Our Picks for Best TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center

By | October 1, 2020

Kodi has become the go-to streaming media center for everyone from cable cutters, to anyone wanting a great media experience.

The basic requirements to run Kodi are listed as 3D capable GPU graphics hardware controller for all rendering, a Dual-core 2 GHz or better CPU, and 2GB of RAM.
Best Hardware Boxes KODI Media Center 2018
Of course, Kodi can be installed and used on slower machines but becomes laggy.

When it comes to Kodi boxes there are many to choose from and can vary wildly in hardware.
As listed above they should have at least the basic specifications to run Kodi, but ideally faster.

The minimum hardware specification for a Kodi box should be at least 2GB RAM and an S912 CPU or better.
Page Table of Contents
Android TV Box CPUs
Best Kodi Media Center Boxes with Details and Review Links
Best High-End Boxes
Best Mid-Range Boxes
Best Budget Boxes
Best Combination Boxes
Android TV Box CPUs
Here are the basic processor’s Android TV boxes currently use and what to look for.

Keep in mind some processors will be better at a certain tasks even if they score lower. For example, while the RK3399 beats the S912 at most tasks, it lacks support for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range).

M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905: Obsolete
S905X2: Good low-to-mid range CPU.
S905X3 Good low-to-mid range CPU.
S912: Good low-to-mid range CPU.
RK3328: Good low-to-mid range.
Review R99 4K Android TV Box 4GB RAM RK3399 Comparison 2
RK3399: High Performance
S922X: High Performance
NVIDIA Tegra X1: High Performance

After being sent boxes to review for the last few years here is our picks for the best options. The units come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

In full disclosure some of these boxes have been sent to us from companies to review which we have done with our own honest opinion and results.

As always be sure to read reviews on Amazon, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Our Picks For The Best Kodi Media Center TV Boxes
… Best High-End Boxes

10 thoughts on “Our Picks for Best TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center

  1. charley

    I Bought the Dolamee A95X boxfrom and love it 8.1 Oreo Quad core would buy again


    Any ideas what to buy i currently have an Amazon firestick i think first generation and it laggs a lot freezes when playing videos ….i downloaded Kodi to my phone have no problems playing from galaxy i think my firestick hardware is too old but now with all these options dont know what to buy. I just want something to stream movies without the freezing and lagg please help

  3. Shannon

    Nice article. Is it possible to create a server that can connect to each TV in my house either by Ethernet cord or wireless allowing my family to watch their own KODI or surf internet. If so, please let me know hardware needed and how it works together.


    1. Carl R

      Hi Shannon,

      If you have ‘Media Center” installed (or Kodi) use the DLNA or Airplay (for Apple/I-devices) functions. In Media Center simply open app & choices are immediately visible – in Kodi go into Settings then to Service Settings. Scroll to UPnP/DLNA (in Kodi scroll to bottom & select Expert).

      In Kodi go to UPnP/DLNA & turn on all items in list (subtitles are optional, they will use a lot of storage space so I leave that one off).

      Select whether unit will be player or renderer. The unit that will act as server/host should be the one where the media is stored. The other unit will be players.

      All devices must be on same network.

      I personally use PC for server/host. Installed all media to my PC then go to any device (that has been configured) go into UPnP/DLNA select PC & begin playing media from PC as if it was installed on every device.

      If using tv box as server/host you will need external HDD to store media. TV box should be powerful with good hardware specs. You could also connect HDD to router & select router as server/host (requires extras config). Then there is PLEX an all in one web-based app. Plenty of video to walk you thru the steps above.

      Hope it helps

  4. Andy Tv

    Recommend the A95X PRO Android 7.1.2 TV BOX with voice control exactly same interface as M8S pro at half price also the remote is far superior on the A95X pro or you can easily pair your TV remote to this box .

  5. Andreas Reiter

    One urgent criteria you may have forgotten to mention is the “HDMI passthrough” capability. Many boxes produce an anoying sound if you try to push DTS or higher to your AV-receiver.
    It would be really nice to take this criteria into the testing.

  6. Harold

    Is Kodi and its addons already installed on the Nvidia Shield box

  7. Wozza Hill

    I have 3 android boxes. T95z , H96max plus & X99. Bought the later 2 out of ignorance despite reading and researching.
    The H96max & the x99 are rubish if your looking to stream 4k. Have had a multitude of issues with them . I would steer away from anything using the Rk chipsets!
    The T95z, despite being older and having inferior hardware ,runs 4k beautifully. It uses an Amlogic chipset.


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