This question is one I have been asked many times and the answer honestly is, “It depends”. I know, I know, that is usually a lame answer that is meant to avoid the actual question, but in the world of the IPTV Set Top Box, this really does apply. Let me explain to you why.
Depending on what you want to use the box for, will dictate what type of box you are actually going to need. For example, if you want to stream IPTV, watch Netflix, browse YouTube, and play games, then you will want something like the Goobang Doo or a Leelbox. Whereas, if you are only interested in streaming IPTV, the MAG box is your hands down choice.
Why does the IPTV box make a difference?
When it comes to streaming IPTV, the MAG Box is by far the hands down winner. This is because it is made strictly for streaming IPTV and therefore has been engineered with that in mind. The streaming and buffering capabilities have been honed to support TV streams better than any others. The video quality is surpassed by no other iptv set top box. This is all because they do not need to add all kinds of extra overhead to support other things like PlayStore, or iTunes. They can concentrate on exactly what the box was built for.
If you need, or want, to do other things on the iptv set top box, then there are a number of different boxes on the market that allow for this. Goobang Doo, nVidia, Leelbox, Apple TV, Roku, are just a few that fall into this category. They support the installation of additional applications like netflix, youtube, facebook, etc… This does come with quite a bit of overhead, so if you are going down this route, do yourself a favor and make sure you buy a iptv set top box with as much RAM as possible. All these boxes are sluggish when it comes to streaming live TV, so be prepared for that. This is simply the price you pay in order to have the extra abilities.
What can you do to improve performance?
There really are only 2 major factors that will improve performance.
- Memory – The more memory the better a box will perform.
- Network Speed – While many boxes will run perfectly fine with slower speeds, your streams, specially HD streams, will suffer the slower the speeds. Many of us believe that a minimum of 10mbps should be used but that may not be the case as network speed is not always that simple. For example, if you have your network setup incorrectly, you may have latency issues that are impacting you. Look into how to setup your MTU’s in order to resolve some latency issues. Another issue that many people are not aware of is the WIFI band that is being used. Most people simply grab a wireless router, setup security and connection, and fire it up. Guess what? The WIFI band that is being used is a default standard band that all routers use. So what do you think is going to happen if everyone in your neighborhood has a WIFI router. Yep, you guessed it. You are all going to be fighting for the same bandwidth which results in slower speeds. The easy answer, to make sure you are not suffering from this, is to go into your router and change the band that the WIFI is running off of. Don’t worry, your devices will still find it, they will just use the new band and not be battling all that network traffic.
What kind of accessories are good for a IPTV Set Top Box?
Realistically, the only thing you may need is either a better remote or a wireless keyboard and mouse. Personally, I like the wireless keyboard and mouse as is gives me more flexibility but the downside is that a lot of boxes support color coded buttons for sorting channels, adding favorites, etc…. Those do not exist on a keyboard.
The bottom line is that if you want to just stream IPTV, then definitely grab a MAG box. If you want other functionality, then you will need another type of box. If you go this route, there is a lot to be said for a nVidia box or Apple TV box, but we will save those for another article.