IPTV BOXES REVIEWED: 10 Best of 2019

IPTV Box

Regular television is great, but it can get really boring. The potential of your TV is endless, and the newest way to charge up your TV is by using the best IPTV boxes. Sure, you can say smart TVs are becoming more and more popular; but these are not great for streaming.

Your TV will never bore you out again with a TV box connected to it. Unlike your typical TV interface, IPTV boxes offer a polished, modern interface and exciting features and specs that can revamp your home/office TV setup by giving you access to apps, games, internet, and various streaming services, without having to replace the TV itself.

How to Stream and Watch IPTV

To stream content on IPTV, you need a gadget that is compatible with the specific content you wish to stream. This gadget should be able to accept, decode, and deliver the desired content, which may come in the shape of movies, games, sports, shows, and so forth. Three options for streaming such content include:

  1. TV boxes
  2. Smartphones
  3. Smart TVs

These are all necessities, but not to confuse them for each other. Let us briefly look at each of these devices for streaming content.

TV boxes

To start with, TV boxes are built specifically for streaming media, and they are normally excellent at carrying out this one job. So many brands of TV boxes are available from various manufacturers, and this article will dwell on TV boxes and highlight the models we believe to be the best IPTV box of 2019.

Smartphones

These are another fantastic alternative for streaming media. A great thing about using the mobile phone option is that you should not get to spend a lot of money on it since you already probably have a smartphone. Interestingly, mobile phones pack more power than most smart TVs. A drawback on streaming via a smartphone is that the small sizes of mobile phone screens do not give you a complete experience.

Smart TVs

They should be the ready-made streaming solution, but from a user point of view, you can say that smart TVs are not good for streaming. That is thanks to the slow navigation, lack of customization options, and limited processing power. To be fair, these gadgets were not specifically designed for streaming but simply to display the content you request.

What is TV Box?

An Android TV box is a little gadget that you connect to a television to stream and play videos and games. They are quite popular also because they are an inexpensive method of transforming just about any setup into a smart TV. If you want to know the best IPTV boxes of 2019, I trust you already know what TV boxes are and precisely what they offer you. So, we won’t dwell on these aspects but instead, go on to show you how you can make an informed decision on getting the ideal one for your setup.

IPTV boxes ultimately supercharge your otherwise old TV and let you immerse yourself into a whole new world of internet streaming services, such as iPlayer and Netflix. With these boxes, you also get to enjoy applications like Kodi and Plex without changing your television for a smart TV. These boxes are not only excellent for their entertainment magic, but they are also mostly quite affordable too. However, purchasing one of these things is a Herculean task. A quick Google search brings up tons of results from big-name manufacturers as well as their cheap Chinese alternatives, all seemingly being the best IPTV box.

That being said, you also have a choice of different kinds of IPTV boxes; some are built to function with specific streaming services like Now TV and others are compatible with all facilities. Further, from the build and specs point of view, just like every other gadget, these all IPTV boxes are not born equally – do you want 4K and HDR voice controls and streaming quality? If you are down to purchase one of these fantastic devices, you will find this article interesting, as we will discuss the best IPTV boxes and allow you to choose the ideal one for yourself.

🔘 How we made our selections

The first thing you should know if you are new to IPTV interfaces is that they are generally of two types – the self-powering boxes that you place close to your TV and the small sticks that you attach directly to your TV via an HDMI connector. In terms of connectivity, they all can connect to internet networks via Wi-Fi, with some others having an option of connecting through an Ethernet cable. These two factors are down to the buyer’s preferences and requirements for his or her setup.

Another huge factor that you look out for is what you can watch with any given unit. The thing about TV boxes is that, once you get the hang of them, then making a choice becomes straightforward. If you plan to use it for streaming content from Amazon Prime or Netflix, your choice will be limited. This is because the only Android IPTV boxes that can stream Netflix in 4K are the following:

  • Google Chromecast
  • Apple TV
  • Google Nexus Player
  • Roku
  • NVIDIA Shield TV
  • Amazon Fire TV

Moreover, for Amazon Prime, you will be forced to use Amazon hardware to get optimum picture quality. However, you only get to make complex choices if you will be using it solely as a Kodi box.

