By Kelly Aime
Last October, I took the plunge and decided to check out an Android TV box. It was not a spur of the moment decision but one prompted by the constant changing and removal of channels by my cable TV service provider.
The worst part of the changes is that users are often at the losing end. Whenever, the service provider’s contract with a particular channel deemed less popular is up for renewal, there’s that likelihood that the contract will not be renewed. And users have absolutely no say at all — even if the subscriber’s contract is still valid and the subscriber still wants to keep the channel.
Being at the mercy of my service provider pushed me to try out an alternative which can been around for a while — the Android TV box.
Options are plenty in the market with prices varying considerably too.
After a little research, I chose a particular model for its price, features and based on favourable reviews.
The online order was smooth but the delivery was questionable. After the promised delivery date passed, I called the vendor who was unapologetic but agreed to deliver my parcel the next day.
A few days passed and another call to the number went unanswered. A quick Google search revealed another number which got me in touch with the company. A staff answered and after much pestering, agreed to deliver by hand the next day. This time, the box arrived.
The frustration with the missed delivery date soon turned into joy as I plugged the box in and started tinkering with the features.
Over the past seven months, I’ve learnt quite a bit about my Android device.
- Easy set up — It’s really convenient to get everything up and running. Just plug and play.
- Simple to use — Don’t waste money on a remote control. Using a mouse is best. Better yet, add a keyboard.
- Great movies — The best benefit of the box is a particular movie app that has all the English movies I could ever ask for.
- Channels aplenty — The plus side is that there are so many applications available. The flipside is that I need to click through each to see what’s available. There’s no user manual or even a list of what’s what.
- Live TV lag — One of the main reasons most people get the Android box is to watch live sports programmes. Finding an appropriate channel is one thing but getting to watch one smoothly is another. Like the Internet, live streams of programmes tend to be jerky and laggy, making for frustrating viewing.
- Apps stop working — Be careful when updating apps because some updates can cause apps to stop working.
A couple of weeks ago, my Android box died and I have no intention of replacing it. Why? Because the benefits are not worth it. Movies aside, the inability to watch live sports and news programmes are a definite let down.
And I don’t need another box because Google Home lets me cast whatever’s on my phone to the TV using Chromecast.
It’s been a short-lived relationship but I can say that I’ll not miss my Android box.