SmartTVBox's Ultimate Guide to Streaming
- Published: Thursday, 19 May 2016 15:22
- Hits: 7360
This guide will give you an insight into the amazing world of streaming. You have probably heard of a Smart TV Box / Android Box and the phrase “streaming your TV content online”. With so much conflicting advice available on the internet we believe this guide will certainly help to answer your questions, dispel your doubts and clear up any confusion.
Streaming has become very popular due to the fact that broadband speeds have increased, allowing TV and Radio content to stream over the internet effortlessly. The Smart TV Box stores a buffer of data so if your broadband speed should dip, this buffer allows the content to play without any interruption. Streaming is a new technology, just like the aerial antenna, cable or satellite was back in their day. While streaming will give everyone humongous amounts of available content one downside to streaming is it only allows one stream per unit or Smart TV Box. This means if you have a second TV you will need to take the Smart TV Box to that second TV or purchase a second box, it is not possible to multi room in the traditional sense.
So to get started we at Smart TV Box always suggest doing a speed test to determine what download speed you are getting from your provider. A quick and simple test can be done at this website.
Movies and boxsets will work on a speed of 3 to 4 meg while Live TV and Sports would need 7 meg. All speeds need to be to the Smart TVBox; if your download speed from your internet provider is say 7 meg to the router and your TV is in another room you will need to connect by WiFi.
By connecting through WiFi you will lose some of that speed “over the air”. The solution for this is to use boosters (sometimes called homeplugs), which work by plugging directly into the plug sockets (not through an extension lead) and using the internal electrical wiring of your house to act like a direct Ethernet connection. Simply put one booster at your router and the other booster to your Smart TV Box. We suggest buying the boosters that act like a plug adaptor so you won’t lose the plug socket in the case of you not having a spare direct socket and you are presently using an extension lead. If your router is beside your TV we always recommend connecting by Ethernet. Even if you have great WiFi speed, Ethernet is always the best connection.
So you have done the speed test; the next thing to check is “What package am I on from my internet provider?” Again we recommend an unlimited download allowance. Even though you are streaming and not downloading, streaming will use up your allowance. A movie can use anywhere from 700MB all the way up to 5GB or more of your download allowance depending on the video quality you select. A football match uses a similar amount.
One question we are asked all the time is “Do you need a Smart TV?”Well the answer is NO, any TV with a HDMI port will work. The majority of TVs from the last 8 years will have anything up to 3 HDMI ports as standard.
On purchase of a Smart TV Box the setting up is done in a matter of minutes. You connect the box to the TV by HDMI cable, plug the box to the mains, go to the source button on your TV and choose the HDMI slot you plugged into, and then it is simply connecting to the internet by either WiFi or Ethernet just like any other device.
By us having a retail store we deal first hand with our customer’s everyday and the concerns they may have. The most common concern is whether the Smart TV Boxes is easy to use. The simple answer is yes but what we also add to this is the more time a person puts in to explore the content available the more that person will get out of the box. We were delighted to see a Facebook post recently from a woman stating she is 73 years old with no computer experience but just loving the box, well done Vera
We are now in an era where we can choose what content to watch at a time that suits us. There are unlimited vast libraries of movies, box sets and documentaries from any year to present day, letting you go back in time and watch what was in the cinema when you were growing up; watch every season of your favourite TV shows from yesteryear all over again, all at the touch of a button.
Back to the present: you will get all your existing Live TV and Sport content as well, in fact you will get TV from all over the world. The one downside is you cannot record live TV with the box but having said that the majority of content TV providers show will be available on demand, sometimes even before they broadcast it. Another solution would be to download the TV player apps (RTE Player, 3Player, UTV Ireland Player etc.) from the Google Play Store.
Once connected, what do you get from us that is so different from other sellers? We install a number of standalone apps and place them on the box for easy access, as well as Kodi, which is the main source of content and where the vast content libraries will be found. OK you can say everybody does that, but what they don’t tell you is you will have to maintain the apps and links in Kodi yourself.
Why is Smarttvbox.ie different? Well this is why: when new apps come along we will add them to our listing and put them into our exclusive Smart TV Box app store for easy download by you, when existing apps already on the box since purchasing need updating you can also go to the Smart TV Box app store for updating. No other box seller has this facility, our update Kodi wizard will refresh our Celtic Kodi build every month which takes the hassle away from you, see below for more details on these two amazing features
|For Movie and Box Sets||
|For Live TV||
MoreTV is a premium subscription-based app for all Live TV content in HD quality. No contract is required as it works like a phone top up- only top up when you want to use it. It’s great for Irish people abroad and sport fans worldwide. You get a Free 3 day trial to test on all our boxes www.moretv.ie
This app is exclusive to only our Smart TV Boxes. This is where we store the above apps in case you might delete one by accident. A new version of that app might come along or a new app appears on the scene. When that happens we will email you to let you know and it is a simple process to download it. We always send a tutorial video on how to do it as well just for backup.
