Kodi Boxes

Best Kodi Boxes (formerly XBMC) for Streaming in 2018

Kodi is easily one of the finest pieces of software on the market. Why do you ask? If you are a fan of streaming then Kodi can prove to be your go-to stop for streaming your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and sports. The Kodi software boasts a very innate user interface and is compatible with almost every popular platform out there.

It is also compatible in terms of how it runs any format or service you throw its way. It can be said that best Kodi boxes are a multimedia gem that you should hold on to for all your needs. It will not provide you with the ability to stream audio and video files over your network but does come with a handy-dandy support for add-ons.

With add-ons you have the option to access widely available streaming services; Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify.

You may have noticed how Kodi is invincible, but it does have its drawbacks. You may have assumed that Kodi manufactures its own streaming boxes. Unfortunately, it does not. If you are referring to the official Kodi Raspberry Pi case, that does not qualify here.

In case Kodi is pre-installed on your device, remember it has certain add-ons which allow you to stream illegal content that can get you in hot water with the authorities since streaming pirated content is a felony in different countries.

For example, as per EU regulations, it is categorically considered illegal. So be wary of ‘fully-loaded’ Kodi add-ons, in which case you will need to go through add-ons that are officially supported by Kodi so that you can stream without a care in the world.

Having said that, your objective should be to find a suitable media box which is compatible with Kodi. You will have to manually install Kodi software though. So keep reading on and you will find a list of boxes that safely allow you to stream content via Kodi in 2018.

The list has been compiled after having personally tested each box and how seamlessly the installation procedure for Kodi really is. But that is not all, as each box was extensively tested to see how it plays 1080p and 4K videos.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the best TV box for Kodi:

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is perfect for streaming content via Kodi TV in HD. It is 85x30x13mm in size and supports Wi-Fi connectivity. It comes with a Quad-core processor and the Android-based Fire OS.

Those fond of watching 4K content will be disappointed to know that the Fire Stick does not support 4K. For a while, the Fire Stick has been making rounds in the avid Kodi box fans circle. Things have become better as its processor streams media content 30% faster when compared with previous Fire TV Stick iterations.

The new version has also gained momentum due to its support for Alexa (not applicable for Kodi) and in terms of its cost.

The Kodi app is not listed on Amazon’s store, so you will have to manually install the app by installing the APK of the desired application (in this case of Kodi) you cannot directly download it from the store.

Transfer the APK file to your device via USB, Bluetooth and/ or WiFi, and enjoy the show! With the accompanying Bluetooth remote, the Fire Stick lets you navigate Kodi beautifully.

While the previous iterations posed difficulty when it came to navigation, the new Fire Stick has no such limitation. Be mindful that the Fire TV Stick can display an output of 1080p format, with support for 4K severely lacking.  It can play 4K content, but you will experience buffering issues due to which you will have to reduce the streaming quality.

If you don’t mind the lack of support for 4K content and are on the lookout for a small package then Amazon Fire TV Stick will prove to be the best TV box Android. It handles 1080p streaming with ease, in addition to Amazon Instant Video and Netflix streaming.

Amazon Fire TV

Fire TV

Another Amazon product that is an all-rounder. With 115x115x18mm dimensions and support for Wi-Fi connectivity, this is another winner when it comes to Kodi. The Fire TV has a MediaTek 2GHz quad-core processor, while its OS is Android-based.

The best thing about this device is that it actually comes with 4K support. It can easily be considered the best streaming device, as it supports content from content from major platforms like Amazon Prime Instant Video as well as Netflix in 4K format. The downside for some might be that similar to the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi is not available via the Amazon store. The app needs to be installed manually.

It can be troublesome but not impossible. When you are done installing, you can very easily launch the application by accessing the main menu. Kodi runs seamlessly on Fire TV box Kodi and loading times are amazingly low.

The Amazon Voice Remote is superb due to it being easy to use, making it easier to navigate menus and Kodi’s interface. Connectivity through Bluetooth is another feature of the Amazon Voice Remote that can’t be praised enough.

It is important to note though, best Kodi boxes do not accept voice commands. As for the testing of video quality, the tests proved to be positive; no matter what content is being streamed. Moreover, if for some reason the bandwidth is low or the WiFi connectivity is not strong enough, you can always connect through its Ethernet port.

Another feature of Fire TV is that it comes with a micro SD slot. Since the size of the box/device is small, it can prove to be your greatest ally while traveling.

So folks, if 4K streaming on Kodi is your thing then the Amazon Fire TV should be your pick.

Nvidia Shield

Nvidia Shield

The Nvidia Shield is said to be the finest set-top boxes for 4K content. It boasts a 1.9GHz quad-core Tegra X1 processor, making it the quickest for streaming activities. The OS is based on Android 6.0 and offers easy installation.

If you are on the hunt to set up a home entertainment system then look no further than Nvidia Shield. It has been developed keeping an immersive experience in mind in terms of entertainment by featuring Netflix and GeForce Now.

The set-top box is akin to running Android 6.0 on TV. Here with Nvidia Shield, you have the ability to download the app from the Play Store.

Great care has been taken by the developers to offer the best possible experience on TV screens. Additionally, the remote is perfect for functionality on TV screens instead of a touchscreen.

The testing proved successful with 4K and 1080p content. If you are experiencing troubles with your WiFi connection, then there is always an option to plug in an Ethernet cable. The Nvidia Shield may be size is small but its performance is off the charts!

Even if you are not an avid gaming fan, you can use Nvidia Shield for 4K streaming. But if you wish to have a complete multimedia experience, this is the best Kodi boxes 2018 for you to sink your teeth into.