What is Kodi?

kodi iptv box

In the course of reading through this post, you will hear ‘Kodi’ a lot, and if you are new to IPTV streaming, you would be confused, like what is Kodi?

Kodi is an application that allows you to handle and play any format of media like pictures, streams, videos, and so forth. With Kodi, you also get tons of plugins, free and paid, to further increase its functions.

This amazing application, however, is hugely reliant on media you already have, so you don’t save much if you want to stream content off other video services. Kodi instead acts as a tool for enhancing other services and functionalities.

NOTE: The use of Kodi is entirely legal, but only if your usage does not infringe on any law. For instance, Kodi frowns at the streaming of pirated content.

Is a VPN Needed?

You may or may not know what a VPN is; it is merely a secure tunnel created on the internet in which data can pass securely from one node (computer, smartphone, IPTV box, etc.) to another node in a network connection. With a VPN, a third-party app or service will be unable to track your network traffic to know what you do on the network or data you send/receive. For this, it is recommended that you use a VPN service for your IPTV. Although not compulsory, below are some reasons why you may think twice about using an IPTV box without a VPN connection in place.

  • Most network providers like to block specific websites or even throttle your connection if they notice you have streamed a lot from a particular service. With a VPN, your network providers will not have a clue of the websites you visit, and even if one is blocked, you would still be able to access it tunneling through a VPN.
  • Some services are inaccessible from specific locations or are only available to some countries. Some VPN service providers allow you even to choose the place you want websites to see you browsing from. With these, you are not restricted by location, and you can access any service you like to use from anywhere in the world.
  • A reliable VPN can improve your network strength, and you need optimal network speeds for streaming videos on the internet. The VPN service achieves this by tunneling to a server geographically close to the where the server of the streaming service is hosted.
  • VPNs are mostly used for protecting internet data. No matter how trustworthy you think an IPTV box manufacturer or streaming service provider is, you cannot be too careful about your data. It is always a good practice to use a VPN whenever you are using a public network.

Core Features to Consider

Apart from those listed above, there are also some must-have specs and features that an IPTV box should support to be a candidate for best IPTV box of 2019. If one of these features is missing, you will notice that the manufacturers compensate for it with another similarly impressive feature or pricing. On this list of the best Android IPTV boxes of 2019, if you see no mention of any of the following features or specifications, just assume the gadget has that feature. The must-have features and specs that an Android IPTV box must have to be considered one of the best are the following:

  • HDMI 2.0
  • Regular, over-the-air firmware updates
  • USB 3.0
  • At least 3GB RAM
  • Runs on at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • H.265 Hardware encoding
  • 5.1 Audio passthrough
  • Either dual-band Wi-Fi or gigabit Ethernet or both
  • Dynamic refresh rate switching

Comparison of the Best IPTV Boxes

As you have gotten to this point, you are now more equipped to understand our selection process and understand what services are essential to you individually. Below is a list of what we believe are the ten best IPTV Android boxes of 2019, starting from least recommended to the most recommended.

This list should serve as a guide that you should go through before making a purchasing decision, because with the right choice for your setup and needs, you are fundamentally improving the quality of your home or office entertainment, and you won’t get bored of the device. However, purchasing an IPTV box that does not meet your needs fully can turn into an unpleasant event. Here go the top ten best IPTV Android boxes in the market today:

The following list is in descending order – this means the overall BEST Android IPTV box comes last.


10. Minix NEO U1

Minix NEO U1 IPTV Box

First impressions:

I heard lots of good things about this IPTV box and jumped at the opportunity to try it out. Boy, was I impressed! This box is loaded with a 64-bit quad-core processor that clocks at 1.5GHz. Its 2GB RAM and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS leaves much to be desired, but mot many boxes at this price point can boast of the specs of the Minix NEO U1.

