Our Picks for Best Hardware Boxes To Run KODI Media Center 2018

By | August 1, 2018


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 1 GB of RAM.
Best Hardware Boxes KODI Media Center 2018
Of course Kodi can be installed and used on slower machines but becomes laggy.
 
To give an example I have installed Kodi on a Raspberry Pi 3 and it does work but freezes up at moments.
 
When it comes to Kodi boxes there are many to choose from and can vary wildly in hardware.
best-hardware-boxes-to-run-kodi-media-center-2016
As listed above they should have at least the basic specifications to run Kodi, but ideally faster.
 
In 2018 the minimum hardware specification for a Kodi box should be at least 2GB RAM and a S905 CPU or better.
 
Android TV Box CPUs
Here are the basic processors Android TV boxes currently use and what to look for.
 
Keep in mind some processors will be better at certain task even if they score lower. For example while the RK3399 beats the S912 at most task, it lacks support for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range).
 
M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905: Low-end processor
S912: Slightly better performance compared to the S905 and a 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
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 these boxes have been sent to us from companies to review which we have done with our own honest opinion and results.
 
*This post contains affiliate links which at no cost to you allows us earn a commission on product purchases.
 
As always be sure to read reviews on Amazon, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.
 
Our Picks For The Best Kodi Media Center Boxes
 
1. Beelink AP34 Mini PC
2. X99 Android TV Box
3. NVIDIA SHIELD
4. Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote
5. MX9 Pro
6. H96 PRO PLUS
7. Beelink GT1 Ultimate
8. TX92
9. R10 R-TV
10 M8S Pro L
 
… Best High-End Boxes
 
Beelink AP34 Pro Mini PC 6GB/64GB Dual HDMI Intel Celeron Apollo Lake N3450 HD Graphics 500 Gigabit/BT 4.0/Dual-Band WiFi USB 3.0 MINI PC

The Beelink AP34 is the only non Android TV box on the list.
 
It is a small mini computer that comes with Windows 10 installed, but can be loaded with Linux.
 
It has a Celeron N3450 4 core CPU that goes up to 2.2 GHz along with 8GB of DDR3 RAM.
 
Review Beelink AP34 Ultimate Windows 10 Mini PC Mini Keyboard
It also has an internal 60GB SSD Hard Drive with 3 USB 3.0 ports and SD-Card slot.
 
The Beelink AP34 is a good unit that has the same hardware as a mid-range laptop at a lower cost.
 
The resolution can play up to 4096 X 2160 @60Hz, so it has no problems playing the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
 
While Android TV boxes are nice, the AP34 is a good box for those who like to use a familiar Operating System as a home entertainment system.
 
Read Here for a Full Review of the Beelink AP34
 
…….
X99 4GB 32GB Rockchip RK3399 Android 7.1 TV BOX 2.4G&5GHz Dual WIFI BT4.0 1000M LAN USB3.0 Type-c Media Player With Wireless Mini Backlit Keyboard

Antutu Benchmark Score 76606
 
The X99 is a new Android TV Box built to play high resolution 4K UHD videos as well as games and other media.
 
It comes with some impressive hardware with the fast RK3399 CPU and 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
Review X99 4K Android TV BOX RK3399 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Power On Close
The WiFi test did very good at 163Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.
 
AnTuTu also gave it a very good overall score of 76606 which is higher than the Fire TV Box without the restrictions.
 
Read Full Review Here
 
…….
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server

Antutu Benchmark Score 130766
 
The NVIDIA Shield is a very popular Kodi android TV box that has many nice features.
 
It has a NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, 3GB Ram, 802.11ac WiFi, and USB 3.0.
 
Two version can be bought 16GB and 500GB that give more internal hard drive space. Most Kodi boxes don’t give this option and have limited internal space. If you have a large video library you want to store and play a 500 GB hard drive version can be bought.
 
There is a new version of the Shield that came out in 2017, that is smaller than the old one and comes with a new redesigned controller.
 
While more costly than other options it is a nice box to run Kodi on. The NVIDIA SHIELD Pro combined with Kodi is definitely a cable TV killer.
 
… Best Mid-Range Boxes
 
Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote (Pendant Design) | Streaming Media Player

Antutu Benchmark Score 72768
 
The Fire TV supports 4K Ultra HD with an Amlogic Quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM.
 
It also comes the 802.11ac dual band WiFi that makes it a good wireless unit.
 
Since it is made by Amazon the build quality is very good along with great support.
 
The one downside is that Kodi needs to be side loaded which isn’t too difficult as long as you have some technical ability.
 
Overall it is a very good box to use and run Kodi. Be sure to watch some YouTube videos on how to side load Kodi onto a Fire TV box before going this route.
 
…….
Walmeck Android 7.1 TV Box,MX9 Pro,RK3328 Quad Core 64Bit 4G/32G H.265 UHD 4K VP9 HDR 3D Mini PC 2.4G/5G WIFI BT 4.1 US Plug

Antutu Benchmark Score 36169
 
The MX9 PRO did surprisingly well for a budget unit and a good buy for the money.
 
The RK3328 CPU does very well playing HD videos and basic game play.
Review MX9 PRO Android TV Box RK3328 CPU 4GB RAM Launcher
The 4GB RAM gives it an extra boost as most Android TV boxes have 2GB of RAM.
 
If you are looking for a good box at a reasonable cost the MX9 PRO is a good unit that is worth a look.
 
