While many TV makers have tried very hard to develop stable and long-supported operating systems, no company has yet to come close to the potential and stability found on Google TV. Trust me, I review loads of TVs and non-Google platforms are just not good.
These platforms are limited in apps and support. They lock your TV behind the apps the brand thinks you need and you can’t do anything about it. Not to mention that when an app gets updated and your TV is no longer supported, you can’t use that application. Essentially cutting you out and forcing you to purchase a new TV.
Then there’s the platform’s lack of support. Some TV brands have yet to develop certain streaming apps for their operating system meaning you can’t watch your favourite shows and movies on your expensive TV.
You can tell by now there are more disadvantages than advantages when using a non-Google TV platform. Thankfully, there’s always a way out and with Xiaomi’s great range of Google TV devices and Android TV devices, you can truly unlock the potential of your TV without worrying about the terms and conditions.
Android TV vs. Google TV?
Before we get into the specifics, what is the difference between Google TV and Android TV? Essentially, the platforms are very much the same. In fact, Google TV is just an enhanced user interface running on top of Android TV. While it also offers a bit more robust user experience, Android TV also provides the same freedom to install apps and expand your entertainment offerings.
Google TV does have its advantages though. It has better parental control, supports a wider range of smart home products through the Google Home platform and its live TV feature lets you jump right into live content in supported regions and apps.
Think of Google TV as the later, more advanced smart TV operating system. However, that doesn’t mean Android TV is a bad thing. It’s just as expandable as Google TV and whatever apps you get on one platform, you can get on the other. Google will eventually phase Android TV out and replace it will Google TV but even after all that, if you have an Android TV device it will still be fully functional.
What is a Xiaomi Google TV Box?
Believe it or not but I get this question a lot. You’ll be surprised how few people out there are aware that you can turn your TV into a Google TV platform with just a small, inexpensive device.
In short, an Google TV device plugs into an HDMI port on your TV (where you plug everything else into) and the unit itself hosts the Google TV operating system. So by simply selecting the HDMI port, you’ll now have a fully-fledged Google TV experience within your limited OS TV.
These devices are pretty fantastic. They come feature-packed with the latest codec support and the ability to download apps from the Google Play Store means you’ll never get locked out of your favourite streaming app again. There’s also the possibility of sideloading your own apps which opens up even more doors to VPN streaming.
Google TV also tailors the experience to your use. So if you stream Netflix, Apple TV and Disney Plus, the home page will recommend new content, offer ways to pick up where you left off and even provide daily information such as weather forecasts.
Let’s take a look at a Google TV box and an Android TV device Xiaomi offers.
Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen
Likely one of the best Google TV media boxes on the market is the Xiaomi TV Box 2nd Gen. The first-generation version was already great but the company added even more features the second time around such as an improved Quad-Core chipset and Dolby Vision and Atmos support.
The Xiaomi TV Box 2nd Gen costs just R1,199and it is a small price to pay for the features on offer. Not only does the device come with the best-supporting tech around but its integration into the Xiaomi ecosystem will add further value to your current smart products.
The Xiaomi TV Box 2nd Gen includes a Quad-Core CPU and high-performance GPU with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. You can expand this with a simple USB flash drive or external hard drive. This tech is the heart and mind of the experience as it powers the 4K output on your favourite streaming apps while decoding them to support your TV and home theatre system’s Dolby Atmos and Vision support.
The chip also makes the device a lot snappier thanks to its improved performance. This means getting around and launching apps is faster than ever and you’ll spend less time waiting for things to load and more time watching TV.
The device also comes with dual-band Wi-Fi so you can connect it to your 5GHz network when you need that extra internet speed to stream shows and content at its best possible bitrate. There’s also the option to use an ethernet to USB adapter for even greater speed.
The Xiaomi TV Box 2nd Gen also gets constant support with regular updates to improve the experience, update the Google TV platform and more. This is important as most of these devices on the market don’t get updated meaning they tend to slow down with new app updates and become a pain to use.
Xiaomi TV Stick
Those looking for an ultra-light, portable and hassle-free device can check out the Xiaomi TV Stick. This little Android TV unit is actually more like an Android USB box due to its insanely small form factor. It is made to be carried around with you so you can plug it into any TV and stream your content without restriction.
This little device only uses 4.5W of max power so it is incredibly energy efficient and is powered by a USB adapter included in the box.
It goes without saying that the Xiaomi TV Stick is just as versatile as the TV Box. It has most of the Google services you need and Chromecast built-in too. So you’re still getting the full Android TV experience here even if this device only weighs just 28 grams.
For R949, you can unlock your TV and everyone else’s at the same time. That is a small price to pay for the limitless potential that comes with the Xiaomi TV Stick.
Convert Your TV
Even if you think your TV at home has a decent operating system, I would always recommend Google TV or Android TV over it. There’s so much to enjoy. Be it streaming Netflix’s excellent Dolby Vision and Atmos encoded content or even playing the odd game. A smart TV device unlocks your TV to worlds of entertainment and Xiaomi has the perfect lineup for all budgets and users.
You can pick up both of these devices over on Takealot by visiting this link here.