Help Me Decide: Why Should I Buy An Android TV Box?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by Jeffrey, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    I have been considering the Nvidia Shield and the HiMedia Q10 Pro and I'm totally confused....

    Perhaps you guys who have these devices or similar, can help me out.

    I have been looking to end my reliance on my satellite provider and "cut the cord".
    For months I have been looking at Android TV Boxes but don't understand where the savings are.
    My Satellite company has a pretty good selection of content. Living in Thailand, they provide the international or Asian version of said content and I want the US version.

    Now, correct me if I am wrong. In order for me to get US TV programing and premium programing like HBO, I will need to subscribe to various services at a cost that could be a lot more than I pay now.
    Is this the case and if so what is the benefit of an Android TV Box?

    BTW.. Not really interested in Gaming tho my kids would ...lol
     
  2. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Congrats on your decision to cut the cord! I'm still a big fan of my FireTV.
    If you're a Prime customer it's worth considering. Most of them these days provide the same options, but some are definitely better than others. It was well worth the upgrade over my Fire stick....much more storage space & a lot faster.
    It includes a great voice remote (which takes 2 triple A batteries that last quite awhile) It has 4K capabilities, but since I don't have a compatible tv yet I can't comment on that part. It also allows for expandable storage, (although I haven't needed to use it yet) and you can easily sideload Kodi for those additional cable channels not included with most media players.
    It's definitely worth considering if you're a Prime member. If not than one of the others will probably provide a better user experience. It also uses both HDMI or Optical out for audio which isn't offered on most dongles.
    Apple makes a great one as well.

    I would advise going with a set top box over one of the dongles, simply because they offer more storage space & are generally more powerful.
    Good luck with your decision & let us know how you make out.

    S7 Edge tap'n
     
    #2 cr6, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    Thanks Chris..

    What about the content? I know Kodi is free, but will need to add a content provider.. I don't think Amazon allows content outside the US...
     
  4. pc747

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    I went through this a few years ago when I decided to cut the cord. My advice may differ being you are international.

    I actually did a challenge going a year without cable and here are the things that helped (Sunday Evening Chat: SlingTV Review).

    As far as what box to use depends on your needs and wants. But Kodi is going to be a key tool so make sure your box allows it.

    Here are the apps and services I used.

    1) sling TV: they have come a long way since their debut. I am an avid sports fan so this is a must for my ESPN. And now they added NFL Network they are in the house. But be careful, if you don't pay attention you will find yourself paying about as much with them as you would cable as those packages can add up.

    2) Kodi: easily the most versatile open source platform for set top boxes. What makes Kodi what it is is the developers. Like with Roms on Android phones there are a library of development out there as well as you being able to do it yourself. I personally have used "The Beast" being recommended by a friend.

    3) Rabbit Ears: a good set of rabbit ears, especially here in the States, will help you forget about cable. You would be amazed how many channels you pick up over the air and many are HD quality.

    4) HBO Now: I am a Game of Thrones fan. That intro brings a smile to my face and I'm able to get the show live without a cable subscription. I sign up for the months that GOT is airing and cancel after the last episode.

    5) The CW: You want to catch up on the CW heroes (Flash, Arrow, Legends) because you missed it when it aired. Well no need to grab cable for the DVR. Just download the CW app on your phone or go to the website on your computer. Yeah you are going to have to sit through ads but hey it's free. And the app performance for me was actually better than Hulu, so much so last year I ended up having to use it vs Hulu. Well this year they took the programming rights from Hulu and aired it themselves. The app itself is good, though I'll have to admit I ran into some issues casting it to my shield (kept timing out). I'll have to dig in later to determine whether the issue was isolated, a result of the shield, or an issue with the app. Stay tuned for that. But despite that it is a go-to for me.

    Netflix-hulu-Youtube: I know your already know this but I posted just in case someone else had the same question. But these are a solid addition with Hulu being the least recommended. With more TV stations having their own apps for people to catch missed shows and Hulu basically going from free commercial to basically removing free and charging to view commercial filled shows, I find myself recommending Hulu less and less.

    I hope that helps. I know I didn't go into detail about what box to get and that was because I was more focused on the programming. With many set top boxes offering those programs the question is what hardware you want to use. For me the shield was a good choice because it was the best set top box on the market. And with the added addition of the option to play quality games it was a no brainier. But if you have no desire to ever game or have anyone over to game, then there are cheaper options out there. But with anything you sometimes get what you pay for. And that includes lack of support. Nvidia so far has proven they are willing to support their products so make sure the hardware you choose have a similar track record.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    Thanks for the response @pc747

    1) sling TV: they have come a long way since their debut. I am an avid sports fan so this is a must for my ESPN. And now they added NFL Network they are in the house. But be careful, if you don't pay attention you will find yourself paying about as much with themas you would cable as those packages can add up.