Read Full Review Here of the MX9 Pro
 
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EstgoSZ H96 Pro 3GB RAM 32GB ROM TV Box Amlogic S912 Octa-core CPU Android 6.0 Dual-band WIFI 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Bluetooth 4.1 1000M LAN 4K 2K Set Top Box 2017 Model

Antutu Benchmark Score 40191
 
The H96 PRO PLUS is a nice Kodi android TV box that performed very well in our test.
 
It uses the S912 CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
Review H96 PRO PLUS S912 3GB RAM 4K ANDRIOD TV BOX Overview
The WiFi is also very good using dual band 802.11ac which during test gave download speeds of 142Mbps at 5GHz, and 47MBps at 2.4 GHz.
 
Many units now use the S912 CPU but most use less RAM and internal storage. The extra 3GB of RAM gives it a nice boost when needed.
 
Read Full Review Here of the H96 PRO PLUS
 
…….
Beelink GT1 Ultimate TV Box with Android 6.0 S912 Octa Core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2GHz(DVFS) DDR4 3GB Onboard eMMC Flash 32GB 1000Mbps LAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G+5.8G BT 4.0

Antutu Benchmark Score 39183
 
The Beelink GT1 Ultimate has similar hardware to the H96 PRO with 3GB of RAM and a S912 CPU.
 
It is a small box that has a diamond pattern on the top.
Review Beelink GT1 Ultimate S912 3GB RAM Small Unit
 
It performed very well in our test streaming HD 1080p videos and playing retro games.
 
There is 3 USB slots, a SD-card slot, and a remote control that can also control a TV which is a nice extra.
 
Read Full Review Here of the Beelink GT1 Ultimate
 
…….
ESHOWEE TX92 Android 7.1 TV BOX Amlogic S912 Octa-core CPU DDR4 3GB RAM 32GB ROM BT 4.0 2.4/5 Dual-Band WiFi 4K UHD & LAN VP9 DLNA H.265

Antutu Benchmark Score 41373
 
The TX92 is a square box with a LED clock on the front that has some good basic hardware for streaming videos from online sources.
 
It runs a S912 CPU, 3GB of RAM, along with a built-in ROM and expandable storage.
Review TX92 Android TV Box Overview
During testing the WiFi did very well with a 163Mbps Download, and 22Mbps Upload speed.
 
It is a good mid-range box at a low price that will work well at streaming, watching HD videos, and basic game play.
 
Read Full Review Here
 
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MXR PRO 4K TV Box RK3328 4GB RAM Android 7.1
Antutu Benchmark Score 35880
 
The MXR PRO is a low-to-mid-range Android TV box built for playing 4K Ultra HD videos.
 
It comes with the RK3328 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB internal storage ROM.
 
The RK3328 is comparable to the S912 with a bit more improvement for 4K Ultra HD videos.
 
During testing it did well at streaming 4K @ 30FPS but did start to lose frames at 60FPS.
 
Overall it is a good budget box to stream the new 4K videos or any HD 1080p video.
 
Read Full Review Here
 
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R-TV BOX R10 4G DDR4 RAM 64G ROM Rockchip RK3328 Android 7.1.2 Quad-Core 4K UHD USB 3.0 Dual WiFi AC 2T2R BT4.1 H.265 TV Box Media Player

The R10 R-TV is an Android TV box with some good hardware.
 
It comes with a RK3328 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage.
Review R10 R-TV BOX RK3328 4GB RAM 4K Android
The unit is round with the center having a light blue light that is also the power button.
 
It did very well during test with no problems running Kodi along with fast WiFi at 138Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload speeds.
 
The back has all the ports with 3 USB, SD card slot, HDMI, Ethernet, AV, and Optical.
 
Read Here for a Full Review of the R10 R-TV
 
… Best Budget Boxes
 
EASYTONE 2017 T95Z PLUS Android TV BOX 3GB 32GB,Android 7.1 TV Box Amlogic Octa-Core,Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4/5.8G Smart Boxes Android Mini PC with Wireless Keyboard Remote (BACKLIT)

Antutu Benchmark Score 41158
 
The T95Z Plus uses the S912 Amilogic processor with 2 GB of RAM.
 
The S912 is a slight improvement over the S905 and a big improvement over the S805/S812 many older boxes ship with, expect to see many units being sold with a S912.
AKASO T95Z PLUS TV BOX 4K Pre-installed Android 6.0 BEST unit
In testing the WiFi was fast and maxed out a 50Mbps Download, and 5Mbps Upload connection. It also can play 720p, 1080p, or the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
 
The S912 CPU, 2GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage made it easily able to run the new Kodi 17.6 Krypton.
 
Read Here for a Full Review of the T95Z Plus
 
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NewPal TV Box with Voice Remote M8S Pro L 3G 32GB andriod 7.1 4K tv Box Streaming Media Player (Andriod TV OS)

Antutu Benchmark Score 40673
 
The M8S Pro L is a nice unit with some good hardware.
 
It runs a S912 processor and 3GB of RAM. It also has good internal storage size at 32GB, and is expandable with a SD-Card or Flash drive.
Our Picks for Best Hardware Boxes To Run KODI Media Center M8S Pro 2
In our test it handled Kodi and playing HD 4K videos well. The WiFi also did well at 52Mbps download speed.
 
It is one of the better units for the price and worth a look if you are on a budget.
 
Read Here for a Full Review M8S Pro
 
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Greatlizard X96 Android 7.1 Smart TV BOX 2GB RAM 16GB ROM Wifi 1080p 4K H.265 64 Bit Media TV Set Top Box

Antutu Benchmark Score 25776
 
The X96 runs a Quad Core S905 CPU with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB internal storage.
 
One of the things that makes it stand out is it is cheap.
 
