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Show #2019-58 Broadcast March 21, 2019 – Computer Insider
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Computer Insider is the world's first broadcast technology series, launched in 1986. Since our first broadcast, we have been constantly redefining our content to meet the needs of consumers to delivering information of value to today's consumer.

Show #2019-58 Broadcast March 21, 2019

We’re continuing our look at set-top boxes today. Yesterday we discussed some special considerations for-pay services like Netflix and Amazon Prime television.

Today we’ll look at some “must-have” features that you should be looking for in your next Android TV box. 

Right off the top, make sure that you have decent audio, and look for 5.1 Audio Passthrough. In fact, the list is a bit long, so if you want, you can check today’s script on our website at ComputerInsider.org. This show number is 2019-58, and there are written copies of the script posted.

At any rate, back to the list.

Make sure that any device you look at has H.265 Hardware Decoding, Android 6.0 Marshmallow (or higher), Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching, OTA Firmware Updates, HDMI 2.0. That’s an important one, because HDMI 1 is too slow for 4K video. USB 3.0, Dual-Band Wi-Fi and\or Gigabit Ethernet and if you are going to use Kodi, make sure you are on the latest version.

One box that seems to do it all is the new Skystream Three. The latest version has an upgraded processor, which doubles the cores from last year. The regular version has 2 gigs of ram and 16 gigs of storage if you opt for the “plus” version you can upgrade to 4 gigs of ram. System memory hasn’t quite been doubled, but it has definitely been given a big boost. There’s now 3 GB of memory, up from 2 GB. And now DDR4 memory, which has the edge in performance over the older DDR3 in most TV boxes.

There’s also a slick new custom interface which is more modern than the brightly coloured interface from their older boxes. You’ll still find most of the large icons where you’d expect them to be, but they don’t jump out at you as much as they used to.

Prices in Canadian dollars run around $150.

Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard

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