Seguro Trongle X4

Seguro Trongle X4

The dimensions of this box are 110x110x17mm and is backed by a 2GHz quad-core Amlogic S905X processor. The price doesn’t weigh heavily on your pocket, and for 4K streaming, this box will prove to be your ultimate companion.

For the products that are light on the pocket, they are normally mired with limitations. With Seguro Trongle X4 that is not the case. It is one of the tiniest set-top boxes out there and supports WiFi connectivity, which can be slow. In such cases, it is advisable that Ethernet cable is put to use.

Google Play also comes built-in because the OS runs on Android 6.0. You also have the ability to navigate the box’s menus and interface via touch, especially since the remote is not as effective as it should be.

The touchscreen pointer offers more ease. Once you are done with the installation of Kodi on your Seguro Trongle X4, you can pin the application on your screen to launch the app quickly later on. A slight drawback; there is no standby mode, and so booting the device takes time – about 25 seconds which is higher when compared to its rivals.

The HDMI comes with HDR10 and HLG HDR processing that results in ultra HD display on X4. As for the installation of Kodi it tested to be fairly easy.

The box lets you connect to shared folders, and its processing power streams 1080p and 4K videos without any hassles whatsoever.

The X4 packs a micro SD card slot (up to 32GB) for those times when there isn’t much space available, meaning you can always carry your favorite movies, TV shows and so on.

Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 3

The Raspberry Pi 3 was mentioned earlier, but it is not a Kodi manufactured box. The Raspberry Pi 3 is a computer of sorts, with a small form factor that serves as an attractive option for playing content on Kodi.

The device offers numerous pre-built options: LibreELEC and OSMC. OSMC comes with an installation wizard that will let you install Kodi. Once installed, it takes a couple of seconds for the device/box to boot.

With OSMC you have access to custom skins, specifically designed for Pi, apart from the classic skin. It is recommended to avoid installing intricate skins to avoid massive slowdowns.

Buying a Class 10 micro SD card is a good idea, as it boosts boot time which is essential to keep running smoothly. The device houses a quad-core CPU and is able to handle 1080p videos without breaking a sweat.

There is no support for Ultra HD content due to the lack of an HDMI output. The Pi 3 cannot downgrade 4K content either.

Again if the Wi-Fi connection is not up to the mark, you can always resort to the Ethernet port to avoid buffering issues. One thing to note here is that Pi 3 comes without a case, which needs to be bought separately. It doesn’t come with a remote either, that too will have to be purchased separately.

The best Kodi boxes application can be controlled with the help of an HDMI CEC-compatible TV’s remote or you can rely on your smartphone app instead. The Raspberry Pi 3 can be your best friend for a decent 1080 video streaming experience. It may be cheap, but it does not come with a remote or a case.

Emtec GEM Box

Emtec GEM Box

This is perhaps one of the simpler boxes you can count on. The dimension that this box packs are 83x83x24mm with Wi-Fi connectivity. It has an ARM Mali-450MP6 GPU and a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, along with Android 4.4.

The device is affordable, to say the least. Its primary limitation is that it lacks support for Kodi, at least not all available builds of it. Moreover, it also does not support 4K videos, making the box a terrible purchase, although there is no harm in making use of it if you already have one lying around.

As previously stated, not all best Kodi boxes builds are supported, but it does have Play Store pre-installed. The software will not pop—up when searching for it. The workaround to this problem is to install a Kodi Setup Wizard which will grant you access to different versions of Kodi. The process is quite tricky but completely worth it if you have no other option.

Upon installation, Kodi app runs seamlessly, just enough to stream content without posing any difficulties with HD content. You will need to forget 4K streaming though, as the device does not pack the punch for that. While running Ultra HD content, the box crashed and became unresponsive.

Larger video files took quite a bit of time before they started running, which is alarming as the device comes with a quad-core processor.

The Wi-Fi adapter works as it should, just like the Ethernet adapter. Smooth sailing in this department. The GEM Box has a micro SD slot for extra storage if you are planning on saving content on the device.

Issues you can run into while using GEM Box is the price and the outdated OS.

Customized PC

Customized PC

PCs are the most sought-after platforms on the planet. But did you know that you can turn your PC into top of the line Kodi box? It will cost you a lot more than you expect, but you will get all the power you will ever need for Kodi.

You can either settle for a pre-built PC or you can get your hands on the Asus VivoMini VC65. It is small enough to sit well in the place below your TV set. This device is 197x196x62mm in dimensions and even comes with a built-in DVD drive.

If that does not work for you, why not build a PC from the ground up? Well, it is no different from how you would make a gaming PC. You will decide what component works for you and whatnot.

There are a certain things that you will need to be mindful of. Note that integrated graphics comes with Intel processors which supports up to HDMI 1.4. This means you will have limitations when playing 4K content at 24Hz. For which you need a DisplayPort in order to increase the rate up to 60Hz so that you can stream content in Ultra HD. To avoid this, you can build a mini PC with a good graphics card with support for HDMI 2.0.

Many PCs won’t bring dedicated remote controls with them so that is something you’ll have to get over. You can choose from options like wireless keyboards, a smartphone app for instance or even joystick for that matter.

It may be a costly option but your efforts will be worth it considering how it is a one-time investment.

Which Android TV box is the best or what is the best TV box to get?

Best Kodi boxes have transformed tremendously over the years with each device being better than the last. Demand for older boxes remains the same since newer ones are sold out as soon as they are made available. This just comes to show how Kodi is and will continue to remain popular, seeing how there is so much content to choose from!

When it comes to picking the absolute best from the ones mentioned above, each of them has something to offer; but it depends on what you are looking for, how much you can pay and other similar factors. The idea here is to get a box that meets your own needs and requirements, which will allow you to make an informed decision in no time.

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