In this post, we will dive into the popular TV Boxes and what are the benefits of using TV Boxing against Smart TV and vice versa. I will tell you how I transitioned from Smart TV to a regular LCD TV with TV box, why I did it and what is my opinion on this subject overall.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Why did I switch from a smart TV to a TV box?

The main reason for choosing a TV box instead of a SMART TV was the flexibility – the opportunity to replace it with another after a few years. For me, the huge drawback of Smart TVs is that all hardware is built into the TV. This means no upgrade opportunity – you are forever left with this processor, video card, etc. Unless, of course, you have the opportunity to constantly replace the TVs for which you have given from 1000 to 3000 USD and up. I personally do not have this opportunity and even if I did, it does not seem logical. Nowadays, the progress of technology is so fast that even at the moment you purchase equipment, it is already obsolete. New programs, games and applications require better and better hardware resources. With each application update, your LCD TV, phone or PC gets slower and slower.

In order to keep up with this technological development, you must be prepared for an upgrade whenever possible. This is exactly what a TV Box gives you. There are good TV boxes that cost from 30 to 50 USD and will serve you for at least a few years without any problems. And the best part is that when their hardware performance is no longer sufficient, you can sell or throw it away and get a new one for 30$. This is going to be a lot harder with Smart TV for which you have spent a huge amount of money and you probably can’t sell it because it is already morally and technologically outdated.

This is exactly what happened to me – I had bought a Smart TV and everything was ok at first. The applications were opening smoothly and without delay. But after a little over a year and a few updates, Youtube has become larger and more resource-intensive. It came to the point that even the applications did not want to load at all. I realized that my approach to this purchase was quite wrong and could not continue like this. So I researched the TV box market and liked the Mecool M8S Pro L TV box. A pretty good device with good specs that I think will will be valid for at least another 1-2 years. Smart TV with similar indicators will cost several thousand dollars. I’m not even sure that a smart TV with similar specifications can be found, as most manufacturers do not disclose what kind of processor and how much RAM the given TV has – exactly for the reasons I listed above.

Even if you invest a lot more in the beginning – for example, giving 5,000 USD for a Smart TV in the hope that it will have a better processor and RAM and will serve you longer, it will still become obsolete at some point. And you will be left with a tech that you have spent a great amount of money on and which is already worthless. For me, it is much more logical to spend 500USD for a regular large screen LCD TV and add another 30 USD for a TV box. So that in case the TV box doesn’t work optimally tomorrow, you’ll be able to throw it out and buy a new one with the modern hardware features.

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What are the pros of a TV box?

The main advantage of the TV box, as I said, is the flexibility – the ability to replace the device at a very low cost. To me, this is the so-called upgrade, although in this case you are replacing the entire device instead of just replacing part of the hardware. But it is the low cost that gives you the opportunity to feel like you are upgrading.

Another benefit is that most TV box devices are “unlocked”. By that I mean they are not limited by manufacturers with an operating system and only a certain number of applications that you can install. Most Smart TV manufacturers install their own operating systems (OS) and develop their own applications that work specifically and only under those operating systems. This way, you have no way of installing anything different from what the manufacturer offers. Even the new Smart TVs that are based on the Android operating system also have limitations and you will not be able to use its full potential. All this does not apply to a TV box. With it, even if you have an Android TV OS installed and you cannot download most applications through the device itself, you can always download them through your phone or PC and install them on the TV box via a USB drive or WiFi network.

A third major advantage is that the TV box supports third part devices such as keyboards, joysticks, mice and more. Yes, some new Smart TVs also support such devices, but in most cases you are limited to buy them from the same manufacturer that made your TV because other devices would not work. And of course, their price will be much higher. There is no restriction on the TV box and in 99% of cases all external devices work without a problem.

And last but not least – the price. Using a TV box saves money from all points of view.

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What are the pros of Smart TV?

It was quite difficult for me to find the benefits of buying a Smart TV, but here are some that I think may be important to you.

The first is that with Smart TV everything is built into one device. You do not need to connect anything extra with cables and use a separate remote. With Smart TV, you just turn on the TV and control everything with one remote. With TV boxing devices in 99% of the cases you will have another remote to control the device itself and your TV separately. Unless the remote control of the TV box itself allows you to control your TV, there are some TV boxes with this feature.

The second advantage to me is quality and reliability. Definitely Smart TVs manufactured by major brands on the market are guaranteed with good quality and long life, which is quite controversial with TV boxing devices. Most are made from unknown brands and in most cases they are not warranted unless you buy one from a local company and they take the risk of guaranteeing for the device. Although there are not many cases of TV boxes crashing, definitely the quality and warranty are in favor of Smart TVs.


ТВ бокс

  • Low price

  • Option to replace the device with a small investment

  • High performance in line with modern technologies

  • Ability to use additional third part devices

  • Unlocked device - the ability to install any application

  • An additional device connected with cables and and taking extre space

  • Another extra remote

Смарт TV

  • Quality and warranty

  • All-in-One - all functionality is integrated into 1 device

  • High price

  • No possibility for upgrade

  • Locked device - Works only with applications and updates from the manufacturer

  • In most cases, unknown hardware specs, which quickly lead to moral and technical aging

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