The Best Kodi Box of 2019Gadgets & Gizmos
Kodi boxes have 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. Critics claim that Kodi boxes make it too easy to watch 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.
A Kodi box can do so much more than simply stream 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 multimedia.
- Personal Video Recorder (PVR) – Watch, record, and play 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 episode.
- Movie Streamer – Stream or download content from your online subscriptions, or import your physical collection of videos, easily.
- Music Manager – Kodi devices are designed for every major format, including MP3, WAV, WMA, and FLAC. It also has smart playlists and tag reading, making it better than your stereo.
The 3 Best Kodi Boxes – Reviews
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.
- Best Gaming & Android Setup
- Processor – Tegra X1
- Graphics – 256-Core GPU
- RAM – 3 Gigabytes
- Storage – 16 Gigabytes
- Expansion – USB Flash or Hard Drive
- Remote – Voice Enabled
- Kodi Streaming – 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS
- Format Support – Xvid, DivX, ASF, AVI, MKV, MOV, M2TS, MPEG-TS, MP4, WEB-M
- Audio – MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, DD+/DTS, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-X, and DTS-HD
- 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.
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 hardware quite noticeably faster.
Performance is stunning and this is the best kodi box in 2019. The visual quality of 1080p and 4K video is perfectly smooth, and the NVidia box can even downsample if you have a 1080p TV.
EasyTone 4K Android
The T95Z is a great compromise among Android TV boxes, between cost and Kodi app performance. At close to half of the price of our top performer, it is a big step up and has approximately twice the processing power and capacity vs. the Maxesla.
- Processor – Octa-Core Speed-T95Z
- Graphics – 64-bit 8-Core ARM Cortex-A53
- RAM – 3 GB
- Storage System – 32 GB ROM
- Expansion – Micro SD card (32 Gigabytes Max) or external HD (up to 4 TB)
- Kodi Playback – Access Ultra HD @ 30 FPS on Netflix or Amazon Prime
- Network – Dual-Band WiFi 2.4/5.8G & 1 Gigabit Ethernet
Some of the key points to note are the Dual-Band 2.4/5.8G capability, 1 GigE port, separate full keyboard, and a H.265 codec.
The company has a track record of producing 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 technology, the picture quality is excellent, and you should love this little PC.
Maxesla Kodi TV Box
The Maxesla 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 for running Kodi. It is also the most powerful of the options under $60, with the Raspberry Pi being the nearest competition.
The box sports an array of interesting specs:
- Processor – Amlogic S905W Quad-Core CPU with Mali-450
- RAM – 2GB DDR
- Storage – 16GB ROM
- Expansion – SD card or Hard Disk
- Media Playback – 1080p HDMI to 4K UHD @ 30 FPS
- Network – Device supports 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 do double duty. The front side is typical of a DVR, but the back is a full keyboard, which can be great for Internet e-mail.
How To Choose The Best Box
Some things are a matter of taste, others are dictated by budget. Whatever your budget is, you want to buy a box with the highest frames per second. Memory and processor speed are for boasting, but how smooth the video is when you’re on the couch with popcorn is what matters.
Do you want a good platform for the price or the most advanced new hardware that you can buy? Either way, the Kodi boxes in the list above are the top choices you can buy in 2019.
Amazon Fire TV Stick and Raspberry Pi
Using an Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon Fire TV, or Raspberry Pi can be tempting because many people already have one and they are definitely priced right. But, trying to install Windows or Linux is asking for trouble, and directly installing Kodi on Fire TV forces you to install it from alternative sources.
My advice is just don’t try to get Kodi on Fire TV, as the boxes above are much better, are more trouble-free, and work better than Fire TV. I hope that the guide above has helped you decide what you need to be using for media streaming.