The box came with Kodi 17.4 installed which we upgraded to Krypton 17.6 and is working great.
Review X96 Android TV Box Amlogic S905W 2GB RAM Launcher
While not the fastest Kodi android box it does work well enough. If you are on a budget it is worth a look.
 
Read Here for a Full Review of the X96
 
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Beelink A1 TV Box Android 7.1 DDR3 RAM 4GB eMMC 32GB ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-core Processor Dual WiFi 2.4G+5.8G Smart TV Box

Antutu Benchmark Score 33739
 
Beelink also makes the A1 android TV box with a Rockchip 3368 CPU and 4 GB of RAM.
 
The Rockchip 3368 is less powerful than the RK3399 but still runs Kodi well.
 
It did very good at playing HD 1080p but did struggle with 4K ultra HD videos.
 
Read Full Review Here
 
… Best Combination Boxes
 
GPD WIN by DroidBOX June 5 Update Aluminum Top Cover Version X7-Z8750 Windows 10 Powered Gaming Portable Console 5.5″ OGS LCD Display, Up to 2.56GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM

DroidBOX has made some nice units from projectors to portable all with good support.
 
The GPD Win is a Windows 10 small gaming unit that plays Kodi, games, or most any Windows 10 software.
 
It has roughly the same look as a Nintendo 3DS along with a nice button layout.
 
It is a great device for those traveling and needing an all around entertainment device, from playing games to watching videos with Kodi.
 
There is a built in battery which last 5-7 hours depending what it is being played.
 
…….
Himedia Q10 PRO:QUAD CORE ANDROID TV BOX A53 CPU/MALI-720 GPU ANDROID 5.1 4KX2K@60FPS ULTRAHD VIDEOS WITH FLIPPING HD ENCLOSURE
The Himedia Q10 PRO is a high-end Kodi android TV box with many nice features.
 
The main nice feature is the ability to quickly snap in a SATA hard drive which makes it a good unit to store lots of videos, music, or games.
review-himedia-q10-pro-hard-drive-install
It uses the Hi3798C V200 chipset with a Realtek RTD1295 processors which is one of the best ARM based CPU’s available.
 
The Himedia Q10 PRO is not a cheap box and on almost the same level as the Nvidia Shield.
 
It also has dual band WiFi which can run on the new 5 GHz 802.11ac protocol. If you have a dual band router you will have no problems with a fast internet connection, at least to the router.
 
Read Here for a Full Review of The Himedia Q10 PRO
 
Summary
Kodi android TV boxes have changed a lot in the last year going from 1GB of RAM to 2GB of RAM or more.
 
A box with 1GB of RAM will still run Kodi but is not ideal for future updates and cost about the same for a box with 2 GB of RAM.
 
The processors have also changed with older units mainly using the S805 and new unit using the S912, or better.
 
Many of the older boxes are still sold so be wary of these older boxes, especially since the new ones cost almost the same.
 
If you want the best one available than most would agree that the Nvidia Shield is currently the top box to get. It unfortunately is also the most expensive.
 
Many of the lower-end cheap boxes run Kodi well but do require some technicality.
 
For example during a major update with Kodi there will be almost no support, if any. Also many of them have less than desirable WiFi, so running a Ethernet cable may be necessary.
 
With that said and having reviewed many units they do work and continue to work. I know people who bought a cheap box 1-2 years ago and continue to use it daily.
 
Just keep in mind if a low cost box has a problem than you will need to get a bit technical. There are lots of YouTube videos and tutorials that can help.
 
When buying a Kodi box read the reviews on Amazon to be sure it meets your technical ability. While any of these boxes will run Kodi they often come with some degree of setup that may not be for everyone.


 

95 thoughts on “Our Picks for Best Hardware Boxes To Run KODI Media Center 2018

  1. holly summers

    1st time beginner on streaming from the internet and need help with few questions…1st im having Hughesnet satellite with internet and cancelling my direct Tv and only wanting to stream regular TV shows so what is the best TV box to buy?and i will have wifi thru Hughesnet so what tv Box is best and saw IPTV subs with low pay to use their services and wish to stream to my TV so any help or information would be greatly appreciated !

    Reply
  2. Joe B

    Greetings Harold<
    You would have to side-load the addons. Check out youTube videos on how to sideload apps on Nvidia shield. There are tons of tutorials videos. I did it for a friend it is challenging, but its manageable.

    Good hunting Harold !

    Reply
  3. Harold

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

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
  5. James caso

    I have the slowest 3 Kodi boxes that drive me to take a hammer to Kodi ,17.4 17.5 n mygica n I have the highest speed from Verizon can give me plus all scrapers n channels not dependable mobdro sucks, terriaum tv don’t work much most movie channels gone down plus all scrapers put up the darkest movies u can’t even see plus there green the picture looking for a good box fast has good scrapers n movie channels and sports n more please help thanks n how much ….

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Thanks
    Shannon

    Reply
    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

      Reply
  7. Harry Lieuw

    How can I install KODI on my Amazon Fire TV box?

    Reply
  8. TJ

    also about

    MX10 Android 7.1.2 RK3328 4GB DDR4 32GB eMMC KODI 17.4 4K HDR TV BOX 802.1.1 b/g/n WIFI LAN VP9 HDMI USB3.0

    Reply
    1. Max Ramirez

      TJ The problem with MX10 is that is not Octacore is just Quadcore which is halph better a Octacore.

      Reply
  9. MARK MORELLI

    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

    Reply
  10. TJ

    Please

    I would like to know what is your thoughts about the ” TANIX TX9 PRO KODI 17.3 3GB/32GB TV BOX Android 7.1.2 Amlogic S912 2.4G/5.8G WIFI Bluetooth Gigabit LAN Bluetooth HDMI ”
    ?