On the Minix Neo U1, you can browse the internet and stream with little or no buffer if you have a stable internet connection. With the 4k ultra HD video that plays at about 60 fps, you are covered in the aspect of video quality. Moreover, you can watch videos at the decent 1090p on this IPTV box. Further, I like the silent operation of this box. I consider the annoying noise to be a deal-breaker when I review Android TV boxes.

Pros:

  • The Minix NEO U1 delivers a smooth operation despite the not-so-great specs
  • Quiet operation. The TV box makes little or no noise at all when in use

Cons:

  • Bluetooth connection issues
  • The manufacturers are not big industry names, so there is a little doubt, especially regarding support
  • Connectivity problems from around 2 feet distance, when not using an external antenna

9. MINGHOO PlayStream Media Player

MINGHOO PlayStream Media Player IPTV box

First impression:

You may be shocked to find this model on our list of the best Android IPTV boxes of 2019 because it and its manufacturers are relatively unknown to the streaming scene. However, this TV box gives you a real bang for your buck; there is no core function or spec you won’t find on this model.

For example, the PlayStream Media Player packs 32GB of EMMC ROM to allow you save all your setups and media, as well as a standard 3GB of DDR3 RAM for a smooth operation. On the content aspect, with the PlayStream Media Player, you get more than 2,500 different channels, hence making this box among the options with the most content.

Pros:

  • Ample storage on the device
  • Intuitive user experience

Cons:

  • Pricey hardware
  • Manufacturers are relatively unknown

8. Goobang Doo XB-III

8. Goobang Doo XB-III IPTV box

First impressions:

Just like the TV box above, Goobang is not the most popular TV box manufacturer in the world, but the device gives most of the others from more prominent manufacturers a run for their money. On first look, the user interface seems bland, and as if the company just focused on the features while leaving out the user’s experience. It’s not the end of the world, however, because the XB-III delivers in almost every other aspect.

The moving parts of the box are quite sturdy and feel solid. With the XB-III, it’s pretty much plug-and-play, without any complex configurations.

Pros:

  • Fast quad-core CPU
  • Robust HDR capabilities
  • Fast downloads and loading
  • Great for 4K videos
  • Reduced buffering time

Cons:

  • Bland user interface
  • Disappointing remote controller
  • There is some delay while using the keypad

7. Apple TV 4K

7. Apple TV 4K IPTV box

First Impressions

Apple maintained the general square design of older models. This compact, all-black device stretches only 3.9 x 3.9 inches and is 1.4 inches high. The Apple TV spots its standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and, as the name reveals, this fantastic device supports 4K Ultra HD streaming. The display on the Apple TV Stick looks quite tidy, as it has iPhone-esque icons.

Along with the regular power port, this impressive device features one HDMI port for connection to other TVs and gadgets on the back, as well as a gigabit Ethernet port, which is excellent for streaming 4K videos and general network connectivity and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless wireless connectivity. You don’t control much from the TV itself as everything is done via the remote controller.

Interestingly, Apple did not use the directional, analog pad; they instead opted for a touch surface spotted at the top of the controller. At first, it might feel uncomfortable using this touch surface, but when you get accustomed to it, you will find it easier to use than the directional control, particularly when scrolling and browsing through content to watch.

The touch surface on the remote also serves as the selection button; pressing down the touch surface selects an option. The Apple TV 4K remote also has standard buttons, such as volume and Siri activation buttons, and so forth. To charge the remote, you can find a lightning port at the bottom side of the remote. Of course, you can control this device with your voice, which is genuinely one of the smartest we’ve ever seen.

The processor on the Apple TV 4K has also been upgraded from an A8 to an A10X chip, and this device supports Dolby Vision and Ultra HD video at 60Hz. Regarding its cost, the Apple TV 4K has a somewhat premium price tag; it comes in 32GB and 64GB storage variants, which cost $179 and $199 respectively.

Pros:

  • This device feels premium and comfortable at the same time
  • It has a great remote, unlike most other IPTV boxes, where it seems the manufacturers paid not much attention to the remote controllers.

