi sources every 4 to 6 weeks OTA. We will email you that the Kodi build has been updated. In that email we will include a YouTube tutorial of how to update. It’s not complicated its very simple and only takes a couple of minutes

2. The Smart TV Box App Store is great, and again very easy to use. It is where we store great apps or app updates. We will email you to let you know of any additions, and then you can just go to the store and download.

Extremely important: check out what box you are buying. Don’t be fooled by fancy names, the name might be great but the box could be rubbish. There is a saying “buy cheap and buy twice”. We recently posted on our YouTube channel the loading of a Minix Box and a widely sold box called the MXQ: the Minix loaded in a little over 50 seconds while the MXQ was over 2 minutes. See for yourself by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/ssJ8AWRE7G0

Be very careful that you are buying a genuine box and not a cloned box. Make sure the box has the proper approvals, for Europe it should show CE and USA is FCC. We at smarttvbox.ie only deal directly with the factories where quality is assured at all times.

While we said don’t get fooled by a fancy name for a box, do check out the specification. If a seller has a great name for their box but is a little shy in the specs sheets there may be good reason for the shyness. The chipsets and processors will change over time so compare these differences. RAM is important, for best performances always make sure it is 2 GB. Storage is not as important if you are using the box only as a streaming box but 16GB is always good to look for.

The cost of a box

Now it would be simple if you could compare apples to apples but we recommend weighing up everything before any decision is made. At the time of writing this blog (20/2/2016) we see a couple of the so called leading box seller in Ireland still selling the T8 Box while we are selling the newer T8 Plus box (under the name Celtic Warrior) since August 2015.

Some leading electrical outlets are selling boxes now but they will be unloaded, be prepared to spend a few hours researching Kodi to get the best streams, if you like a challenge this is an option but check their pricing first against smarttvbox.ie we could still be beating the pants off them.

Facebook and local ads are awash with €50, €60 and €70 boxes, they will work for a time but are heartbreakers, poor build quality, usual faults are power supply, HDMI connections or Wi-Fi cards, they also tend to overheat.

And always remember if you do buy directly from China or America, Customs are far from stupid: ask any employee working in the postal sorting offices and they will tell you the usual fee is €25 for any package no matter where it comes from outside of the EU and the supposed value.

Reading this article you might think we are biased against other box manufactures or box sellers, but that is far from the truth. In fact we are extremely truthful and call it as it is, we at smarttvbox.ie would challenge any seller who would say different.

Of course we are going to talk up our boxes but that is because they are great boxes with excellent build quality. Check out any forum relating to Minix, Zoomtex or Videostrong to see for yourself.

We have tested more or less all the leading boxes that are on the market and if you don’t see them on our website http://www.smarttvbox.ie there’s a good reason.