    Please tell me what is your opinion because i would like to use for Kodi livetv watching etc..

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. nigel

      Hi TJ, I ordered a Tanix TX9 direct from Tanix, 2 back in October, Christmas came and went and eventually they refunded me. It seemed the best specced unit on the market at the time. Did you get one ??

      Nigel

      Reply
  11. charley

    Bought xgody x96 box from ebay love it 6.0 marshmallow Quad core would buy again

    Reply
  12. Saheed Nabie

    MINIX NEO X8-H Plus sucks for kodi v17.
    As minix is not updating the android firmware version to marshmallow or nougat you are stuck with kodi jarvis 16.x
    Do not buy MiNix!

    Reply
    1. TJ

      Agreed! Do not buy Minix! Unless you want to throw money away!

      I thought I was being smart paying a higher price for what I thought was a better product. The Minix Neo X8 is useless to me now because I can’t update it or run kodi on it anymore!

      Reply
      1. Other guy

        I have Minix minix z83-4 Windows 10. Good performance. Runs Kodi 17.3 from Windows store.

        Reply
        1. Barry

          Yes agreed. Their mistake was getting the Android version. The Minix Windows versions will run any version of Kodi a desktop pc can run.

          Reply
  13. zemelya

    OK, I tried H96 and Beelink GT1 and let me tell you something: they are both a piece of crap! I owed close to 15 different Android boxes before and none of them were as nearly bad as these two. The biggest issue was that the video background was too dark and I spent a week trying to fix it and was unsuccessful until I stumbled on YouTube video that shows how to hack a system file and fix this and it worked. But did I have to do all this????? Now, right at the same time I bought 2 MI Boxes by Xiaomi and let me tell you something: took 5 minutes to set them up and they work absolutely flawlessly since. This is why the only hardware suggested by TVAddons forum is : NVidia Shield, MI BOX and Amazon Fire TV(which I hate, BTW) and you know only these 3? Because only these 3 Android TV boxes have Google Android TV OS authorized and licences by Google!!! And all these other “great” Android boxes have OS design for the phone or a tabled, not for Android TV boxes. Personally, I done with all those fake Android boxes, I’ve had it,not anymore. Unless something else comes up, it’s ether NVIdia Shield or MI BOX

    Reply
    1. CRAIG

      you should go with a windows box or stick kodi runs smooth as silk.

      Reply
    2. Angelo

      I wanted to purchase a Mi Box, but all the ones I found say that they only have chinese language . Were you able to find one with english language and if so, where ? Thanks

      Reply
  14. Dwight

    Any idea about the “2017 Updated Version GooBang Doo M8S-II Android TV Box with 1000M LAN 2GB/8GB Unique GooBang Doo Server(OTA) Supports Dual-Band Wifi 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz, True 4K Playing” unit? I have an MXQ box hooked directly to y router and it works pretty good. I was looking to upgrade.

    Reply
  15. Deadwood

    The CSA93 box has been out for about a year and can be bought for 110-120 Canadian dollars, about 90 US dollars shipping included. It has 3gb ram, 32gb rom, 3- USB ports, led clock, AC wifi, dual antennas, pwr on/off, 4K UHD HDR at 60fp/s. I bought 2 of these boxes at two different times from Aliexpress. There are several versions of this box some come with Marshmallow 6.01 android OS and others come with Nougat 7.1 so look for the newer version if you want a bit more speed. The Octa core 912 CPU and the Mali T820 gpu provides a top notch picture on my LG UHD Tv
    and to those who are considering other boxes which come with less, give less and cost more, I haven’t found a better box for the monies paid. I’ve had both versions of the Nvidia Shield, the old version and the smaller newest version and I am here to tell you, Nvidia “pushes” whatever they want at any time they want and Google Playstore limits which apps work and which apps don’t work on the Nvidia box. I had two of these and sold both.

    Reply
  16. Tayseer

    I need help with choosing a kodi box, so please help! My budget is $100 but i want the best one for the price. So can you recommend me one.

    Reply
  17. J

    I originally found Kodi or actually XBMC after looking at Thin Clients for another use, they are relatively cheap in the $25.00 to $50.00 dollar range with some still new in the box with all accessories. My units which were new in box actually came with wireless G cards installed for $60.00 including shipping. The operating system is a lite version of Win 7 and is available at no cost at least for HP Thin Clients or you can also use Linux. I upgraded the IDE flash to 4gb and the unit runs smoothly except when I add too many addons. My next upgrade will to be use a 64gb CF card with IDE adapter to increase the operating system drive. I find that that these units run fine on wireless or wired, but when running at 1080 the unit will lock up for a few seconds and I think the internet connection is not keeping up, as I only pay for a 3mps internet service.
    The only overall downfall with cord cutters is when you drop your cable TV your internet price will actually go up. So I have kept my Cable TV, but I just don’t use it except for some live TV.

