One phone call that we get a few times a week is “I found this site with cheap Android TV Boxes from China, What makes your box different?”

It is human nature to shop based on price. With the invention of the Internet we are able to compare prices on similar products within a few minutes. But have you heard the old saying “You get what you pay for?” Of course you have. We are sure you have bought something that was super cheap compared to another product that seemed to do the same thing. You get it home, open it up, use it for what it is supposed to do and it breaks or does a poor job. Then someone watching this all unfold looks at you and says “You get what you pay for!”

Buying cheap Android TV Boxes falls into this same category. It sounds like a great deal until something goes wrong and you are left with a paperweight. So in this article we will cover some of the differences between cheap Android TV Boxes and SkyStream Android TV Boxes.

Cheap Android TV Boxes and Quality

Sellers of cheap Android TV Boxes sell exactly what they present, cheap Android TV Boxes. The reason they can sell them so cheap is that they are almost always made from the cheapest materials available. Sure they will come with the same processor and graphic processor that is advertised. But that is where any similarity to a quality Android TV Box like SkyStream stops.

RAM (Random Access Memory) – If you are familiar with RAM in standard PC’s, it is exactly the same in Android TV Boxes, Faster RAM makes a computer run faster. RAM is not created equal. Higher quality RAM runs faster, smoother and lasts longer. Cheaper RAM runs slower, lags and dies faster.

What does this mean for a cheap Android TV box. First off, the performance can be noticeably different with cheap RAM. But the worst thing is that if that cheap RAM dies, so does your TV Box. RAM cannot be replaced on a TV box like it can be on a PC. So if the RAM dies, your box is now a paperweight.

If you are buying a cheap Android TV box, please note that it will be made with the cheapest RAM that is available at the time it was made.


Makers of cheap Android TV Boxes use the cheapest WiFi Module available at the time of manufacturing. So what ever the cheapest WiFi module is at the time will be installed in your brand new TV Box. This will make your box receive a weak internet connection and can contribute to buffering in programs like Kodi.

In contrast, the SkyStream ONE comes with the best WiFi module on the market and works with AC Wireless (The fastest WiFi Speed available.)

So if you plan to run your cheap android TV box on WiFi, be prepared to receive a poor WiFi signal.

Android TV Box Firmware

Firmware is the operating system on an Android TV Box. It controls everything on the box and can make your experience fantastic or a nightmare. Firmware is something that cannot be done by an amateur. It needs to be done by a professional and not cranked out as fast as possible. But this happens everyday from Chinese manufacturers trying to compete with each other to crank out firmwares as fast a possible. This is why you see so many people on forums saying that their box doesn’t boot, the WiFi drops, the box freezes, it resets all the time, etc…..

Firmware is probably the single most important factor for a TV box. If the firmware isn’t built perfectly, you will eventually run into a problem. Hopefully it is a small annoying problem. But more times then not, once these boxes begin to act up they will be dead in a few days. You can try a factory reset, but you are resetting to the same firmware that wasn’t built properly in the first place.

People call us all the time asking about this box and that box saying they have serious problems and ask if we can help. We tell them it’s best if they contact the boxes manufacturer for help. The response is almost always the same. It’s a generic box from China, I emailed them 4 times and NEVER got a response. We see this happen at least 5 times a week. Unfortunately there is no fix for the cheapest materials possible and a poorly put together firmware. It’s a guaranteed recipe for an expensive paper weight or door stop.

Fully Loaded / Outdated

Most of these cheap Android TV Boxes are marketed as fully loaded. This means that Kodi is loaded with addons. What they don’t tell you is that they may have created their Kodi build 2 months ago and are still loading that same outdated build onto your box. What this means is that right out of the box your Kodi is already outdated and bound to have problems. Kodi addons change, update, and die very quickly in the streaming world. So yes your box is fully loaded, but it is loaded with many outdated and dead addons. Fully loaded means nothing if half of the addons don’t work.

This is the reason we created our SkyStream Kodi Updater app. Our app allows us to create a new build at anytime and upload it to our server so our customers can download it and have the latest updated addons in a matter of clicks. This app only works with Genuine SkyStream units, so don’t waste your time downloading it and trying it. Trust us, it won’t work.

Customer Service

This is absolutely the most important factor when considering buying a cheap Android TV Box. In fact, it is one of the most important factors when making any purchase. Would you buy a car knowing that the dealership will not answer your phone call or respond to an email if it breaks down? Of course not!

When making the decision to purchase a cheap Android TV Box, you are also making the decision that you do not expect a single ounce of customer service. Manufacturers of cheap Android TV Boxes do not have phone numbers. Their inbox is not even monitored and they couldn’t care a less if your box was dead on arrival. All they are worried about is pumping out as many cheap boxes as possible with the least amount of overhead. They are very aware that there is nothing you can do and have zero recourse. You cannot contact the Better Business Bureau, you can’t leave a bad review on a generic box that 50 different manufactures all sell. They know you have no recourse and act accordingly.

Here at SkyStream we have 7 full time employees dedicated to customer service. We answer our emails promptly, reply to chats on our website, respond via Facebook, created videos to help new users, write helpful blog articles and even have a customer created and maintained Facebook group. As you can see, we are not a fly by night company trying to pump out boxes. We value all of our customers and feel that we are all one big happy streaming family.

Your Android TV Box is going to be the heart of your home entertainment, make sure that purchase is a quality one or you and your family will be pulling your hair out watching snow on your TV :)



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