Cons:

  • The premium feel comes with the premium price tag. You can get better features for way less than the cost of this gadget. Continue reading to find out.

6. Infomir MAG 254

6. Infomir MAG 254 IPTV box

First Impressions

A brand like Informir is well-known among IPTV box users; their devices need no introduction to streaming users as they do not shy away from the spotlight, thanks to their build, value, performance, and efficiency. This MAG model makes it to seventh place on this list because it is Infomir’s flagship model, sporting a 650 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. If you only need a TV box for streaming, without necessarily storing a lot of data like apps, videos, etc., then the Infomir MAG is a great choice for you.

This gadget is not for the casual user; you won’t use much of the functions. However, if you run power-intensive games and applications or like to binge watch TV shows, then the MAG was created with you in mind. The infomir may overwhelm a newbie to IPTV boxes.

A brand like Informir is well-known among IPTV box users; their devices need no introduction to streaming users as they do not shy away from the spotlight, thanks to their build, value, performance, and efficiency. This MAG model makes it to seventh place on this list because it is Infomir’s flagship model, sporting a 650 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. If you only need a TV box for streaming, without necessarily storing a lot of data like apps, videos, etc., then the Infomir MAG is a great choice for you.

This gadget is not for the casual user; you won’t use much of the functions. However, if you run power-intensive games and applications or like to binge watch TV shows, then the MAG was created with you in mind. The infomir may overwhelm a newbie to IPTV boxes.

Pros:

  • Handles games seamlessly
  • The manufacturers have a reputation for efficient and solid devices
  • Great for streaming 3D videos

Cons:

  • Compared to the alternatives, the RAM space on the Infomir MAG 254 is meager, but it still delivers smooth day-to-day operations
  • The price is a bit on the high side for the specs included

5. HAOSIHD T9 Android 8.1 TV Box

HAOSIHD T9 Android 8.1 TV Box

First Impressions

This is the only Android TV box on this list that runs on Android 8.1. The HAOSIHD T9 TV box handles 3D output expertly as well as 4K video. Older TV models would need to connect to the TV box using an HDMI to AV3 converter, but that isn’t the worst thing in the world. You will find this initial inconvenience worth it, as you will be repaid with ultra-high-definition steaming that is smooth with no buffering. This model produces great, natural sounds, and it is very much user-friendly, especially for people who are new to the Android TV box. Lest I forget; the voice search feature of the HAOSIHN T9 box is sublime.

The HAOSIHN T9 Android TV box is not just a pretty face; under the hood lies the largest RAM of all the devices on this list (4GB RAM). The RAM size coupled with a storage size of up to 32GB assures you of lag-free day-to-day operations. This TV box is one of the few that supports Netflix, Kodi, Hulu, and Amazon; it comes with remote control and a mini keyboard. Also, this gadget is perfect for gaming.

Pros:

  • The combination of 4K and 3D handled correctly can make for some magical experiences
  • Driven by a 4GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, and Android 8.1, the performance is top-notch

Cons:

  • The HAOSIHN supports Kodi out of the box and comes preloaded with RKMC. These are a bit average on this device, but if you are a Kodi person, you can get better devices at this price point.

4. Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player IPTV box

First Impressions

Roku had come a long way from the days when it came with a variety of bug; those times when Apple had to take down their product. These days, Roku has gotten better, and the Roku 3 Streaming Media Player is one that gives its competitors a run for their money.

To begin, know that they Roku generally allows you to stream content from more than two thousand channels. With the manufacturer-provided headphones, you can also play games online. The best thing about Roku gadgets is their compatibility; you can use them with any TV with an HDMI port, as well as mobile devices via screencasting. Additionally, forget TV boxes from other more prominent brands; the voice search on the Roku 3 is the most accurate and overall best of any device we have seen.

