Don't buy a smart TV, Use a Tv Box

What is a TV box? This is a gadget that turns your TV into a smart TV, Be it Chromecast, Android, Roku, Amazon Firestick, or Apple TV. There are a few options in the marketplace and here is a quick overview of their pros and cons and price.


Chrome cast

The original chrome cast was basically built to help you cast anything on your devices such as phones or laptops to your tv. They were not tv boxes but a device to help you cast. Starting @ KSH2500

Recently Google released a newer version with Google tv built-in. This has given the Chromecast more functionality as you can use it as a standalone device. The Google tv is a more advanced android tv operating system built to elevate the user interface and experience.  Has Google Stadia integrated hence you can easily play games on it?  Can be a substitute for gaming consoles for smaller videos. This retails @ KSH 9000



Generic Android TV boxes

There are quite a few variations of the Android TV boxes. Some go low as KSH 3500 to 10,000. Some cheap ones are old variations of the existing ones and others with very minimal features and storage. You can get one with 2Gb ram and 32Gb internal storage @ around 5 to 6k. Android 12 is the current Operating system but those with version 9 and above work well with current updates of all Native apps such as YouTube and Netflix. Some of these also offer Chromecast built-in. You can add third-party free streaming apps on these. Most have very hard-to-use remotes, especially the direction ones.

Xiaomi Mi Tv box and Tv Stick

The mi tv box and mi tv stick are the best Android-based I have tested so far with a great user interface and also an easy-to-use remote. The remote also has a dedicated Netflix and YouTube shortcut plus has google voice built-in. There are a few differences with the mi tv box and stick as the stick is smaller and was built exclusively for streaming. The box on the other hand has more use cases such as gaming, offline connectivity with USB and SD cards, also offers 4k video while the stick has the capacity to support only 1080p or lower.


Amazon firestick

Together with the mi tv stick, they are the smallest of all hence portable. You cannot extend it with external SDs and Memory sticks. It’s also in the middle price range compared to the others. Operates on the amazon fire hence a great user interface and experience. The remote is also great easy to use and has Amazon Alexa built-in and has tv controls on too. Has too many ads if you don’t have Amazon prime as they are going to push you to upgrade. You can customize it with Free third-party apps




Apple tv 4k


These are for the Apple product enthusiasts. Some even buy this device for existing Smart TVs as it works really well with other Apple products. Is much faster compared to the rest and has more in-built storage. They have a great form factor as expected with apple products offering a better quality compared to the rest. The remote is easy to use and has Siri built-in. It’s quite pricy also as it starts @Ksh 25,000.


Roku Tv box and stick

Small form factor. Has airplay and is hence more compatible with Apple products.

The interface is easy to use and compatible with all streaming services out there. In the middle price range compared to the rest. With a pro version that’s quite expensive starting @ KSH 17000. The more recent ones have a mic jack on the remote hence you can easily connect headphones in a noisy room or to avoid disturbing others.