    Reply
  18. Patti Cook

    Actually have a question…. after reading your reviews on the best boxes I went out and purchased the NVIDIA Stealth 2017 edition… it is SWEET! My question… how do I install KODI version 17? I went to the Play store like I did with my old box, but the only option was 16… what am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    1. Phil Smith

      you can use a browser and go straight to the Kodi web site. Then just download the one for your platform…

      Reply
  19. Steve Mcmillian

    I see a few comments about the G- box and would like to add my thoughts.
    I purchased my streamer after two years of contemplating whether or not to buy one. I bought mine last year and I love it. I’m a movie fanatic and this streamer allows me to watch tv the way I always wanted to.
    I recommend the G- box to anyone looking to cut that annoying cable bill that seem to keep increasing every few months

    Reply
  20. Ira S. Cohen

    I read your article on cutting cable among others, but what about cutting cable & their IP? I use comcast cable & internet. If I cut comcast what can I use for internet access? I have been reading & watching youtube videos on KODI but can’t seem to get it downloaded. It keeps coming up with an error about not connecting to the server?? I am a disabled vietnam veteran & am not too computer literate, in fact I just got this Asus G60 laptop only 5 yrs. ago. I surely could use some Help for I am on a small fixed income.
    Thank You, Ira S. Cohen

    Reply
    1. anon

      you have to have internet. you can cancel cable tv but not internet. you can still use comcast just for internet only. see if there are any other internet providers in your area bsides comcast.

      Reply
  21. Randy

    I’ve used dozens of different media center programs and while Kodi (formerly XBMC) looks nice, it generally comes at a performance price. Even full-blown computers can be laggy using it and it is very finicky to get the Networking to work (adding libraries). I find Plex to be much faster and easier to network and it still looks good.

    I’m not knocking Kodi, it’s still one of the better media center platforms, just stating an honest opinion.

    Reply
  22. Paul

    Do all KODI programs come with a live tv option regardless of what box you use?

    Reply
  23. Ron Anderson

    i really enjoyed all of these comments and learned a few things. My dilemma is this I recently purchased a box from code tv box.com——have yet to get it working like it should—–have been able to watch a few movies but most of the times it produces a bunch of streaming sites that won’t let me access them or wantsme to go to a website for permission and have had no luck there yet. I get a good wi fi signal all over the house and also put in a wi fi extender—–the web site only has e mail support which is terrible—–will only answer one question at a time and since i cannot speak to anyone who will walk me thru to learn or fix the problem all i can get from them is they blame it on the internet signal which i know is wrong—so i am dissatidfied with their customer service but like the system and KODI application if i can just work out a few kinks——any suggestions

    Reply
    1. Bobe

      There can be a lot of bad links from a server list. Recently there has been some links that want you to visit their site for access, just ignore those and cancel. Basically just keep going down the server list until a good link is found and plays the stream, sometimes it can take 5-7 tries for a good one.

      Reply
  24. BASAVARAJA GHALE

    Hi..
    Not much competition to Kodi..?
    Kodi software update are controlling the Tv Box manufacturer specifications & hence the price..?
    Year back 1gm ram was sufficient now minimum 2 GB..soon it will be 6gb ram?

    Thanks

    Reply
  25. Mario T

    I have 3 MXQ boxes in my house, the one in my master bedroom is connected via ethernet and my kids boxes are on WiFi but I made sure to run a dual band cable modem router. I completely stripped the Kodi app from each preloaded box because they were running Jarvis 16.0 beta and reinstalled Jarvis 16.1 from the Google Play Store but I also downloaded the Complete Kodi Setup Wizard from the play store also. Then I reinstalled my add-ons using the builds from the setup wizard including Goodfellas 2.0 which along with Exodus, Sportsdevil, CCloud, Navi-X, Specto, Channel Pear & Robocop are some of my favs. I’ve used these same steps for the 3 MXQ boxes my father bought and they’re working as great as mine are. So it’s not about the box unless you don’t have much memory but you need to be sure to clear your cache frequently and make sure you stay up-to-date on any upgrades and you’ll enoy your Android box a lot more!

    Reply
    1. GeezLouise

      Can I or do I need to run a VPN with these boxes? Used Kodi on old laptop for a while but would like a stand alone.

      Reply
  26. Art Walicki

    If you want an excellent android box, get the Skystream One. Works flawlessly on wired Ethernet, it does have wireless. Everything you need is pre-loaded. Pretty much a plug and play box. Very responsive and excellent customer service.

    Reply
  27. Adam

    Im new to this and would like to know what I should buy with kodi pre loaded… let’s say I have no budget and then let’s say I have a 100$ budget which two would fit each category

    Reply
    1. John

      I purchased mine at Skystreamx.com and the boxes came pre-loaded with auto updates, they have good support via 800 number. I purchased the 3 different boxes they offer and each works great.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        Skystream is great choice. Plug and play, they do all the updates. Best 150.00 I ever spent

        Reply
  28. Rich S

    The Q-Box has 1 major failing. It’s S805 and doesn’t handle HEVC in hardware.
    The Q2 with S812 CPU does and it has excellent support which is VERY important to the average person.
    Personally I would buy a S905 box or better still wait 3-4 months and buy a S912 box.

    Reply
  29. Rich S

    If you don’t have the technical knowledge most of the MXQ boxes are crap and only a few have even mediocre support.
    But I like to tinker and have been hacking for years.
    KODI was written by Linux geeks. If you know LinuX you are familiar with repositories, etc.
    The interface was designed by techies and leaves a lot to be desired. It’s almost as ugly as OS X or Win 8-10.

    For the average guy the Tronsmart line offers good performance at a fair price.
    There are some small problems but they are working on updates. Good box with fair support.
    The Q-Box is basically the same as an MXQ Pro+ but with MUCH better support. Good box as it comes.
    If you spend in the $80-100 range you can get some good performance and value.
    Read the reviews at Freaktab and DON’T buy a box less than 4 months after it’s first sold.
    It takes time and $ to get the bugs out.
    If you like to hack go for it, otherwise wait a bit and READ the reviews.

