If you’re interested in modern television and television of general, then I’m sure you have heard of Smart TVs and how they have changed the way TVs are being perceived.
Instead of seeing Television as simple boxes with a screen with the ability to show you a set number of channels and only in a linear fashion, you are able to freely choose what you want your TV screen to show.
As a Smart TV functions as an upgrade to a regular TV, TV boxes and Android supported Smart TVs in general serve as the next step towards a wider specter of choices.
But many of you may wonder to what’s an Android TV box and how come it’s considered different from normal Smart TVs.
Simple Smart TVs
While in general Smart TVs may seem to be something that makes TVs so much more complicated, but actually it makes the TVs easier to use, at least from the user’s perspective.
It’s definitely true that the processes that the TV does or what lets it do it, is more advanced than a normal TV, but then again the actual TV doesn’t do the main work.
Complicated Is Not So Complicated
You may be a little confused to what I mean, but really a Smart TV is just a screen with an either internal or external computer which does all the work.
But really such an addition to a device which is always supposed to do some kind of function is normal and every product that has some kind of electronics, has some, like a kettle for an example.
Any user with a product which purpose is specific or has some kind of margins that it works within, for example the same kettle.
You expect the kettle to be turned off when the button shows that it’s turned off or the other way around, and it has to reach a certain state within the kettle, the boiling point and then automatically turn off.
You wouldn’t want it to appear to be turned on and look like it’s turned off.
But that would be a simple kettle, some kettles can also be connected to your whole home network and be automated and work within a specific schedule.
Many Simple Functions
So most kettles are build around a few simple parameters that they follow, that’s why they are still considered simple devices.
But what if you make 100 of just very simple functions, that will definitely seem to be bigger, but nothing too impressive, where it does start to get interesting, is when you connect all of them.
TVs really work in the way that it has all of those functions connected not saying other devices don’t, of course that computers have a lot of these simple functions connections, that is what Smart TVs are based on.
But for TVs it has been a little but different, they have had a simple function to show what is on the screen, which is made of other smaller functions.
While most computers all the time have just been increasing the speed or the way they do their functions, their basic functions have been mostly the same, obviously they are quite impressive.
But TVs instead of just making everything faster has added a lot of diversity to how you can use the actual TV.
In a way you can say that cable boxes were the early TV boxes, while they didn’t or still doesn’t offer any kind of connection to the internet or have a really advanced operating system with a personal AI.
But a cable box does have the very basic functions that TV boxes have.
Like receiving data and processing it and allowing this data to be visible on a screen. And the newer cable boxes would even have a nice GUI (Graphical User Interface).
Modern cable boxes can even offer you the possibility to playback already showed TV shows or movies, which means that these boxes already possessed the ability to not just receive data, but also send it, this certainly improved television.
But the massive difference is that TV boxes don’t work in a way that you can only receive and send data to your service provider, but instead you are able to use the internet.
Honestly internet is really revolutionary and has made modern day life so much more. Customizable, more free, at this point you can connect to every person who has access to internet and connecting TVs to such a giant tool, changes everything.
The Actual TV Boxes
So far we should know that TV boxes work in a way like a computer would, but what’s so special about these TV boxes that make them different from ordinary Smart TVs.
To actually understand the benefits of a TV box, it’s necessary to look at Smart TVs in general.
When you would buy a Smart TV it would already be all in the TV, all the programs would be preset and there would be minimal setup needed.
But most Smart TVs work towards being extremely simple and easy to understand, so they are also equipped with limited amount of apps, so the casual customer doesn’t get overwhelmed.
You can look at it this way, the one that makes some specific Smart TV, makes it with original components, like their own original operating system, which is meant only for the TVs.
This makes these TVs more expensive because this kind of hardware and software is only available within this specific market, so in a way it makes them unique.
That is what usually takes most of the price, not the screen.
Same, But Different
An interesting part of Android TV boxes are that there are two very different types of Android available, while they are still considered Android and I’m not talking about older or newer versions.
There is Android TV OS, which is specifically directed towards the TV products and have a more Netflix like GUI, which has become more a norm for Smart TVs.
But as this is a reshape of the original OS for the use of TVs, it still technically has Play Store, though it’s actually quite limited and doesn’t offer as many apps.
And then there is what people would call “pure” Android, this is a version of Android which is the same Android that you would use in your smartphones or other mobile devices.
This Android is not meant to mimic the normal look of Smart TVs, but rather represent Android as it would be normally.
That’s why this Android has the full Play Store and does have the same look as the one you would use on your smartphone.
Physical Side Of A TV Box
So far we have been mostly talking about the software side of a TV box, but what does physically qualify as a TV box?
As the name implies, it should be in the general shape of a box, where there is the hardware in, doesn’t mean that it’s only supposed to have four sides, it can have eight or none at all, it wouldn’t make a difference.
What does make a difference is what’s inside of it.
So for you to be able to use the TV box in a way that it would be enjoyable and for you to be able to use the basic apps, there are some requirements necessary to be met.
Like for example it must have a processor, and depending on the speed or the actions your planning to make you want it to be more powerful.
But the lowest you should even look at is a Dual Core processor, anything below that will really be a waste of money or just an increasingly painful experience.
The TV box also needs RAM and storage, on the very least it should be 2 GB of RAM and 5 GB of storage, you do need some place where to keep your apps.
And a TV box would also need an Ethernet input, this is the focus of TV boxes and Smart TVs in general, streaming movies, so you need to make sure you are able to connect it to internet.
What’s An Android TV Box
So what exactly is an Android TV box?
Basically an Android TV box is a very small computer that you are able to freely connect to your TV.
Well, it can be any screen as long as you’re able to connect an HDMI cable to it and the TV box.
Also, an Android TV box has to have Android as the operating system, as we talked before there are two types of Android, excluding the many versions of Android that serve as upgrades to previous ones.
While you would look at Apple TV and Fire TV and wonder why they are not called TV boxes, even if they clearly have the concept of a small computer connected to a TV and functioning as Smart TV written all over them.
You can rest assured that you definitely know what’s an Android TV box.
If there is anything I missed or if there is a question that you would like to have an answer to, please don’t be afraid to write in the comments.