Best Kodi Boxes of 2019

TECH

Understanding Kodi Boxes

Kodi has become wildly popular as the ultimate user-friendly entertainment center. The apps are easy to use and have a beautiful, intuitive interface. But being a free, open-source, customizable entertainment hub has also led to criticism of Kodi boxes. Critics claim that it makes it too easy to stream illegal content but, in reality, it is only a media center. It doesn’t pirate videos any more than the car that drives you to the store makes you steal from it.

Features

A Kodi box can do so much more than simply stream TV shows and movies to your television. Kodi is a mature and feature-packed streaming box that can be used to access all of your personal media.

  • Personal Video Recorder (PVR) – Watch, record, and playback live TV while the software organizes your shows in the library to help you see show descriptions, actors, and if you have already watched a TV episode.
  • Movie Streamer – Your pre-installed player can stream or download content from your online subscriptions, or import your physical movie collection, easily.
  • Music Manager – Kodi devices are compatible with every major format, including MP3, WAV, WMA, and FLAC. It also has smart playlists and tag reading support, making it better than your stereo.

Don’t pay for trouble and purchase a Windows or Linux fire stick, our guide to these simple boxes will show you what you need to be buying.

How To Choose

The best 4k TV box is subject to opinion. Do you want the most hardware for the price or the best that you can buy? These are the top choices of 2019, no matter what you answered to that question.

Maxesla TV Box

Maxesla TV

The Maxesla TV streaming device is our choice among cheap Android boxes. It is loaded with features and a significant chipset. There are more powerful set-top streaming devices, but it is a good choice. The Maxesla is also the most powerful of the options under $60, with the Raspberry Pi being the nearest competition.

The Maxesla TV Box sports an array of interesting features:

  • Processor – Amlogic S905W Quad-Core CPU
  • GPU – Mali-450
  • Memory – 2 GB DDR RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB ROM
  • Expansion – Micro SD card (32GB Max) or Hard Drive (4 TB Max)
  • Playback Support – 4K UHD @ 30 FPS, H.265 Decoder
  • Network – Support 802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz & 100 Mbps Ethernet

The Maxesla can support watching 4K Ultra HD streams and has the advantage of being designed so that the remote control is able to double as a keyboard. The front side of the remote is typical of a DVR, but the back is a full keyboard, which can be great for Internet e-mail.

EasyTone T95Z

EasyTone T95Z

The EasyTone T95Z is the best compromise between cost and performance. At close to half of the price of our top performer, the EasyTone is a big step up and has approximately twice the processing power and storage capacity vs. the Maxesla.

  • Processor – Octa-Core Speed-T95Z
  • GPU – 64-bit Octa-Core ARM Cortex-A53
  • Memory – 3 GB RAM
  • Storage – 32 GB ROM
  • Expansion – Micro SD card (32GB Max) or Hard Drive (4 TB Max)
  • Playback Support – 4K UHD @ 30 FPS, H.265 Decoder
  • Network – Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4/5.8G & 1 Gigabit Ethernet

Some of the key features to note are the Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4/5.8G capability, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, micro SD slot, separate full keyboard, and H.265 codec support.

The EasyTone has a track record of making excellent devices with real humans working in the customer service department.

The problem with this system is that getting setup and running with the official version of Kodi and getting everything you need configured can be a little complicated for someone that is not very tech savvy. If you’re comfortable with the tech, the picture quality is excellent, and you should love this little PC.

NVidia Shield

NVidia Shield

This platform is so powerful that it can even be used as a mini gaming computer. Out of the box, it runs Android 7.0 modified with Android TV. The Kodi apps can simply be downloaded from the Google Play store and will update in seconds.

  • Processor – Tegra X1
  • GPU – 256-Core GPU
  • Memory – 3 GB
  • Storage – 16 GB
  • Expansion – USB Flash Drives or Hard Drive
  • Video Support – 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS
  • Supported Formats – Xvid, DivX, ASF, AVI, MKV, MOV, M2TS, MPEG-TS, MP4, WEB-M
  • Audio Support – MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, DD+/DTS (pass-through), Dolby Atmos (pass-through), Dolby TrueHD (pass-through), DTS-X, and DTS-HD (pass-through)
  • Network – 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi & 1 Gigabit Ethernet

Even without Kodi, you can use this box for streaming Netflix, YouTube, and other services to your TV. If you’re old-fashioned like us, you can use the remote, which is intuitive, but it also has plenty of voice controls.

Great Performance

There are differences from other XBMC TV boxes. The device has a high bandwidth HDMI 2.0b port with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support. As you would expect with a top rated box, it has two USB 3.0 ports, making access to external storage quite noticeably faster.

Kodi performance is stunning. The visual quality of 1080p and 4K video is perfectly smooth, and the Kodi box can even downsample if you have a 1080p TV.

About The Author
Katya Seryabkina
Ukrainian born, and a self-taught geek. I started hacking when I was 14 and can write code in 5 languages, but have no formal technical education. The edge of technology is what keeps me interested. I cover file sharing, the dark web, and certain gadgets for The High Tech Society.