Which Android TV to buy ?
If you are at this page, we assume that you know what an Android TV is and what it does. If not, have a look at this article.
At this point, the first thing to ask is really what we want or what will be their main function. Are we going to watch movies online?, Do you want to play games?, to watch videos in 1080P? o all in one?. If what you want is the last one we will have to pay a little more money for it.
There are many models and variety of Android TV on the market, each with its own characteristics, which although many are common among them, others are really specific.
Let’s start, there are android tv similar to a Pendrive with a limited number of connections. Usually connected directly to the TV HDMI port, being hidden behind the TV. They also normally have a MicroSD card slot and a pair of USB ports. These devices generally lack Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi does not have a good quality signal. The good things are that they consume very little, make no noise and you can carry it anywhere.
On the other hand we have the Android TV Box, somewhat larger than the stick, and having greater connectivity and expansion level. These do not need to go directly to the HDMI port on your TV, but come with an extension wire for it. Have their own charger that can connect to the grid by an appropriate adapter. The reception of the Wi-Fi signal is much better because most of them feature a external antenna. In addition, they offer Ethernet LAN connection, where we can connect a cable directly to our router to get the internet.
They normally have MicroSD card slot, besides giving us the ability to connect an external HDD to increase storage capacity. They also incorporate Bluetooth, so we can connect BT devices and even gamepads work with this technology.
Now that we have seen the two types of Android TV that populate the market, let us focus a little more on what’s the use that we are going to give them:
For what we want it?
An Android TV for games
If this is the main purpose we want to give to our Android TV, we have to look at the best possible connectivity for our gamepads. So therefore have to rely on Bluetooth to connect the PS3 gamepad that work with this technology, with the corresponding recognition application.
Also with OTG port we could use controls such as the XBox 360.
On the other hand, you need to have 1GB of RAM (if it can be 2, much better), a Dual-Core processor (currently we can find Quad-Core) and a good graphics processor as the MALI-400 or higher. It is also important to have the latest Android version. Version 4.2 Jelly Beans would be fine but the latest the better.
And for those who do not have such controls, you can always use Miracast o Airdroid to control your games with your smartphone o tablet.
An Android TV to watch movies
If we like more movies than games, then what we need is a device with at least 1GB of RAM, and graphics processor to give us at least, native resolution of 1080p. And we say native because there are some android tv with a processor that offer this resolution, but is a rescaling of 720p.
If it also has a good audio output, it is always better to listen to our favorite movie with a nice and quality sound. Not forgetting that we must think in the storage, which usually is around 8GB of ROM consider the possibility of increasing it to an external HDD or a high capacity MicroSD card.
An Android TV to watch live content
For this type of Android TV we have to be more demanding as we will need an excellent Internet connectivity. If we have Wi-Fi Dual Band Ethernet or LAN connection, we have no problems with the data transfer, preventing interference.
A high-power processor. 2GB of RAM will be needed for this purpose, for a movie or series. 1080P native resolution, because we will want to see that movie or that serie with the highest quality and clarity possible. To finish, it is also strongly recommended that it comes with XBMC, a multiplatform that supports a variety of formats, and plays correctly from any storage media.
An Android TV for Facebook, Youtube, etc
If you are looking for an Android TV to see videos in Youtube, to see your Facebook, to surf the internet and things like that, you can get almost the cheapest of the android tv that you can find. Even Android sticks will work very good for this kind of use.
Whatever Android TV you want to buy, a cheap or a last generation one, one of the most important things to consider is how you are going to control your Android TV. In this case you have a lot of options, from using your smartphone or even using the remote control that often comes with the Android TV. Anyway, if you are thinking in to get a good Android TV, you should think in to get a remote controller like the MeLe F10 Air Mouse or similar to control your Android TV in a easy way.
Another thing to consider is the price, because if we buy a really cheap Android TV because today we just want to watch some videos of youtube and that is, we should know that the really cheap ones are cheap because they are not that good, and maybe for a little more money, you can have an Android TV prepare for everything.