Best Kodi TV Boxes 2017By Lyn Atwood / January 21, 2017 / Tags: Cut Cable, Kodi
Looking for the best Kodi box to stream TV shows, movies and live sports on your TV? Here are the top picks — whether you’re a Kodi beginner or a seasoned veteran.
Kodi (formerly XBMC) is one of the best media player applications out there. Using Kodi with a streaming box so you can watch all that great Kodi content on your nice big TV screen — that’s a match made in TV heaven.
In fact, Kodi is designed to be enjoyed on a TV. It’s built with a “10-foot” interface, meaning you should be sitting 10 feet away — on your couch watching your TV — while using it.
Kodi doesn’t come with a single hardware device to use it with. That means you have some options when it comes to picking a streaming box. A lot of options, in fact.
Thankfully, we’ve put together this helpful guide with our top picks of the best boxes to install Kodi on. Whether you’re a beginner looking for the fastest, simplest way to get started, or an experienced user searching for more power and flexibility, you’ll find some excellent choices.
Note that you can buy streaming boxes/sticks pre-loaded with “pirate” versions of Kodi. But these have been patched together by third-parties and are notoriously buggy. It’s really easy to install Kodi and add-ons on any box or stick that runs Android — like all of the options below. So you’re better off sticking with one of these than a third-party device. Kodi can be very easily installed on all the options on this list (which you can then enhance however you want with Kodi add-ons).
Here are the best Kodi streaming boxes of 2017.
Xiaomi Mi Box (Under $100)
Best if you: want a zero-hassle, dependable, just plug it in and go Kodi box.
The Mi Box is the best choice if you want a no-fuss, plug-and-play, near-perfect, super-easy-to-use Kodi streaming box. For Kodi beginners, this is an excellent choice. The Mi Box a strong favorite throughout the Kodi community — and for good reason.
It has 4K and HDR support. Its high-quality build is super fast and responsive. Designed for TV use, it has easy to use apps and a slick Bluetooth and voice-controlled remote.
You can get the Mi Box with the standard version of Kodi already installed. Or you can get the slightly cheaper model and install Kodi yourself via Google Play store app “SBMC” (the Android version of the Kodi app). Either way, the $80-90 price of the Mi Box is a great deal. One drawback is that it lacks dynamic refresh. But for newbies, and anyone else who just wants to get up and running with a solid streaming box, the Mi Box is where it’s at.
Nvidia Shield (Under $250)
Best if you: want the fastest Kodi box out there.
The robust Tegra X1 central processing unit of the Nvidia Shield makes it the fastest streaming devices on this list. It is also capable of handling 4K and HDR content.
This degree of power also has several other advantages. The Android TV operating system means Kodi can be installed right from the Google Play store, and Nvidia openly approves of its use.
The single drawback of the Shield is its price. With a starting price of $200 for the 16GB version (a larger 500GB ‘Ace’ model is also available), it is the most expensive box on our list. But, for that price, you’re getting a powerful streaming box with enough horsepower for a variety of other applications.
Amazon Fire TV (Under $100)
Best if you: want a family-friendly streamer with loads of apps, light gaming, and 4K streaming.
The Amazon Fire TV is one of the most popular streaming devices out there. With 4K streaming, tons of available apps besides what Kodi brings (Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, etc.), and a 2GHz quad-core processor it is super fast and fully-loaded. At only about $100, it’s also not a bad deal.
You will need to manually install Kodi on the Fire TV (Amazon no longer offers a Kodi app). But this is very easy to do, so it’s not much of a drawback (here are 3 easy ways to install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV). If you’re looking for an all-around TV streaming solution for the whole family — with gaming and a huge library of additional apps — this is a great choice.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (Under $50)
Best if you: want most of the features and options of the Amazon Fire TV for half the price.
The stick version of the Amazon Fire TV is almost as fast and powerful as the box — and a great bargain at only half the price. Like the box, you need to manually install Kodi, but pretty much anyone can handle this in only a few minutes — no tech savvy needed. If you want all the options of the Fire TV at a super affordable price, the Fire TV Stick is your answer.
Gem Box (Under $100)
Best if you: want the most gaming options.
The Gem Box doesn’t excel in any area, but is still a solid Kodi player. With its Android operating system, installing Kodi is a snap and the $99 price tag pretty affordable.
It only has a 1.5GHz processor, so it isn’t as fast as most of the other options on this list. It also doesn’t have 4K support, if that’s important to you. But it does have a lot of gaming options, including streaming via Game Fly and stream link.
CuBox i2 (Under $100)
Best if you: want Kodi to come pre-installed.
The CuBox i2 has a couple different things going for it. Coming in at only $90 it is darn great deal. Plus, it comes with Kodi pre-installed, to save you some time doing it yourself. Nonetheless, with only a 1GHz dual-core processor, it’s power is low compared to other boxes on this particular list. It also lacks 4K support.
If it’s important to you that Kodi (the standard version) comes pre-installed, the CuBox may be for you. But, if you spend just a little more cash and you can a much more powerful device with only a minimal set-up requirement.
WeTek Core (UK only; Under $135)
Best if you: are in the UK.
For UKers, the WeTek Core is the best no-fuss, plug-and-play, start streaming Kodi content onto your TV in minutes box we’ve found.
It comes with Kodi pre-installed. It’s powerful, with a 2GHz quad-core processor. It supports 4K. And it’s only about $127. If you’re looking for the simplest plug-and-play Kodi streamer available in the UK, this is it. The WeTek Hub model is also a great device.
All the options on this list are great Kodi players that will let you easily enjoy Kodi on your TV. If you’re new to Kodi, we recommend the Mi Box if you want the easiest way to get started, or the Amazon Fire TV (box or stick) if you want more apps and don’t mind installing Kodi yourself.
Remember that you should always use Kodi with a VPN to stay safe, private, and get access to more content sources. See the best VPNs for Kodi, or how to set up a VPN with Kodi. To use a VPN with any of the streaming boxes above, see how to set up a VPN on your router.
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