TV Boxes have been around for a few years and now are gaining greater popularity. But what exactly are they and what do they do? As the internet has engrained itself in everything we do, consumers want the same rapidity and access to all kinds of things when they watch TV… hence, the TV Box – which was thrown into some fame by Apple TV’s launch in 2014.
These boxes connect to the internet and allow you to stream live TV shows, browse websites and access delayed programs such as BBC iPlayer.
Being able to view programs from one’s home country is always desirable but usually not possible. Basically these boxes turn your standard TV into a very smart one. (Many of the newest Smart TVs have this feature already built in but with limitations… read the fine print when purchasing.)
This technology is relatively new but a truly good TV box
• Be simple to install and use
• Have a choice of wireless or wired internet connection
• Be able to connect to your PC and tablet
• Have a well-designed remote control
And foremost, you must first have a stable, fast and strong internet connection. By stable we mean no interruptions or lags in the signal which can often occur with shared connections.
Most manufacturers recommend speeds of about 3 Mbps for standard definition; for HD streaming you need about 5 Mbps, as well as an HD TV.
At the moment, the main providers of TV boxes are Apple TV, Envidia Shield (Android system), Fire TV (from Amazon), and Roku.
Depending on what equipment you currently own, one box will be more compatible than another. Equally important is exactly what you want to do with the system – and the possibilities are many. To help your decision making, take a look this comparison chart: