MAG box or Smart TV to improve your TV experience?

Consumer interest in high-tech items has skyrocketed. Statista.com reports that every year, more and more people in the United States purchase a Smart TV. Annual U.S. spending on this technology increased from $30 million in 2014-2019 to $37 million in 2019 and beyond. Experts predict that by 2025, the sum will rise to $67 million.

Why do people choose expensive smart TVs despite their high price? Will their cheaper rival set-top boxes eventually take their place? In this article, we’ll clarify the distinction between an Android TV box and a Smart TV. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Smart TVs and all their benefits

  • Even inexperienced users can quickly become comfortable with a smart TV’s interface.
  • They have all the most downloaded programs already installed. Someone who isn’t tech savvy won’t have any trouble using it right away, without needing to consult the instructions, install any third-party software, or adjust any of the device’s settings.
  •  A smart TV’s apps may be managed with just the provided remote.
  • More than that, the interface of a Smart TV is really straightforward.

Benefits of Set-top boxes

The majority of Android TV boxes have certain programs pre-installed, such as a media player, YouTube, and the Google Play Store. The user will be responsible for installing any remaining components. Android TVs, on the other hand, have a far more comprehensive app library than Smart TVs.

So, here are some of the benefits of Android TV boxes:

  • Use of the Google Play Store. Google has an app store where users may download any of the more than 5,000 available apps; the vast majority of these apps are free to download and use.
  • The ability to command devices with one’s voice. Google Assistant is now compatible with Android TV streaming devices. The MAG425A is one such product, and it also incorporates a voice remote. Only smart TVs running Android TV actually have this functionality.
  • Help from the sidelines. Devices such as keyboards, mice, gamepads, memory cards, external media, MicroSD, and the like can all be used with set-top boxes.
  • Price. While a 42-inch smart TV from a reputable brand can cost more than $350, Android TV set-top boxes can be purchased for as little as $80.
  • Use any screen you have handy. Any television, from an older model to a Smart TV, can be hooked up to a set-top box.
  • Smart TV at a fraction of the price. The price of a set-top box is negligible compared to that of a smart TV. 

Do Smart TVs allow app installation?

Smart TVs’ appeal lies in the fact that they come equipped with all the most downloaded apps already: They come preloaded with YouTube and other video-streaming apps. If you still feel that your smart TV is missing something, you can always download more apps from the store the TV was made for.

However, availability is restricted to only those apps that the manufacturer has opted to transfer to its platform. Once a Smart TV has been in use for two to three years, the software is no longer supported and cannot be updated.

Here is where Android TV really shines. After all, this OS ranks among the most widely used, and its source code is available to programmers. Therefore, Android TV has a built-in Google Play Store with access to over a half-million apps (and counting). Your Android TV set-top box also supports the installation of third-party applications. This makes it far more adaptable to new technologies than smart TVs.

Comparison between Smart Set-top boxes and the MAG box

Because of this, the primary benefit of a smart TV is that it requires only one remote instead of many controls. You’ll need two cables—one from the TV to the set-top box, and another from the set-top box to the media player. Unfortunately, this shortcoming can be easily remedied.

Getting a universal remote control is your initial best bet. From the outside, it appears to be a standard TV remote. What sets it apart is that its buttons may be reprogrammed to operate other electronics, such as a cable box, HVAC system, or music system.

The alternative is to turn on HDMI-CEC. In order to use this feature, both your TV and set-top box must be compatible with it. It is usually found in the TV’s menu of options to turn on HDMI-CEC. Names vary by manufacturer:

  • LG—SimpLink
  •  Samsung—AnyNet+
  • Sony—BraviaSync
  • Panasonic—VieraLink

After enabling HDMI-CEC on your TV, you must also do so on your set-top box. After that, you may use the media player’s remote to turn on the TV, simplifying your control setup.

Which is better, a set-top box or a Smart TV?

With an Android TV set-top box, you can enjoy all the features of a Smart TV at a lower price and with more flexibility (e.g., Google services, voice search, and thousands of apps on the Google Play Store). Which means that if you choose to go with it, you won’t be missing out on anything.

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