The Best IPTV Set Top Boxes in 2019
Are you on the lookout for a new IPTV box? The choice can be overwhelming. You have to consider mainstream products such as Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, but also less well-known (but sometimes more suitable) devices like MAG boxes.
We’re going to help you cut through and make sense of it all. Here are the seven best IPTV boxes in 2019.
If you want an IPTV set-top box that runs Android, it’s hard to argue that anything other than the Nvidia Shield TV is the best-in-class. It’s a device that’s perfect for cord cutters of all stripes.
In addition to being an IPTV box, the Nvidia Shield TV can also double as a Plex server, a gaming console, a web browser, a Chromecast, and more.
Specs-wise, a Shield TV offers 4K HDR playback at 60FPS, an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, 3GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 500GB of storage.
The biggest downside to an Nvidia Shield TV is the cost. It might not be the most sensible IPTV set-top box to put in every room in your house.
If you are willing to spend a substantial amount of cash, another IPTV set-top box worth considering is the Formuler Z8. Like the Shield, it’s an Android-based IPTV box.
The Formuler Z8 offers a few improvements over its predecessor, the Z7. Most notably, there’s now a gigabit port for ultra-fast connections. There’s also an all-new MyTvOnline app to browse electronic program guides (EPGs), a fresh user interface, and a newly-designed glow-in-the-dark remote.
A Formuler Z8 box isn’t perfect though. There’s no native way to install Android TV versions of other streaming apps like Netflix or Plex.
Some workarounds let you run the mobile versions, but users frequently report problems in various forums. Playback resolution will be limited to 480p, the interface does not scale well, and crashes are commonplace.
If you just want to watch IPTV and are not interested in running apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it might be more sensible to opt for a MAG box. The latest MAG box to hit the market is the MAG322.
To be clear—there is no way to install Android apps on a MAG box. All versions of the MAG boxes run Linux. Infomir has made its devices singularly focused on recreating a traditional cable TV experience.
The MAG322’s other features include HEVC support, 3D video support, 512MB of RAM, 512MB of flash memory, and a MIPS 4KE dual-core processor.
And what about the negatives? Well, if you use illegal IPTV streams, beware. Recent reports suggest Infomir has been blocking portals. Furthermore, the MAG322 does not support VPNs or subtitles.
The original Fire TV Stick wasn’t powerful enough to truly be considered among the best IPTV set-top boxes, but the rebooted 4K version comes with improved specs. It’s now a serious contender.
If you want to use a Fire Stick for IPTV, you’ll need to download and use a third-party Android IPTV app. There are lots of great apps to choose from, but Perfect Player is arguably the most popular among the community.
Of course, like the Nvidia Shield TV, you can run other TV streaming apps—like Hulu and PlutoTV—on a Fire Stick. It means the device is a perfect choice for anyone who wants flexibility without coughing up for the more expensive Nvidia product.
The Fire TV Stick 4K is Alexa-enabled, offers 8GB of storage, supports Bluetooth headphones, and can connect to your router via an ethernet cable if you buy an adaptor.
The Dreamlink T2 is an IPTV Android box with robust EPG functionality and the ability to install non-streaming Android apps.
Firstly, if size matters to you, it’s one of the best IPTV boxes you will find. The device will comfortably fit in the palm of your hand and can be easily hidden away even in the most cramped of environments.
With 8GB of storage capacity, the Dreamlink T2 easily rivals some of its more illustrious competitors. The box has a maximum resolution of 2160p and includes Ethernet, HDMI, and USB ports. There’s even a microSD card slot—something that’s becoming increasingly rare on top-of-the-range IPTV boxes.
The biggest downside is the 1GB of RAM. The device needs a little more power if it wants to be a serious alternative to the best-in-class Nvidia Shield TV.
6. GooBang Doo XB-III
The GooBang Doo XB-III is a curious device. Despite the budget price, it is one of the best IPTV set-top boxes available.
Firstly, with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, it is a lot more powerful than some of the other devices on this list. Secondly, the box ships with its own mini keyboard at no extra cost. Anyone who’s spent time typing web addresses and passwords on an Android TV or Fire TV device using a remote knows how much of a lifesaver a keyboard could be.
The GooBang Doo XB-III comes with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, supports 4K video output, and has an ethernet port for smoother IPTV streaming.
Finally, it runs Android, so you will have access to the Google Play versions of apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and YouTube.
Our final recommendation is the Beelink AP34. The device is unique among the other IPTV boxes on this list due to its operating system; it is the only one to run Windows.
In addition to the Windows 10 operating system, the Beelink ships with 6GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state hard drive, a Celeron N3450 processor, and an Intel graphics card. The device also has an SD card slot, 4K video output, and a USB 3.0 port. From a specs perspective, the Beelink is firmly in competition with a mid-range laptop.
The beauty of running a Windows IPTV box is the flexibility. Just about every mainstream IPTV app you can think of comes with a Windows version. And if it doesn’t, you can just access it through a web browser.
The Best IPTV Box for You
Buying one of the best IPTV boxes is only part of the challenge of receiving live TV from the web.
If you want to watch IPTV on your TV, you will also need to install some IPTV apps. They can either be paid subscription services (like Sling TV, DirecTV, and PlayStation Vue) or free apps (such as Pluto TV and BBC iPlayer).
If you would like to learn more, make sure you check out our articles on how to watch free TV online and the best IPTV apps for Android.
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About The Author Dan Price (1402 Articles Published)
Dan joined MakeUseOf in 2014 and has been Partnerships Director since July 2020. Reach out to him for inquires about sponsored content, affiliate agreements, promotions, and any other forms of partnership. You can also find him roaming the show floor at CES in Las Vegas every year, say hi if you’re going. Prior to his writing career, he was a Financial Consultant.
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