Kodi boxes are a great way to stream all your media on your TV. As well as this, they also allow you to stream content from other apps such as Youtube and Netflix as well as play games that are downloadable on Android.
Are you looking for a way to get the most out of your TV and your media? Then please read our guide to Kodi streaming wifi boxes.
Top Kodi Boxes Picks:
What Is Kodi, And How Does It Work?
Kodi is open source media software that allows you to stream all your media in one place. While it is simply a type of software, it often comes installed on boxes that you can plug into your TV allowing you to view your media on a better screen.
All the media stored on Kodi can be accessed on any of your devices that have Kodi installed.
Luckily, you are not limited here and Kodi can be installed on pretty much any operating system, including:
- Raspberry Pi
This essentially means that it should be fairly easy for you to set up all your devices to play all your media with Kodi including laptops, tablets, and phones.
As well as streaming media such as video files and music, your connected Kodi devices can allow you to watch and record live TV, access your photos, and install third party apps on your device. This pretty much makes it an all in one media streaming service.
However, the support for third-party apps does complicate some things. The fact that the software is open source and that anyone can create an app for it means that Kodi has come under-fire for allowing people to easily access pirated films, tv shows, and music.
Basically, third-parties can easily create an app that gives you quick access to live events or online movies/tv shows hosted on streaming.
While Kodi itself is by no means illegal and, as you can see from the uses mentioned above, actually a useful piece of software, accessing pirated content is just as illegal on Kodi as it would be if you accessed it anywhere else.
Features To Look Out For
When it comes to media boxes to stream videos with, no two devices are the same. Here are some things to look out for before you buy.
HD or 4K
All the devices on this list are able to provide you with HD video. However, some of them also allow 4K. Whether this is of any use depends on a number of things but mainly whether or not your TV allows you to watch 4K video.
If it does, media boxes are a great way to watch 4K content cheaply. However, you should also check that either your internet speeds are fast enough to stream 4K movies or your box has the option to add extra storage. 4K movie files are massive and as such even the 16GB available on some of these boxes will not be sufficient.
These devices all run Android and therefore installing apps is a really great way to get more features from your box. Because of this, you will likely want to ensure you have some storage space.
While these boxes are mainly built for streaming, if you also want to store media files on the devices, then ideally, you will buy one of the devices with a couple of USB ports so you can add an external harddrive (or two) to your device.
Version of Android
The devices on this list all run either Android 6.0, 5.1, or 4.4. While the apps available will be basically the same, 4.4 may may not run the latest Kodi version of some apps. While 5.1 is currently fine, if you really want to future proof your device, then 6.0 could be the way to go.
As well as this, you should check if the box manufacturer has made any adjustments to the operating system that would make it harder for you to install certain apps.
For example, the Amazon Fire Stick runs Amazon’s version of Android which doesn’t actually let you install Kodi from their app store. Instead, you will have to go into the devices settings and then install Kodi straight from the website.
How You Control Your Device
The devices in our list run from simple streaming sticks to full on powerful gaming devices. Because of this, you should really think about how you will be using your device as well as how you want to control it. After all, editing a document on Google Docs is going to be hard with a gamepad.
Most of the devices will allow you to connect extra control options which range from simple remotes, to gamepads and keyboards, to Amazon Alexa’s voice control!
While buying and setting up a box is fairly simple, there are things you should check you have if you want to get the most out of it.
An HD Compatible TV
Not only is this required so that you can stream the shows in a higher quality, but these devices are connect to your TV via an HDMI cable. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an HD TV you will not be able to use these devices.
If you really want the best possible picture quality, then many of the boxes we have reviewed also allow you to stream in 4K. If you want to stream 4K, though, you must have a 4K compatible TV.
A "Solid" Internet Connection
If you plan to stream media using Kodi or another app, then you will need a web connection that is fast enough to stream. You will also need to ensure that you signal is strong enough in the place where your TV is so that you can watch without any connection problems.
If you are worried about your wifi, then many of the boxes allow you to connect via Ethernet.
Best Kodi Streaming Devices
So, as mentioned earlier in this article. Kodi is the name of the software, not the name of any specific device.
Most of the devices on this list are therefore actually Android devices that either come with Kodi preinstalled or require Kodi to installed once you have bought it.
Nexbox A95X Pro 2GB 16GB Quad-Core Android 6.0 Box
The Netbox A95X is a decent system that simply aims to turn your existing screen into a powerful smart TV.
It is runs Android 6.0 and is powered by 2GB of RAM and a quad core chipset meaning that it should have absolutely no problem running Kodi or pretty much any other media software.
Of course, the fact that it runs Android means you have access to all of the media streaming apps and games that run using Android, as well as Kodi and its third-party apps.
In terms of connectivity, it has two USB 2.0 ports so you can transfer files to its 16GB storage or even add some extra storage with an external hard drive. It uses Wireless N, which while not as fast as AC should be more than enough for you to stream HD movies on your TV. It also has an Ethernet port if you prefer.
It will allow you to stream HD movies and videos. While 4K will be too much of a stretch for this box, if HD is enough for you then you should have no problems!
Nvidia Shield TV Pro Home Server
The Nvidia Shield is a powerful beast of a set-top box that comes with a price tag to match. It runs Android 6.0, allows you to stream in 4K, and comes with a controller to allow you to play Android games on your TV.
