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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’?

One weird quirk of the Android TV system right now is that it doesn’t carry the catch up apps for any of the UK’s key broadcast platforms: the BBC iPlayer, the ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. You can Google Cast them (except for Demand 5, which doesn’t work supposedly for ‘rights’ reasons), but you’d have thought that these apps – which are readily available on Android for smartphones – would have been among the first to get through the Android TV filters.

Because of this, the ultimate decision of which platform is best comes down to your personal preferences and use cases. If you want to have access to as many channels/apps as possible, like having a wide choice of compatible hardware, and prefer an interface that’s simple to use at the expense of looking flashy, Roku is a fantastic pick.

For casual gaming, keep an eye out on devices emerging from companies like Razer and Logitech.  Their wireless controllers and Smart TV-friendly input devices are sure to bring gaming to your Smart TV without the need for an expensive Playstation VR or Xbox console.

Look, it’s not hard to find a player or TV that streams Netflix. It’s not. But Android TV doesn’t just serve as a static homebase for apps. It’s a dynamic way to find new content and can work like a Chromecast to stream content from your mobile device to the big screen. That being said, here are Android TV’s best features, with descriptions located further down below:

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KODI hardware decoding support, Support 4K, 2K decoding, 4 external USB interface, support portable HDD, HDMI video output, connect to HDTV for full HD video playback, Support USB mouse and keyboard. We Include KR41 Air mouse + Keyboard Remote Control

I use both the windows version (on desktop) and the android version (on tablet) of Kodi. The interface is not the same, nor is how you arrive at the install from zip and install from repository options. I like the windows version and so far all of the add ons I downloaded and installed on the tablet are also working in the windows version on the desktop. In the android version the path is System > File Manager, and later System > Add-ons >Install from zip (and right after Install from Repository. In the windows version it is Settings (Cog icon) > File Manager, and then later just Addons > Download > .. (go up 1 path by clicking the directory dots) > Install from zip (and right after Install from Repository). I suspect most people say the windows version sucks because they are following instructions for the Android version and quickly become lost since the options are in different places between the 2 interfaces.

Trying to find a film you actually want to watch, and that’s less than a few years old (and often decades) is tricky, but Netflix is trying hard to bolster its brand – and its reputation for being the place to go for if you’re into TV dramas, rather than movies (though it claims 6,000) – by hosting exclusives.

A streaming media player can do exactly the same thing as a media streamer (stream online content to your TV), with the added bonus that it can also access your stored content. This means you can stream music, video clips, and movies stored on your smartphone, tablet or computer, provided it’s connected to your network. Certain streaming media players can also download and store content.

It’s easy to understand why. To watch such popular shows as Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, or The Man in the High Castle you need to subscribe to streaming services. Traditional over-the-air (OTA) stations, such as CBS, ZDNet’s parent company, are moving to streaming as well. Star Trek: Discovery, for instance, is only available on CBS’s streaming service: CBS All Access.

To make things even more straightforward, the Q-Box comes preloaded with Netflix, YouTube and Kodi. You can then add new Kodi builds easily and don’t have to worry about the initial Kodi setup process. Not bad, really.

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Comments

  1. Lorna Cotton

    Make sure you have at least a 3mbs Internet connection. Subscription services allow you unlimited access to their content for a monthly or yearly payment. Before signing up for a service, make sure your Internet connection is fast enough to provide you with a clear picture. Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to find your download speed.
    The problem of content is most pressing for Netflix, which charges £5.99 per month for unlimited streaming, but doesn’t offer downloads. Netflix runs on a PC and Mac, Apple TV, the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3, Android phones and tablets, Windows Phones, iOS devices, internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, and streaming players from Philips, Roku and Western Digital. The most recent addition to the list is the Kindle Fire HD.
    She argues, however, that the loaded Android boxes could potentially run into trouble. That’s because the law prohibits services that exist primarily for the purpose of “enabling copyright infringement.”

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