Pros:

  • The Roku 3 offers tons of remote options
  • Availability of device options for buyers at various budget levels
  • Extensive customization possible

Cons:

  • The Roku 3 can be customized extensively, but these customization options sometimes make it look complicated and confusing. We wish Roku kept it down here a little.
  • The best Roku device to suit your needs is quite expensive

3. SkyStream TWO (BEST IPTV BOX FOR NETFLIX)

SkyStream TWO IPTV box

First Impression:

Of all less-popular brands, the SkyStream TWO is among the quickest and most powerful model. This sleek alternative TV box is great for shoppers looking for the best features, but on a budget, as you get premium quality video streaming. However, you will notice some inconveniences on the first setup, such as needing to configure Kodi.

Further, another selling point for this gadget is the absence of restrictions on what you can stream or play here. On the SkyStream, you get tons of shows, movies, sports, documentaries, and so forth. If you intend to turn your regular TV into a complete multimedia hub, then the SkyStream One should be high up your shopping list.

This device runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which is well above the minimum requirements we outlined at the start of this article. This operating system is Android’s latest and silkiest yet. I had high expectations for the SkyStream TWO, but unfortunately… the gadget exceeded my expectations and literally blew me away. The interface is so smooth and fast, and the display is bright with vivid colors. For gaming, the SkyStream performs great, but it’s obviously not quite the best I’ve ever seen. Sporting 3GB of RAM, it delivers considerably smooth gaming. Similarly, this RAM is sufficient for watching 4K UHD videos.

On the SkyStream two, connecting to your television is a breeze. People typically expect tough, complicated connections and configurations with these TV boxes, and people always get surprised about how easy it ends up to be. I mean, for such sophisticated gadgets. The SkyStream does not disappoint in this regard; to interface it to a TV, all you need is an HDMI cable, that’s it. Only connecting the box to your TV gives you instant access to content from FOX, CBS, NBC, and other excellent programs, movies, and shows.

Features:

  • Less expensive shows
  • 3GB RAM
  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat
  • 4K HD displays
  • Fast connectivity with 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection
  • Unlimited customizations

Pros:

  • It supports a wide range of applications and programs that you can choose from without restrictions, unlike some other TV boxes from bigger-name manufacturers
  • Delivers top-quality streaming with a stable and fast internet connection

Cons:

  • The manufacturers are not as popular as others on the list.

2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K IPTV box

First Impressions:

It is no surprise that two Amazon IPTV boxes make our list of the best Android IPTV boxes of 2019. The Fire TV stick 4k is another reliable device that packs a lightning-fast CPU and various connectivity options such as 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the new IR blasters for wireless connectivity. This new IR blaster gives you more control over your TV, as it allows you to control plugged-in sound bars, and switch between satellite/cable channels and even between HDMI inputs. What else makes the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K so unique?

Amazon has come a long way from the original Alexa voice remote, as the Fire TV Stick 4K has improved sound and power. More so, we found setting up this device to be quite straightforward. To get the Fire TV Stick 4K running, all you have to do is wait for Amazon to pick up your TV model as you press the volume buttons continuously.

The Fire TV Stick 4K is affordable at $50, and Fire TV owners can buy the new remote separately, together with the Fire TV Cube, which is a highly recommended accessory. Note that the stick at $50, is surprisingly Amazon’s only streaming gadget that does Dolby Vision. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K packs everything you need in a home theater system –HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. The display on previous models of Amazon’s stick was not as tidy as that of Apple, but thankfully, this has been improved on the new Apple TV 4K.

Using the TV Stick is also a joy. Out of the box, you can link the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to an Echo device to use the hands-free features of Alexa. If you do not have an Echo device, you have to press the mic button on the remote controller to control your devices with your voice. The hands-free functions are amazing; you can order Alexa to show a particular kind or quality of movies or movies in which a specific actor starred in.

Pros:

  • Much more affordable than its competition
  • The 8GB internal memory can be expanded to up to 200GB
  • The remote is a huge plus. It’s light, beautiful, and works perfectly
  • Built-in Alexa support is always a welcome feature
  • The Amazon Fire TV Stick is gorgeous and can fit into most living room setups.

