Kodi Box

The Kodi Box

Kodi boxes have become wildly popular as the ultimate user-friendly entertainment center. Kodi is easy to use and has a beautiful, intuitive interface. But being a free, open-source, customizable entertainment hub has also led to criticism of the Kodi box. Critics claim they it makes it too easy to stream pirated movies but, in reality, it is only a media center. It doesn’t pirate anything 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 movies to your TV. Kodi is a mature and feature-packed platform that can be used for all of your personal media.

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

The Best Kodi Box

The best Kodi box is subject to opinion. Do you want the best box for the money or the best money can buy? These are our top choices no matter what you answered to that question. These are the best Kodi boxes of 2018.

Maxesla TV Box

Maxesla Kodi Box

The Maxesla TV Box is our choice as the best budget Android Kodi box. It is loaded with features and a significant chipset. It is not the most powerful Kodi box that you can buy, but it is the most powerful Kodi box that you can buy for under $60.

The Maxesla TV Box has an array of interesting features, including:

  • 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 via USB (4 TB Max)
  • Video Support – 4K UHD @ 30 FPS, H.265 Video Decoder
  • Network – Support 802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz & 100 Mbps Ethernet

As a Kodi box, the Maxesla can support 4K Ultra HD video playback and has the advantage of the remote control being 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 helpful with Kodi.

EasyTone T95Z

EasyTone Kodi box

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

  • Processor – Amlogic 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 via USB (4 TB Max)
  • Video Support – 4K UHD @ 30 FPS, H.265 Video 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 storage, separate full keyboard, and H.265 codec support.

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

The catch with this box is that setup with Kodi and getting everything 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 Kodi box.

NVidia Shield

Kodi NVidia Shield

The most powerful platform to use as a Kodi box is the NVidia Shield. Out of the box, it runs Android 7.0 modified with Android TV. The Kodi app can simply be downloaded from the Google Play store and will be installed in seconds.

  • Processor – NVIDIA Tegra X1
  • GPU – 256-Core NVIDIA GPU
  • Memory – 3 GB RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB
  • Expansion – USB Flash Drives or hard drive via USB
  • 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

If should also be noted that the has NVidia Shield has a high bandwidth HDMI 2.0b port with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support. As you would expect with a top quality box, it has two USB 3.0 ports, making accessing external storage quite noticeably faster.

Even without Kodi, you can use this box for streaming Amazon Video, Netflix, and YouTube to your TV. If you’re old-fashioned like us, you can use the remote, which is intuitive, but this is also the only Kodi box with voice controls.

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

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