Kodi, formally known as XBMC, is a free open-source media player developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit consortium. Because of the open source nature of Kodi 3rd party developers (also known as devs) can come to the Kodi platform and release their unofficial Kodi add-ons.
These add-ons in Kodi allow you to watch practically anything available online, and when we say anything we mean anything. With a huge library of movies, boxsets, Documentaries and Music from any era to present day, you will also find sources for Live TV and Sports from around the world. We highly recommend Kodi as the first source for all your TV viewing. Watch our YouTube tutorials on how to navigate around Kodi.
Here at Smart TV Box we install our custom version of Kodi, Celtic Kodi, fully loaded with the best free 3rd party developer streaming add-ons available. Kodi is like a Ferrari engine, always needing constant tweaking and tuning. If you like tinkering around the internet looking for sources and then trying to get them to work you will have a ball, but if you just want to sit down and watch TV without the hassle of trying to update yourself our successful Smart TV Box Wizard has you covered. While the TV content will update on a daily basis the 3rd party developer add-ons may change over a period of time. They may change servers or fork out in a different direction: a recent example of this was an add-on called Genesis; this add-on is now gone but has forked out into three new add-ons called Exodus, Specto and Velocity.
When this happens don’t worry we have your back covered with our Celtic Kodi Wizard
Our update Kodi wizard is standard on all our boxes and will always keep the 3rd party sources up to date. As we said above we have our own powerful custom Kodi build, in this build we install our Celtic Kodi Wizard, this is so simple to use and it certainly will not disappoint when the update is done.
At Smart TV Box we constantly look at the 3rd party add-ons, when something new comes along we will test it and if we think it is good enough it will be added to our Smart TV Box Kodi build. We also look for dead links and remove them before putting together the new build (roughly every 4 weeks). We send it up to our server, and will email you once this happens. By pressing 2 buttons you will wipe the old build and install the new build, taking about 2 minutes.
Smart TV Boxes always seem very confusing at first to our customers when we get to meet them face to face so it must be pretty difficult when searching online where everybody is saying they are the best. Let’s talk about the benefits of purchasing a quality box so you can make the right decision and buy with confidence.
The first question we always ask is “How far away is the router from where you will be watching TV?”. A Smart TV Box with an external WiFi antenna is always best. Quality boxes will always have good WiFi capabilities.
Always make sure no matter where you are looking that the box is up to date with the latest technology, don’t let price determine your viewing enjoyment. A €70 box cannot stream top quality 1080p movie streams efficiently, it is beyond the capabilities of the cheap box. We pride ourselves on always having the latest technology in all our boxes.
Chip Sets, processors, WiFi strength, storage space and memory - compare all of these. If you see a box for sale and no specifications on view, steer well away- the technology will be so old the seller is even embarrassed.
All the boxes we sell come with both a standard remote and an air mouse remote.
Talk to the seller directly by phone! We see a lot of guys popping up on Facebook or on advert sites, while some will be genuine there are a lot of amateurs posing as professionals and that is exactly what you don’t need. We see on a current website the claim that their technology can make the box stream on less than 1 Meg download speed- best of luck with that.
The genuine sellers will talk to you directly, not by private message on Facebook or email.
You will see the term “fully loaded” boxes, we use it ourselves but we back it up and look after you well into the future: as we discussed above when a source changes in Kodi who is going to sort it out for you? When new sources appear in Kodi who is going to load them for you? Most box sellers will load a box but it is down to you to maintain and source new links. When new apps appear who is going to tell you about them? Where will you download them from? Will your emails get answered?
This is our biggest bugbear: we are seeing more and more counterfeit boxes appearing every day. The most common counterfeit boxes are the MXQ, M8, M8S and T8 Pro.
A counterfeit box is not good, in fact it is bad. It may look OK on the outside, the packaging will look great, it may even have fake CE approvals stamped on the box but it is only when the box is opened up to see inside it will you see the mish-mash of components. The faded washed out picture quality is another giveaway, and although the boxes may work for a while, over time they will fail; a HDMI connection failure is the most common fault.
A big worry for the general public would be the fact that the box sellers are selling counterfeit boxes and they don’t even know the difference. The advertisements you will see on online marketplaces or social media sites will be very convincing, the pricing will be much lower than the real thing because the manufacturer quality control is nonexistent and they are using cheaper and unsafe components. Despite the price, one in four MXQ boxes will fail within two months.
Let’s face it: everything is made in China and quality is excellent depending on whom you deal with, but also every wholesaler will state they are a factory and that is far from correct; we have witnessed this first hand on visit to China.
The box sellers are trusting these wholesalers claims without any evidence other than a few corresponding emails.
In our experience unless a retailer or box seller has visited a factory and buying directly from the factory they can never be sure what product they are getting if using wholesalers or agents.
Just to finish up what we stated above are all facts, buy cheap and buy twice, a Smart TV Box will bring so much enjoyment to your life, you will have hours of endless pleasure, fantastic entertainment at the click of a button, just make sure the button you press will work and will keep on working.