Cons:

  • No volume controls except with 4K
  • 4K option is quite expensive

1. NVIDIA Shield TV (BEST IPTV BOX FOR GAMING AND GRAPHICS)

NVIDIA Shield TV box

First Impressions

The NVIDIA Shield TV is the first on our list because it checks all the boxes we use for comparing the best IPTV boxes. NVIDIA made sure that their Shield stands out from the crowd not only by packing it with fantastic spec and features; the company also shaped the NVIDIA Shield remarkably different from all the others on this list.

First released in 2015 and updated in 2017, the Shield TV has a friendly user-interface, as expected from such top-notch TV box. On the first setup, everything looks organized and easy to configure and navigate through loads of pre-installed apps. From an aesthetic point of view, the NVIDIA Shield has a premium feel to it, thanks to the sleek slimness, shiny body, and the tampered aluminum build. Loaded with an exciting voice command function as well as 4K HDR graphics, you are already assured of superb user experience. All these fantastic specifications are oiled by the Android 8.0 operating system (Oreo), which is all about UX smoothness and performance. Besides, the latest update (Shield 5.0) of the NVIDIA Shield now gives you the Hub app as well as the Amazon video app for access to even more content. Safe to say you have access to unlimited shows and movies with the NVIDIA Shield TV on the latest update.

This product delivers fantastic speeds for downloading, streaming 4K video, browsing, and playing games and other media. In my opinion, the NVIDIA Shield TV is, by a mile, the most robust solution in the market. NVIDIA made their name through PC gaming; hence, you should expect anything less than the seamless experience it delivers, as it is built for gamers. I believe the company made this box with gamers in mind the gaming experience is unrivaled right now; you can play Android games on it, as well as the more demanding games that would typically be only playable on a computer. You won’t blame anyone for also thinking the Shield is for gamers after seeing the controller that ships with this monster. The company says the controller’s battery can last for up to 60 hours with regular use; this is fantastic if the words of the manufacturers of the best gaming graphics card are anything to go by.

Remember when we stated that some IPTV boxes could not get some content, while others can? Well, the NVIDIA Shield TV has full Netflix permissions, so you are covered in this aspect. This could have been a deal-breaker if it was absent because Netflix is the biggest and best UHD video streaming provider. Like most of the IPTV boxes on this list, the Shield TV comes with an ample 3GB of RAM space, which is enough for playing games at okay fps.

Pros

  • The NVIDIA Shield TV is not just a regular Android box; it packs some killer features that you won’t see in any other Android box. Video game streaming, for instance, is one of these features. Not only the elements but also the handling; for example, you can stream video games internally or through an internet connection on the NVIDIA Shield TV.
  • NVIDIA GeForce: These graphics cards need no introduction to gamers, especially on PCs. GeForce graphics cards give you some of the immersive gaming experiences you can get

Cons:

  • The NVIDIA Shield TV is relatively expensive compared to other alternatives. However, if you are not on a budget, it might interest you to know that almost all users of this box say the Shield delivered excellent value for money.
  • The universal remote for the NVIDIA TV has compatibility issues with this gadget because of the absence of an IR receiver on this model.
  • You must have an active subscription to access GeForce Now.
  • Extra purchases needed to play some exciting games on GeForce Now.

Conclusion:

All the Android IPTV boxes listed above are all excellent devices that can serve your needs adequately if you select one of them. The choice on which to purchase in this case is entirely up to you. However, a proper understanding of how each of these IPTV Android boxes works will help you get the excellent best out of any of them. You can see that the NVIDIA Shield TV is the best right now, thanks to the NVIDIA graphics card, Amazon support, and its mind-blowing specs. The Shield is the clear winner also, in terms of gaming and graphics. Surprisingly, the SkyStream Two comes on top when it comes to content, especially Netflix support.

The other eight TV boxes on the list are all excellent devices with their various strengths. Your choice here depends on what you expect from your IPTV box; a gamer would likely not need the specs that a music video lover would need and vice versa. Other notable mentions exist, but take this list as a starting point in your trip into the exciting world of Android IPTV boxes.

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