First up, the media streaming options. As it runs Android 6.0, basically any App on the Android App store will run on this box. This is slightly location dependent but as well as Kodi you will have access to apps such as Netflix, Google Play, Amazon Video, Spotify, and more.
All these apps will look their absolute best with the box. Assuming your internet connection is up for it, you will be able to stream 4K, or 1080p videos without any problems. This speeds are delivered by the devices 802.11ac wifi or, if you prefer, the Ethernet port on the back of the device.
As well as videos, the Shield is set up for gaming and it comes with a controller to allow you to stream games from your PC or play games that are available on the Android store.
Basically, this is a powerful option for people who want to stream all kinds of content in the highest possible quality on their TV.
Minix Neo X8H Plus XBMC/Kodi Android TV Box
The Minix Neo is another media box that runs Android. As with the other boxes this means that you will be able to run pretty much any app on the appstore. Having said that, as this is a fairly old product, it only runs Android 4.4. This means that some apps (including Kodi), won’t let you use the very latest versions.
It has excellent options for internet connectivity including Wireless AC and Gigabit Ethernet to ensure you get a fast and consistent connection. It also has 3 USB 2.0 ports for extra storage, and even Bluetooth connectivity.
The absolute best thing about this device is that it allows you to stream in 4K. This is the best video quality that you can get at the moment and if you have a compatible TV then a box like this one can help you make the most of it.
Basically, when it comes to buying this product you will have to balance out its decent price for a 4K setup, with how badly you want the latest version of Android.
Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire TV stick is one of the bigger names in the world of streaming. It is competitively priced, and comes with Alexa support for those who want to control their TV without lifting a finger.
The Amazon Fire Stick runs using a version of Android that has been heavily adapted by Amazon. That means that while Android apps will run on it, only approved apps can be downloaded on the Fire Store. Unfortunately, Kodi isn’t one of them.
Now, it is possible, and in fact fairly easy to download Kodi onto an Amazon Fire Stick. However, you should be aware that it isn’t available straight away.In terms of the device itself, it is cheap, user friendly, and is incredibly popular which suggests it is doing a lot of things right.
However, it does miss out on a few key features that other devices have. The storage is fairly small at only 8GB. As well as this there are no USB port to allow you to add more storage.
As well as this, it only streams up to 1080p which means that if you want to watch shows in 4K this isn’t the device for you. Finally, there is no option to connect an Ethernet cable.However, those after a well priced, user friendly device, especially one that is gonna be great with Amazon Prime, should perhaps consider this device.
Fxexblin TX5 Android TV Box
The Fxexblin TX5 box is a powerful yet affordable media appliance. It runs Android 6.0 allowing you to stream Netflix, Hulu, Google Play movies, as well as Kodi.
Its key feature is that it allows you to watch 4K media. This means that it is perfect for those with, or planning to upgrade to a 4K compatible TV.
It comes with an SD/SDHC/MMC card reader to allow you to display photos easily on your big screen and then share them on Kodi. Having said that, there are no USB ports meaning that you are limited to the boxes 16GB internal storage or extra SD cards. While SD cards can offer a bit of extra storage, for people with a lot of downloaded content, they don’t really compete with an external hard drive.
All this is powered by 2GB RAM, and a CPU with a 1.5 GHz processor meaning that you shouldn’t have any problems with running apps such as Kodi.
All in all, this is an affordable 4K player that is only slightly let down by its lack of a USB port.
Easytone Android 5.1 Smart TV Box
The Easytone is a Smart TV Box that runs Android 5.1. This isn’t the latest version of Android but should be more than advanced enough to be used as a media player. Note that it may be possible to upgrade this box (post this article publication). Make sure you research thoroughly!
Apps like Kodi, Youtube, and Netflix will have no problems running with with this box.Having said that, the Kodi that comes with the device is a slightly older version so you should update before getting started.
It has a ton of options for connectivity including Wireless AC and Gigabit Ethernet. It connects to your TV via HDMI and the box is able to automatically choose the best settings for your TV (ie. HD or 4K). This ensures you won’t be running the box at a worse quality than is necessary.
The box has 16GB of internal storage for your movies and apps. Of course, this won’t go far if you are storing 4K movies so there are two USB 2.0 ports so you can add extra HDD storage.
One decent feature that this box has that others are lacking is a mini keyboard touchpad. This is great because it means that not only is searching for apps and TV shows easier but you could even use keyboard to edit documents using apps available on the Play Store.
All in all, this is a great product that is affordable and even comes with a useful wireless keyboard.
Leelbox Q3 S912 Android TV Box
The final product on our list is the Leelbox Q3. It runs Android 5.1 which despite not being the latest version of Android is enough to run media apps without a problem.
It has 2GB of ram to ensure everything runs smoothly as well as a 16GB hard drive for your apps and maybe a few movies/tv shows. If you need more storage you can always connect an external hard drive using one of the devices two USB ports.
In terms of connectivity it has Wireless AC and Gigabit Ethernet to ensure fast downloads on your network as well as Bluetooth.
The box comes preinstalled with Kodi version 16.1 which isn’t the latest version but you can easily update this using the Play Store.
This is a good device with all the features you need to turn your TV into a smart TV and it all comes at a good price.
Do you use a streaming box with Kodi running on it? Tell us about it below...