Since launching in 2013, Android TV boxes have taken the world by storm. Now there’s fiery competition between brands like Roku, Google Chromecast, Nexus Player, the Amazon FireTV, and more.

If you’re buying a new TV this year, do your household a favor and equip it with the features it needs to watch the content it wants when it wants. Here are a few of the best features you can expect to find in some Android boxes. Although these are top of the line additions to any smart TV box and the fact that they can easily increase price quite quickly, ensure you choose only what’s relevant to your needs.

5.1 audio passthrough

5.1 audio passthrough allows a user to send a signal from the player through to another device without having to do anything to the signal. Thereby, you can send home theater sound to where you think it’s best suited sort of like an audio Bluetooth.

H.265 hardware decoding

H.265 is written as HVEC or high-efficiency video encoding sometimes and refers to compression. H.265 makes raw video files smaller and easier to transmit over the Internet, shrinking a Blu-ray movie from 10-25 GB to a more manageable 4-8 GB. H.265 hardware decoding is the best way to watch 4K and 8K video on your Android TV box, at least when it’s coming over the Internet.

Android 5.1 operating system

Android 5.1 operating system is high quality and will provide all the support in the world to ensure your viewing experience is top notch. Android 5.1 is an improvement over the former standard, Android 4.4, with a faster start-up time, less disk space used, more inputs and outputs for USB devices, and more.

Dynamic refresh rate switching

The refresh rate on your smart TV box should be at least 60Hz. Dynamic refresh rate switching automatically adapts to your video’s refresh rate. This means, if you’re watching a 24 Hz video, your TV box will automatically sync it to your flat-screen’s capabilities to give you the best view possible.

OTA firmware updates

Did you know that hackers can get into your Android TV box – although rare, it’s true. Automatic firmware updates can be an important part of protecting your files. OTA updating will verify if updates are available and install them, similar to how your smartphone or laptop does.

There may be other TV box features important to you including 1080p 3D, HDMI and USB connections, and whether it’s dual-band WiFi or Gigabit Ethernet. Shop Canada’s best Android TV boxes today at PrimeCables.

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