With a TV box we can make a non-smart TV smart, with an Android TV box we can use thousands of apps: here's how to choose it.
Giuseppe Croce Journalist
Peppe Croce, journalist since 2008, deals with electronic devices and new technologies applied to the automotive world. He joined Libero Tecnologia in 2018.
Smart TVs have changed the way we watch movies and TV series, but not everyone wants to buy one. Maybe because they already have a great TV at home, maybe 4K, but it's not smart or it's very little because it's a few years old and doesn't support the latest apps.
In cases like this, there is a solution and it's to buy, for a few tens of euros, a TV box with Android operating system. These are small devices, basically mini computers, that use Google's mobile operating system to run apps. They connect to the Internet with WiFi and to the TV with an HDMI cable and that's it: just turn them on, select the video output corresponding to the HDMI port where the box is connected and the magic is done. Perhaps it is more difficult to choose the Android TV box than to use it after buying it, because there are several technical features that differentiate them from each other. Here's what to look at to make the right choice.
Android TV Box: the resolution
Android TV boxes can have 1080p HD or 4K UHD resolution. Clearly, the 4K ones cost more, but they are to be preferred. However, if your TV is not 4K, you won't be able to take advantage of this resolution.
You have to look at the future: if you plan to change your TV soon, it is very likely that it will be 4K and that it will already have all the functions of the Android TV box. Buy one 4K, therefore, could be of little use.
Android TV Box: the version of the operating system
As happens even on smartphones on the market, at the same time, you can find devices with different versions of the same operating system. That's why it's possible to find boxes with Android 9, Android 10 and Android 11 and, clearly, those with Android 11 are to be preferred.
But let's be clear that the vast majority of apps will also work with Android 9, so the choice should be weighed against other factors.
Android TV Box: memory
Like all electronic devices, Android TV boxes also have RAM memory and storage memory. The former is used to run apps, the latter to store them on the device and to hold any streaming content recordings.
Today, a good starting configuration is one with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage memory.