    Most boxes are easy to root, then with Titanium Backup or Root Uninstall programs delete KODI and other system loaded crapware, load a new version of KODI with the best addons, Showbox, Cloud TV, Home Manager, Smart Launcher 3, Smart Taskbar 2 Pro or OmniSwitch and Button Savior with all the activation areas on the left side. Add Koi Free , Pro or your favorite Live Wallpaper and you will have a box you will love.
    Takes about 4 hours to root, find and download the new programs, install Titanium, backup, remove the crap, and install KODI and the addons. Took days to figure it out.
    I was fortunate as the NEXBOX which cost all of $26 had a non system version of Kodi 16.1 with a good set of addons so I just backed them up and restored them to the other boxes.
    No more resets, lockups, etc.

    With some knowledge of custom ROMs on my tablet and phone and a LOT of reading at Freaktab, XDA and the 4PDA Russian site I was able to make a LEELBOX MXQ, NEXBOX MXQ Pro, QuickPlay MXQ Pro, and a MXQ Pro+ work almost flawlessly (SPDIF does not work on the MXQ Pro+) (I loaded a Tronsmart META ROM on it).
    The LEELBOX plays anything up to 1080P without a stutter.
    The other 3 play 4K HEVC 10 bit fine from the LAN or USB ports. I use The 5th Wave which is 30-35mb/s.
    Some of the 4k HDR demos I have with bit rates over 100 mb/s do stutter but with USB 2.0 ports and no ac WiFi that’s to be expected. Those I plug directly into my TV from a USB 3.0 drive or he LAN from my network server.
    WiFi struggles but I only have 450mb/s n routers.

    Reply
  30. Pmdr

    Bought an MXQ box, my first experience with Kodi. Out of the box, almost none of the loaded services worked. After much updating and tinkering, it does sometimes play now. But I’ve hit a brick wall. This box came to me basically from an anonymous supplier. It’s rooted. I have NO idea what they loaded on it, I don’t know if it’s waiting to steal my Play store password and go nuts with it, I don’t even know if it’s trying to steal Ethernet traffic. Bottom line, I can’t trust it.

    And of course there are no ROMS to drop on it for a clean start because everybody is using something slightly different. And even if there were ROMS, can you trust the person who made them?

    Right now I just don’t know what to do with this box. I will not let this thing loose on my network (is on a segmented guest network now) or give it my Google password. It’s just not worth the risk.

    Has anyone else thought about this? How have you managed it from a security-first perspective?

    Reply
  31. Sal. Marino

    I originally bought a Google Nexus player and put Kodi on it. It works flawlessly and the speed is right there, never a problem. Now they don’t make them anymore, so I went and bought a Mqx pro fully loaded not quite as fast as the Nexus player but it’s a decent machine, so I buy a dozen at a time and sell them to friends who can’t see spending big money on these streamers and so far everything is going well.

    Reply
  32. Tiago

    Great list! NVIDIA Shield is the best! I also did a list of the best kodi boxes 2016, take a look on the Q-Box, great features as specs.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Plute

      Buy Nvidia only if you are familiar with Android TV as opposed to standard Android. Android TV does not make a good general purpose device.

      Reply
  33. Montag451

    There are 3 necessary parts to getting a streaming system working:
    1 – the android box
    2 – installing Kodi
    3 – getting the Kodi program configured with apps (called addons in Kodi world) correctly.
    Which android box? There certainly is some junk out there that stops working after a few days/weeks.

    Here is what I’ve seen work re android boxes:
    a) Rasp. Pi 2 – slow but works well if you are patient.
    b) Pivos XIOS DS – an OLDer system but works fine. I don’t think it even has the specs mentioned above. Used on a daily basis by someone I know.
    c) Minix Neo X8-H Plus (careful that you get this version not one of the other ones with different specs) – This one works on a daily basis FLAWLESSLY. The remote that you can get from Minix has the standard VCR type controls on one side and a keyboard on the other side. Very useful. This Minix box can have Kodi installed but also can be connected to Google Play so you can download other apps from the Play store. The specs on this box are very good.
    d) I also know of people who are using brands called GOOBANG and MXQ or MYGICA. But make sure you get the appropriate specs. Some of the older versions are a bit limiting. Look for a newer Android version.
    Of course you can also download Kodi onto a Windows PC or your smart phone or tablet…

    To get the Addons configured you can do two things:
    a) go to the Kodi site and read through the material.
    b) go to a site called tvaddons[dot]ag . This offers complete installation and configuration help for whatever platform you are using (windows, linux, android, even apple ). VERY easy.

    I have to say though, that the live TV channels are not ready for “Prime time” yet. In general they seem to be unreliable. When they work they are great. Sometimes they just don’t work… oh well. But the movies and TV series, and the privately generated content is priceless. learn a language, learn to play guitar, learn to mountain bike, learn python, fitness shows… endless content!! No more content restrictions by cable companies with limited vision. See perspectives from around the world instead of being constrained by the corporate-approved news shaping your world.

    Reply
  34. harrel jones

    i purchased aandroid tv box but had to return it to the seller .the reason was I could never get pass the authenticating it would get the password and go through the connecting processing stage then I would get the connection fail prompt I could never find out why is there an explanation, its a brand new sony tv I have a excellent wifi signal but no answer to the problem

    Reply
  35. Papi

    The previous posts present food for thought…Here’s the dessert! MINIX NEO X8-H Plus! Quad core, 4K, dual band WiFi, 2gigs ram, air mouse and as easy to use as a smart phone! I have one on each TV in my home and only the living room TV is Ethernet connected. I started streaming with a raspberry pi 2 several years ago. The pi worked very well w/OpenElec but I wanted more! The MINIX basically turns your TV or smart TV into an Einstein TV! I have tried other devices,ie fire stick and G box which are OK but don’t perform as well as the MINIX. I can honestly say I have not experienced any of the issues expressed in previous posts with this device. The X8 works flawlessly. Plays media from my WD HDD seamlessly and connects to all my networked devices including my printer! I may upgrade the living room TV to a Shield but the cost isn’t in my budget right now.