    Sling runs about $20.

    2) Kodi: easily the most versatile open source platform for set top boxes. What makes Kodi what it is is the developers. Like with Roms on Android phones there are a library of development out there as well as you being able to do it yourself. I personally have used "The Beast" being recommended by a friend.

    I know about Kodi and the Q10 Pro comes with Kodi installed as does the Nvidia..
    3) Rabbit Ears: a good set of rabbit ears, especially here in the States, will help you forget about cable. You would be amazed how many channels you pick up over the air and many are HD quality.

    Not an option here in Thailand.. but I still need ABC, CBS, CNN etc..
    How do I get them Kodi?


    4) HBO Now: I am a Game of Thrones fan. That intro brings a smile to my face and I'm able to get the show live without a cable subscription. I sign up for the months that GOT is airing and cancel after the last episode.
    Sounds like a good choice..

    5) The CW: You want to catch up on the CW heroes (Flash, Arrow, Legends) because you missed it when it aired. Well no need to grab cable for the DVR. Just download the CW app on your phone or go to the website on your computer. Yeah you are going to have to sit through ads but hey it's free. And the app performance for me was actually better than Hulu, so much so last year I ended up having to use it vs Hulu. Well this year they took the programming rights from Hulu and aired it themselves. The app itself is good, though I'll have to admit I ran into some issues casting it to my shield (kept timing out). I'll have to dig in later to determine whether the issue was isolated, a result of the shield, or an issue with the app. Stay tuned for that. But despite that it is a go-to for me.

    Netflix-hulu-Youtube: I know your already know this but I posted just in case someone else had the same question. But these are a solid addition with Hulu being the least recommended. With more TV stations having their own apps for people to catch missed shows and Hulu basically going from free commercial to basically removing free and charging to view commercial filled shows, I find myself recommending Hulu less and less.

    I have Netflix now and plan on keeping it..
     
  6. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    So this will cost $25. for Sling and $12. for HBO or $37.00 total which is about half of what I pay for my satellite now.

    I would also need to consider the cost of the box.
     
  7. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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  8. pc747

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    For you Kodi is your friend. But you can get CNN on sling as part of the standard $20 programming (at least I did when I had it, the apartment I'm at now forces us to have basic cable because it's included in the rent and can't be removed)

    ABC: watch ABC app or Hulu but those are to catch it the next day and not live. Maybe Kodi can help you with that.

    CBS: like ABC, CBS has an app and it comes in handy during March madness. But they were nowhere near as good as the others.

    I'm going to be honest. One thing I ended up having to get use to was that there were going to be some sacrifices. There were a lot of conveniences I gave up by cutting the cord. If I wanted to catch my niners I either had to go to a sports bar or find a way to get it via NFL.com. But through the struggle I found ways around it. Even better is it got me off the TV more and doing other things so much so that I rarely watch TV now. When I had 500 channels plus I still couldn't find anything to watch and had a big bill to show for it. The money I saved I went out to movies, went out to discover nice areas around me to watch the games and meet people. And as far as 24 hour news. Oh am I happy I cut that out my life. I was surprised how my mood and stress level changed once I moved away from them. I get my news by reading what comes through on Twitter.

    The first year was the hardest especially around sports season. It was why I made a thread that literally followed my struggle that year. @bkdodger and dgstorm helped me get through that year. And to make matters worse was one of my key horses in my stable (USTVNOW) fell off big time. But I got through it and the change was worth it. I saved money, got off the couch more, and ended up finding more entertainment in YouTube channels than some TV channels. As far as the sacrifices it was minor. I still got to watch my niners, still caught my favorite shows (though I may had to catch it on the app which usually loaded up midnight), and honestly I don't miss cable at all.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    I have the free ustvnow as $19/mo is much too much for what they offer..
    PLUS they are not Chromecast compatible which causes cating errors..
     
  10. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    @pc747 have you checked out Playstation Vue.. Seems they have more feature and channels...
     
  11. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    I was going to but never got around to buying one. I may have to get my brother to check it out for me as he has a ps4.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
  12. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    No No.. Playstation Vue is a streaming service.. Check it out..

    PlayStation Vue
     
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