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With so many options for streaming devices these days, it can be very confusing to some.

 

I have been in the consumer electronics industry for over 25 years of my life and speak from direct experience in seeing trends come and go.

 

At this point in time, if you're looking to get into streaming or replace an old device, there are specific things your new device should have otherwise its obsolete before you even buy it.

Before we start, if the Android box you're looking at buying doesn't come with an OEM Bluetooth voice remote, stay away. This means it's using regular Android OS, which is obsolete now. Keep this in mind and will get a quality machine. Make sure the remote isn't aftermarket added and that it's OEM from the manufacturer.

 

90% of the boxes on Amazon and 100% of boxes that are advertised on marketplaces use regular Android operating systems, which has been out roughly 8 years and now considered obsolete. Not to mention, most are cloned boxes. Whether its Buzz box, MyGica , Minix or any of the cloned box models, they are all using an operating system that has been replaced by something far superior and can do way more in regards to what you have access to. Why buy a box running 5 year old operating systems? Do your homework when buying from guys who claim to sell the "best"! Have seen countless people pay $200,300 and even $400 for boxes that should sell for no more than $100-$125 fully programmed!! If going the Android box route, make sure it's using an Amlogic processor - all others are glitchy and have limited features. ( Rockchip/AllWinner)

 

We have 3 main players in regards to choices for streaming OS today. Android TV (ATV), FireTV, or RokuTV. I am not counting regular Android OS as a relevant option for reasons already mentioned.

 

ROKU TV

 

Roku is a streaming OS that can not be sideloaded. Whatever is in Appstore is what you can use, most of which are paid subscription services. So useless to most people looking to use 3rd party apps, etc. If you bought a TV with Roku built in, your options are what's built into the TV. Not considered an Android App related platform. Roku is basically the same as having a TV.

 

FIRETV/Firesticks

 

Next, FireTV, Firesticks...same thing. They are great if you're just looking to run Netflix and Amazon Prime, but they are $30 devices for a reason... LOW RAM/ROM. Try loading more than 10 apps on a stick and see what message you get. " Storage is Full". I've never been a fan of these as they are a mass-produced, cheap streaming option for paid subscription services, with no money spent on the video/audio processing circuts. No ethernet or USB option without buying extra accessories.

They are not for serious streamers. Yes, they are easy to use, and people tend to like it because they come with a decent Bluetooth remote, which most older Android boxes did not. But that has changed with ATV OS now. Specwise, do the math. Would you rather have 4G Ram processing power or the 1-2G Firesticks offer?

The latest Max Firestick, which is their newest model, is still only 2G/16Gb RAM...spending a tiny bit more would get you into a proper 4G/64Gb ATV device. Something to keep in mind. Regardless, if you feel a Firestick is right for you, I do offer setup @$20/each stick.

 

ANDROID TV (ATV) / Google TV (GTV)

 

Lastly, you come to ATV devices, which are the only way to go in my professional opinion. Can be aquired by buying a TV with ATV OS built in, such as Sony, TCL, or WestingHouse. Also, can buy an overpriced Nvidia Shield.... but....Your best option both for cost, specs, and performance is a Mecool or similar box using ATV OS, which will turn any TV into a full-blown Android TV. With 4G Ram and Amlogic processor, you will not get this kind of power with ATV built into a TV. Not to mention portability. You can move this box to any TV in your house, no matter how old, and access all its features.

 

ATV OS has its own dedicated Google Playstore that has apps not avail on regular Android boxes. Google Games Portal, Steam, and Nvidia Portals. Has Google Asisstant built in, ties into your Smart Home, Chromecast and all operated by the Bluetooth voice remote it comes with. Has both WiFi and Ethernet options and 2 USB ports for adding keyboards or hard drives.

ATV Models can be tucked behind TVs, as they come with Bluetooth remotes, line of sight isn't needed!

Google who owns Android covers 80% of the streaming market with their devices. They are continuously adding and improving user interface and features on a daily basis and making the whole ATV experience a step above whatever little competition it has out there. System updates on ATV models are now automatically done, ensuring your device is always using the latest UI.

I have been selling these Mecool ATV devices since before they went mainstream, and now they are the most sought-after streaming platform for true streamers. These a