    Reply
  36. Sid

    I Use Tronsmart Android TV Box Vega S95 Telos . It works like a charm. I use it on wifi with my WD 4tb network hard drive connected to router and its plays flawless without any lag or buffering. Even library scanning of 550 movies was done in 10 mins.

    Reply
  37. Tom Mack

    Friend has the fire stick unlocked and seems to work well w Kodi. Another has Stream Smart but over $300.00. Any advice of which is better or does it really matter? Or other suggestion? thx!

    Reply
    1. Frank V

      I am not sure about stream smart but I have a firstick. I modified the buffer and cache settings along with upgrading the power source from .15 Amps to 2 Amps (old samsung phone charger will do it). This helped the buffering speed, a lot. I don’t run less than 1080p, With no freezing or unwanted resets. Gathered those modifications after much research. Just becareful with the 2 amp upgrade, it could melt your firestick if there is a power surge or you run it more than 7 hours straight. The 1 amp ( old Iphone usb charge box),is good as well and a lot safer, its works well with buffering but still lags on loading the metadata. Something the 2 amp does not, if you are a concious person stick with the 2 amp if not 1 amp is for you. Hope this helps

      Reply
  38. Tom G

    I agree with toetied. Kodi is a pain in the butt to try and do things like loading a new site to stream from. First you go do something like downloading a zip file, then you go to programs or something else to find and identify it. They you go to a different section to install it. Then to another section to pay something from it. And WHY are their repositories AND zip files? What ever happened to files and folders. Good lord it is such a pain to use.

    And don’t even think about trying to delete just one site from a repository. When you get install Phoenix for example about 25-50% of the links never work. Just a whole bunch of clutter if you ask me.

    But Kodi as a media player is fine but it just can’t be update it on my new Android box. Some stupid programer locked down my MXQ Pro + box so that almost everything fails to load from the play store. Heck it won’t even play my subscription to Netflix and Google Chrome is hopelessly out of date . Oh and trying to find a VPN service that works is hopeless. Everything in the play store says my box is not compatible with their apps. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE. Its running Android 5.1.1. Stupid.

    Android TV boxes belong in the trash. If you want a media center get serious and load up Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10, the latest version of Kodi 16.1, Netflix and Google Chrome ver. 51 and enjoy yourself. The Android TV boxes being sold are hopelessly cluttered with junk operating system software which MOST of the time doesn’t even run and it certainly can’t be updated. If you expect your Android box to every work correctly then you must also believe gold grows on trees.

    Reply
    1. Greg M

      Tom, I suggest you pack up all of your Android devices and go get an Amazon Prime or Netflix account. You and technology that millions love are obviously not compatible.

      Reply
  39. toetied

    i have a g box q, 1st off you can not use it with wifi, maybe its interference, or crappy Internet (i live in Mexico) but with an Ethernet cable to the router its very rare i have problems.
    all my add ons are set to auto play with 1080 or 720, but 1080 is the 1st choice i never wait more that a couple seconds for it to start ( i have 20mbs).kodi is great, but its the most backwards software ive ever used. you need to be prepared to ) spend some time to learn it. i still wonder how they even came up with the (internal) layout i cant imagine a situatin where how they have built it seems anything more that a pain in the ass.
    having said that nothing else out there will do what it does except openelec, or forks
    my friend also has one, and he hates it, well he loved it until the build he payed for experied.
    he wanted to plug it in and watch whatever he wanted right off the bat, without putting any time at all into learning it.
    i also have a firestick, it works but its slow, and im never sure if i hit the button so i do it again and suddenly it moves a bunch at once, its the low cost option, but i would recommend the g box q for the main tv the firestick maybe as bedroom, or something not often used.
    i canceled my cable tv and doubled up on the Internet speed and still save 50% and i can literally watch tv all day without issues.
    i dont know about its 3d or 4k features, the g box q 2 has dual band 802.11n, a step down from my 802.11ac, but again i think wifi for steaming video is a bad idea. besides its not like your moving your Tv around. most of you aren’t anyway

    Reply
  40. Mike

    I bought a shield last year on Black Friday to play a couple of games and now I use it almost exclusively as a kodi box. I have a Raspberry Pi 2 and the overall experience was kind of painful enough for me that I didn’t really stick with it. The Shield is so stunningly fast that I can’t imagine there being a comparable box to it in terms of performance. It’ll cost you some money, especially if you buy the remote, but in IMO both are worth the coin if you use the thing a lot. Really much, MUCH better as KODI/media center platform than as a gaming console (due to overall lack of games for Shield at present).

    Reply
  41. JENEAN

    Probably no help can be given, but do you have any idea how to update the UBOX? I was told KODI.com, but can not understand any of it. At then rate I’m going, I believe I may purchase the Nvidea shield, based on the replys to this page. Can you help??

    Reply
  42. JCV

    Currently have a streamsmart box strictly to run Kodi which basically gives me anything I can find on demand, most bluejays and even some in theatres. Downside is that it is 3-400 to buy. Do these boxes run Kodi the same way and provide solid Kodi/channel up performance?

