Android Decoders or TV boxes as more commonly known, have been increasingly getting popular in the market as big strides are being made in the field of smart devices, mobile processors and High-Definition video.
As much as there are various companies that are in the business of making set-top boxes, the Android platform remains the strongest and most favored platform for most smart TV and decoder manufacturers.
In Kenya, internet reliant decoders have not been widely publicized and so they haven’t quite gotten as much attention as the classic one-way Broadcast TV decoders. Even so, with everything “going digital”, you might want to check out the following awesome android decoders that are smarter and aptly interactive.
- Nvidia Shield
If you are a geek, you probably do not need any explanation why this is the first choice here. For the rest, the Nvidia Shield Android streaming box is a standout device mainly for its best-in-class hardware, gaming and connectivity package.
Firstly, for HD video enthusiasts, it supports 4K streaming from the locally available providers such as YouTube and Netflix. It also includes a game controller instead of a classic remote, which when coupled with its high-performance hardware, should appeal to people with large collections of Android games and a love for big screens.
You also get a wide array of ports, for connecting your other gadgets and even expanding the storage with a micro SD card. Nonetheless, this Android TV beast trying to rival the Xbox and PlayStation will set you back a little over 20K.
- Google Nexus Player
As you all know by now, everything Android is basically Google and so the mother company would never miss out on the opportunities it creates. That being said, the Google Nexus Android decoder is a simpler and cheaper box than the Shield, and is ideally paired with an actual remote.
The device basically propels its users to be the forerunners of Android TV while also allowing them to cast/project content from their tablets or phones as with the esteemed Chromecast dongle.
The Nexus Player also features a rather powerful Quad Core processor clocked at 1.8GHz paired with a PowerVR graphics engine and 1GB of RAM for gaming enthusiasts. On a less positive note, it only features a HDMI and MicroUSB port, a meager 8 Gigabytes of storage and is Google-biased – unless you are loyal.
- Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire set-top box is a well designed and preloaded streaming box with over 3000 apps and a variety of nifty features such as parental controls and an integrated digital voice assistant. More so, it is arguably the best valued 4K streaming device with hundreds of games and expandable storage.
The box runs a highly customized version of Android from Amazon which goes to explain why it hard sells Amazon Prime content both in search and interface. Other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO are shunted such that you can only get them in the “More Options” categories.
All in all, the device is pretty slick and for a price of around 10K, you get a pretty decent decoder, for both your online and offline streaming needs, that is also game-worthy.
All in all, the device is pretty slick and for a price of around 10K, you should be get a pretty decent decoder, for both your online and offline streaming needs, that is also game-worthy.
- Matricom G-Box
This is another highly popular (Number 1 Best Seller on Amazon Store) Android decoder with a fairly nice set of features for optimal performance and streaming experience.
The newest model runs a purist version of android powered by an Octa-Core and 3D Graphic processor which guarantees smooth playback of your favorite content. For those who relish freedom, this is an unrestricted set-top box which allows you to sideload all your favorite applications and customize it the way you like.
It also features full integration and support for KODI TV, 8 Gigabytes of internal storage and the capacity to play Full HD videos (no 4K video). For all that and an unconditional warranty of 12 months, this is deal breaking Android decoder that costs a little less the 10K.
- The Big Box
When it boils down to availability, Safaricom’s own Big Box Android set-top box is rivaled by none. The Kenyan super brand hypes its Android decoder as the ultimate solution for local media and internet consumers for the fact that users can easily use the company’s broadband data plans even though they actually cost an arm and a leg when compared to cable internet.
Must Read: Is the Safaricom Big Box Worth it?
On a positive note, the device features an Ethernet port as well as an SD card expansion slot, for offline playback, and a classic USB port. The box also includes a full-buttoned remote albeit too traditional for this digital era and actual interface productivity. It has to be said that even though it is fairly priced compared to the others mentioned here, it is also a bit run-down, touting and outdated version of Android and an amateurish UI.
All these decoders are available locally although some of them are hard to find in the local stores and therefore need to be sort out in reputable online stores. For new buyers, it is also important to note that nearly all Android boxes require HDMI connection and it would be wise to confirm TV compatibility before purchase.
Similarly, a decent Internet connection, preferably Wi-Fi, is crucial for streaming videos or games especially during peak evening hours. You may also want to consider a universal remote if you would like to enjoy convenience of using one remote for all your living room devices.