Some people still consider televisions as idiot boxes, but they have actually progressed a lot since the time televisions were literally fat boxes which used to broadcast things that appeared at the vicinity of its antenna. Our phones have got smart nowadays, and the same goes for the televisions, as well. Smart televisions are way better than just a television, with some interfaces to connect good additional components. With smart televisions, it is possible to stream your favorite media contents, which is something most users will fall for. So should you go for a smart TV or an Android TV? I will discuss the same in this article.
Android TVs are quite popular nowadays, which is based on Google’s own Android platform that eventually offers all the goodness of Google’s own Android on the platform. After getting hands on an Android TV, you can access the internet, play games, stream your favorite shows, and do almost all the things, which you can do on a smartphone based on Android. Android TVs, might be costlier than normal LED or LCD televisions, but after reading this article, you will be matured enough to make out, whether that extra investment for an Android TV will be worth your pennies or not.
Basic features of Android TVs
Let’s find out some basic features, which all Android TVs should offer. Depending on the model, which you finally choose, some features though, might vary.
- Android TVs can connect to the internet either through your home WiFi, using an Ethernet cable or through a USB dongle which you might have with you.
- Almost all the Android TVs come with 1, 2 or more HDMI IN interfaces, multiple USB ports, an RJ45 port to connect an Ethernet cable, as I said in the last point. Some models may even come with component video and audio in interfaces, to connect your old set-top box or VCD and DVD players.
- Android TV is based on Google, you can get access to the Google Play Store to download the apps for your favorite streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, or any other, as per your choice. Not only that, you can even watch your favorite videos from YouTube’s huge library.
- It is possible to connect game controllers and keyboards or other input devices to play your favorite games and do some work on different apps like Microsoft Word, Google Docs or others.
- One unified remote control to control almost everything on your TV. In many cases, you might not even need an extra cable set-top box to watch your favorite channels. Well, in such a case, your favorite shows should also be favorite to any of the popular streaming services.
So those were the features.
Android TV Pros:
Now let’s have a look at the pros or advantages of Android TVs.
- With Android TVs, you can watch your favorite shows from different streaming services directly on the big screen of your television, or play your favorite games, as well.
- Android TVs being based on the Android platform, it is also possible to sideload APKs from third-party sources. Well, if security is your priority, better avoid that. But just in case you know, what exactly you are doing, there is at least the option to sideload APKs.
- Most Android TVs make it possible to cast your smartphone screen on the Android TV, which can eventually open a lot of possibilities to use your smartphone’s powerful processing capability and your TV’s big screen at the same time. That’s what I call getting the best of both worlds.
Basically, those were the pros. You can easily comprehend the actual pros of Android TVs, by reading the features. So I am not repeating the same all over again.
Android TV Cons:
Everything that is good, has some bad sides, as well. Android TVs is also not an exception to that. So let’s find out some difficulties you might face with Android TVs.
- Android TVs being standalone television sets with Google’s Android running at the backend, it is on the manufacturer of the television, whether they will dispatch updates or not. For example, if you have purchased an Android TV running Android Pie in 2018, getting the next Android versions is solely dependent on the manufacturer’s choice.
- It is not possible to upgrade the hardware on Android TVs. Thus, if you have purchased an Android TV with 3 GB of RAM, and a decent SoC today, it might be inefficient to run new apps and services, which might start one year after. In such a case, your Android TV will eventually become a dumb box, limited to showing movies and shows from your set-top box or so.
- The prices of Android TVs are comparatively higher than normal LCD or LED televisions of same screen size and technology, and in such cases, it is a smarter idea to get an Android TV Box and connect it to your shiny new LCD or LED TV. I will talk about Android TV Boxes at the end of this article.
So those were basically the cons.
Android TV Boxes
There is a simple reason, why Android TV manufacturers don’t deliver software updates. They just don’t want you to use a television for more than 1 or 2 years. Had they delivered updates, you could have used the Android TV for a couple of years. It is just a business strategy, which is followed by most Android TV manufacturers out there. Well, there is a solution. Just go for Android TV Boxes.
It is always a good idea to go for Android TV Boxes and make your dumb TV smart. Android TV Boxes also has the ability to make your LCD and LED TVs from the last decade smart. Android TV Boxes are just like the cable set-top box in your home, but it will run Android. An Android TV Box comes with almost all the interfaces an Android TV has, just without that big screen. Connect your Android TV Box to your dumb television through an HDMI cable, and ding! Your dumb TV is now smart. The only con is, you will need to add one more shelf at the side, top, or below your television. I don’t think, that’s going to a big issue for you
Android TV Boxes being detachable from your TV, you can easily throw it away and get a new and smarter Android TV Box, which can run on a newer version of Android and can offer a better overall package. It is better to throw away a $45-$50 Android TV box and get a new one, instead of ditching a $240-$250 Android TV, just because the old one doesn’t offer a good user interface. If you are love with the display technology of your TV or the display on the 5 years old LED TV is still bright, and don’t want to get a new one soon, getting an Android TV Box is the best way to make your dumb TV smart.
Let the television do the job of displaying things on the screen, and get a smart Android TV Box to make your TV smart. Sorted!
Should you get an Android TV or an Android TV Box?
Now the most important part of the article. Should you get a smart Android TV or an Android TV box? It depends upon who are you, and the way you use your television.
When to get
- If you are a geek and want to get something more than just watching your favorite shows and listening to your favorite songs, always go for an Android TV or Android TV Box, whichever seems to be smarter for you.
- If you love playing games on a big screen and do not want to invest hundreds of dollars to get a gaming rig, a smart or Android TV can fulfill your desires to some extent by offering you a big screen to enjoy your favorite games on it.
- If most or all the shows and movies you watch, are available on numerous streaming services, and you pay a premium to avail them, it is better to snap your cable connection and watch your favorite shows directly on your Android TV or Android TV Box. It can help you to save some money as well.
When not to get
If you are getting the Android TV or TV Box for your parents or the aged members of the family, who prefer watching some regional channels and shows, instead of the fantasy-filled episodes of Game of Thrones, it is better not to get an Android TV or Box. Most regional shows are not available on the most popular streaming platforms. In such cases, it is worth paying a few pennies to the cable provider instead of getting an Android TV or Android TV Box.
If your apartment does not have a decent internet connectivity or your WiFi network is not fast enough, it will be a waste of money, purchasing an Android TV or an Android TV Box. It isn’t fun at all to watch your favorite shows with endless buffering after every single minute or so.
So that was it. Getting an Android TV always make sense if you love watching online shows on a big screen. But trust me, it is always better to add an extra shelf and get an Android TV Box to not regret later. Yes, you might have to use two different remote controllers to control each of them, but that is never a deal breaker. At the end of the day you will realize, you are using your Android TV Box remote controller than your TV remote controller. At a price, you will get a better LCD or an LED TV with better display and sound, compared to if you invest the same in purchasing an Android TV available at that price. You will either have to compromise on the sound or picture quality, or something else, which is not going to be fruitful in the long run.
Hope the information was helpful for you. Have any questions or suggestions? Feel free to comment the same down below.
Other useful resources
- How to Install and setup Synology DS218j NAS Box
- Does the different profiling of Curved and Flat TVs matter?
- How to cast mobile screen to PC or smart TV without any dedicated hardware
- Kodak 55 inch (4K) Ultra HD LED Smart TV (55UHDXSMART) Review: 4K in Budget
- How to Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu Step By Step
- 5 Best Linux Distros looks like Windows 7/10/XP Interface