    Reply
  43. Kevin Wood

    Has anyone used the Tigerstream.tv box? It’s damnned expensive!! ….. Or the bizarrely named “jesusboxtv” ? *snickers *

    Reply
  44. Gregg Hernandez

    Hello, originally I ran the quad core OUYA gaming box with KODI side loaded, and it ran beautifully, but I thought it was time to upgrade, so I built a nice little quad core Raspberry Pi, and it runs just as well with absolutely no lag at all. I use the OPENELEC build, which is nice because you can set it to update to the newest version of KODI automatically. You may also be able to do this on the boxes mentioned above. The trick for me may be is the Wi-Fi booster I have downstairs because my wireless router is upstairs. This really helps with my Wi-Fi signal which is very high. I also built a nice dual core PC running Linux Mint with KODI installed. I use this sometimes with a small TV hooked up to it, and it also runs great. My next project is using the ODROID C1+ running the OPENELEC build, should run great.
    I have tried using a Matricom box in the past, but it seems to heat up after a few hours of use. This problem may have been solved by now, because I had the box a couple of years ago. I use the little heat sinks on the Raspberry Pi builds and they never get hot, ever after several hours of use.

    Reply
    1. Muhammad Bilal

      Hi Greg,

      I am using Kodi on Rasberry Pi 3, and it is working fine so far. I am using (Soft) remote control on my iPhone to navigate in side Kodi, which can be painful at times, What remote are you using with your Rasberry Pi setup?

      Thanks

      Reply
  45. D. E. Driscoll

    Is there anyone who can help me with a Kodi Fire box which a friend got for me. The cost was about £55.00 which included postage. I installed it and he came round and demonstrated how to operate the unit. He showed me how to get all the football and films but when I tried the Kodi ‘addons’ only showed ‘Programs’ ‘System”Settings’ etc.

    I can post the box with the attachments if there is someone more experienced than me can solve my problem.

    Reply
    1. peter

      when you get an unloaded version of kodi, nothing works as you have to install the tv and movie apps like phonix and salts yourself but it is easy to do,

      Reply
  46. VICTOR

    I’d like to hear if anyone else has the nvidia shield. I have roku but wanted to get a kodi box and nvidia seems to be the best in terms of performance. Does anyone have any input?

    Reply
    1. Rich

      The nvidia shield is the best box for kodi period. I have a roku 3 and it blows the roku away not only because of kodi but the speed and versatility and throw in gaming capabilities the shield is the best on the market hands down. I use it every day,trust me.

      Reply
    2. Douglas Medina

      Nividia is the best i have 2 cheaper boxs for the bedrooms

      Reply
    3. Paul

      I got a few the mini roka and s905 both work fine in my bedroom fink it depends on your WiFi the s805 my misses haves her in the bedroom upstairs router is downstairs.. It’s worth looking a r

      Reply
  47. Steve

    Does the Idroidnation box have hdmi playthrough problems with HBO go and showtime anytime and Netflix players? My android 4.4 mk8088 plus stops playing 30 seconds in and hdmi errors out?

    Reply
    1. WirelessHack

      It plays through with HDMI. I haven’t used it with HBO Go or any other sources than Kodi so I’m unsure how well it does with those services. It plays Kodi good.

      Reply
  48. Curtis Spiers

    I bought an MXQ box as a suggestion from a long time streamer and find my fire tv sticks are faster and much more reliable. I average around 20 meg download speed out of New Orleans, LA via U-Verse

    Reply
  49. Joe

    I have the G-Box and it’s awful. It’s network speeds makes it pretty much useless for streaming 1080p video.

    Reply
    1. WirelessHack

      I haven’t had any problems with mine of course my router is not far from it. A wired connection may be the way to go.

      Reply
      1. Wayne

        Best box on market is the m8s+ super fast quad core loilop 5.1 I have had all those 1 gb boxes there. Crap

        Reply
        1. Tim

          I have one too and finally solved the screen positioning problem and the low image quality problem

          I’m sure many think it is junk as I did before but it’s now great

          Reply
    2. ben

      Joe have the same problem with my gbox. Actually I think the gbox is a hunk of junk!! My fire stick is faster and more reliable by far.

      Reply
  50. Shelley

    I just received the Raspberry Pi 2 media starter kit with Quad core Broadcom. Working good although has froze couple times, but we noticed our PS4 is now lagging. Is there any remedies?

    Reply
    1. WirelessHack

      PS4 is Lagging? The only thing I can think of how the two would interfere with each other would be the WiFi signal. There are a number of solutions if this is the problem with the simplest being to use a wired connection with at least one device.

      Reply
      1. Andy

        Wire ps4 or put in dmz in router set up.google it.makes ps4 priority on sending/receiving packets.

        Reply
  51. Robert F

    What if you compare the Matricom G-Box with the latest Pigflytech® [2015 New Arrival] MX3-plus.
    That comes with the s802+
    Or compare it with the Element Ti4 Quad Core Android TV Box 2GB/16GB/4K S812 .
    I am trying to figure out which one to buy out of these 3 boxes.

    Reply
    1. WirelessHack

      When I get more time I will compare them. The Matricom G-box is faster than the Pigflytech box but they do keep upgrading it so this may change.

      The Element Ti4 Quad Core Android TV Box has basically the same same hardware specs as the Matricom G-box. I will have to do more research on it.

      Which ever one you get let us know how it works for you.

      Reply
      1. John Brandow

        With this box do you still have your cable connection to your house like DIRECTV or does this replace all that

        Reply
        1. WirelessHack

          These boxes stream from the internet, so only a internet connection is needed.

          Reply

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