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    Buying guide, how to choose an Android TV or Smart TV Box

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    Alejandra Rangel
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    Let's review the best Android TVs or Smart TV Boxes. How to choose an Android TV or Smart TV Box? Even though they have been around for a few years, 2019 is the best time to buy a Android TV o Smart TV Box; and we tell you why. Google thought of a way to bring connectivity and entertainment to all those older devices that don't have these basic functions.


    From there the idea of create a new android device in able to work autonomously, with which to access all this entertainment by easily connecting it to any type of screen. I'm born the Android TV or Smart TV Box.  When let's talk about Android TV, around this word there is a bit of confusion. Both the Smart TV platform built into Android-based TVs and external media devices running Android use the same name. They are all Android TVs. The key is found in the surname that perfectly defines its use: Box.



    Literally, Android TV BoxSmart TV Boxes are devices with Android TV in a box / box, so you can connect it to any screen with HDMI and "use" its functions, while if it is only Android TV, the system will be installed on the TV and will be the one who will directly manage the entire entertainment platform without having to connect any additional devices.

    Now we will tell you what is Android TV, what is it for e how to get this operating system installed on your television and why Android TV Box it's a revolution, especially if you like to consume YouTube-like content on your TV.



    What is Android TV?

    Before starting to explain the strengths and weaknesses of Android TV, we will find out what is android tv. As the name suggests, it is a television service based on the same Android installed on smartphones, but with some adaptations to make it more comfortable to use on certain devices where there is no touch screen, such as a monitor or a television.


    When an Android TV Box è connected to a monitor or TV that does not have Smart TV capabilities, Android TV Box or Smart TV box acts as a bridge to access these linked functions, allowing you to install apps from the Google app store to watch Netflix or YouTube series when you connect your TV to the Internet. However, Android TV is more than just a couple of streaming video consumption apps. It is a complete operating system optimized for televisions that allows us to install applications on the device as if it were a mobile phone.

    Usually, Android TV is based on the latest version of Android available at that time (Nougat, Oreo, Pie, etc.) It has a specific interface to be used from a remote control or keyboard and mouse. Furthermore, the processing of all data is done directly in the SoC (system on chip) included in the motherboard of the TV or in the Android TV Box. In short, it's like connecting a mobile phone's motherboard to a television, to put it in a nutshell.


    Before you see what are the advantages of android TV e because TVs are smarter thanks to Android TV, we need to see what options we have and what we need to have a good experience with this system.


    What do I need to get Android TV

    Once seen what is android tv, it's time to see how you can have Android TV on your TV. The short answer would be no, there is no way to have Android TV without buying a box. What you don't know is that there are several options if you want have Android TV on your TV. The simplest and most basic is connect a Chromecast to your TV.


    Chromecast is an inexpensive solution to having Android TV on a TV that doesn't have a smart TV platform, since all the connectivity work falls on the mobile or tablet hardware that sends the information to Chromecast and, via HDMI, the content arrives. On TV. Simply connect the Chromecast to the same Wi-Fi network as your mobile… and enjoy your favorite series.


    How to install Chromecast on your TV >>

    However, even if Chromecast is the easiest way to convert a conventional TV into a smart TV, it's not the best Android TV experience you can have, since you won't be able to use all the features on offer from the Google operating system. Therefore, you need to choose one of these three options:

    • Android TV Player: The Nexus Player was an attempt by Google to compete against Apple and its Apple TV device, and was the first Android TV Box capable of bringing Android TV to televisions other than smart TVs. With a device of this type, such as the one proposed by Xiaomi with its Mi Box, for example, you can convert any TV into a smart TV with Android TV.
    • Nvidia Shield TV: Another option for have Android TV on your old TV, allows us to play some games in streaming (provided you pay the subscription of course).
    • TV with Android TVThere are several manufacturers who have opted for Android TV to manage their smart TV platform such as Sharp, Philips or Sony, who bet on televisions with Android TV operating system. It is the most convenient way to enjoy Android TV, as it is implemented directly in the TV and there is no need to buy a separate device or occupy another HDMI port.

    In addition to this, you need to have an Ethernet cable connected to the TV, although you can also connect via Wi-Fi. Therefore, it is more than advisable to have a broadband connection and a good location for the television, making sure that the signal arrives correctly so that the streaming video content does not suffer lag or drop in resolution, very annoying when consuming content on screens. Full HD and 4K of considerable size.



    As we have seen, with Chromecast we can reach an experience close to that with an Android TV, but it is not the same thing, even remotely. The main difference is that the phone has the information and applications, and the Chromecast device streams the information to the TV, while the Android TV takes care of everything.

    In reality, you don't need to have an android phone to enjoy android tv, a TV with Android TV and a Google account is sufficient. Once you start the TV and connect it to the Internet, as in the first setup of a mobile phone, you will be asked to enter your Google username and password. Once this is done, you will have a range of pre-installed applications that you can use and others that you can download, to start enjoying a real Smart TV with Android TV.

    Kodi a great ally

    The history of Kodi is curious as it was born as an operating system to manage the multimedia contents of Microsoft's XBox consoles. In fact, its name was XBMC (Xbox Media Center) and has been adapted to use it as a multimedia center for home computers (Home Theater Personal Computer). It later changed its name to Kodi, a free software project that any user can use.

    Is Kodi legal and safe to use? >>

    Currently, Kodi is one of the best applications of the media center type. It reads all kinds of formats, creates a private network and, in addition, we can practically expand it as we want thanks to add-ons. Android TV is already a great media center in itself, but the big advantage is that we can install complementary applications, and Kodi is, without a doubt, mandatory in this respect.

    How to install Kodi >>

    Integrated Chromecast

    At the beginning of this article, we told you that Chromecast is a simple option for having Android TV on a TV without a smart TV platform. However, the  Android TV system built into the TV it already works as Chromecast. It may seem strange and even redundant, but have Chromecast su una TV Android it is something that can greatly facilitate the consumption of content and allows you to use it quickly and easily.

    With this function, instead of having to watch videos saved on your mobile on a 5 or 6 inch screen, you can send them to your living room TV and comfortably watch the same video on a 50 inch screen.

    To use the built-in Chromecast on the Android TV, all you need to do is download the Google Home app. If we have an Android device, we can do mirroring, which consists when sending the contents of the mobile phone screen to the TV. If we don't have an Android device, the options are limited and we can only watch YouTube TV content, Netflix or photo applications.

    Chromecast Tips and Tricks >>

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