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Smart TV or set-top box? What are the differences and which one to choose

We already know that a TV is no longer just a TV. We no longer just want to hook one up and zap between available channels. Not even cable TV anymore. We want more interaction and more freedom to choose what we want to see, and on a decent big screen. Smart TVs and set-top boxes are up for it.

But which one to choose? Where to invest your money? do i need a smart tv and also a set top box? Let's talk about both so you can make the best choice and the biggest savings.

There is no 4K TV other than Smart TV

This is the first thing you should keep in mind. If you are looking for high definition image and are finally ready to invest in a 4K TV, there is no way to opt for a model that does not have a minimum Smart TV system.

The cheapest models of 4K TV are costing just over $ 1,500, and have apps and some sort of feature navigation, which already characterizes it as Smart TV. What you need to see is which Smart TV system you are going to buy is good, and if it suits your use.

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TVs like TCL and Sony vm with built-in Android TV / AndroidPIT

Depending on the brand, the number of apps may be very limited, even preventing you from downloading new titles, and you have no access to what you like. In that case, for the best savings, you can buy the cheapest and a set top box together.

However, for the same $ 1,500 you can get some more complete TV systems, such as Samsung or LG. Below are our tips for making the best choice:

Does a set-top box solve any problems?

If you think from the application side, it is quite capable that a set-top box will solve all your problems with interactivity and content access on a TV. Since most of these devices have Android or a modified version of Android, you'll almost always have access to a full app store, just like the one on your smartphone.

Mi Box
Xiaomi Mi Boxes are the most famous set-top boxes / Mi

As such, streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Play Globe, Fox +, Amazon Prime and others are guaranteed with one of these devices, so you can watch videos without impediments. Plus, a set-top box makes more available than that, like games, browsers, and other Android apps.

To choose a good set-top box, check out our selection with the best cost benefit:

Just a control

There are some reasons that may weigh you in choosing a SmartTV over a set-top box. The first, as I said, is the fact that any TV is already Smart if you choose a 4K, and if you don't need a lot of features, you can just settle down with one of those.

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You always need more than one control / AndroidPIT by Stella Dauer

Another factor is the control, because with a set-top box it is not so simple to control everything in your room with just one control. Some home theaters nowadays work by controlling TV, sound and other accessories. and the same goes for SmartTV. If you have devices of the same brand, the chance of controlling everything easily increases.

But by inserting a set-top box into your setup, you will almost certainly need more control, and the set-top box will work unrelated to other devices, and they will not act and set. You select on your TV the port where the set-top box is and from there will be two controls, one for the gadget and one for the TV.

What about an old TV?

If money is short and you can't bring a new TV, buying a set-top box may be a good choice for accessing the internet and various apps without spending more than $ 500. All it takes is for your TV to have an HDMI connection, and at least HD, to enjoy the content.

Also be sure to think of a dongle or stick, which may already have what you need and maybe cost less. The most famous in Brazil are Chromecast and Fire TV Stick from Amazon. Check out our article about them:

Anyway, which one to take?

In short, opt for a SmartTV to choose the practicality, since the system is already ready for use inside the TV, as soon as you turn it on, all by the same remote control. We also have less power consuming equipment, as well as saving money, since almost every new TV is already smart.

SmartTV vs. Set top box

Smarttv
    Set top box
TV model choice Just the ones that are SmartTV Any model with HDMI
4K support It depends on the model It depends on the model
Control over the system Limited or not available Full or limited control
Application Number According to the TV brand All in the Play Store (not all will be fully compatible)
Number of remotes One up More than one
Practicality S needs the TV and its cables Requires purchase of device and needs more cables than TV

But if you don't like the limitation of TV app stores, which don't even offer what a Play Store offers, if you're looking for freedom and plenty of possibilities, a set-top box is a great idea. And if you already have a TV that isn't smart or doesn't like her system and can't afford a new TV, that versatile device also comes as an option.

What about, will you bring a SmartTV or a set-top box? Or both?

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