The Best Set-Top Boxes for All Your Kodi Needs

By Tom Pritchard on at

Kodi is a big deal these days. The media centre software had humble beginnings on the Xbox, and has now become an ever popular tool for people across the world. While not all of that popularity is for the right reasons, there's a lot that can be done with it. But you might need a dedicated device, especially if you're planning on using it on your TV.

Kodi is incredibly versatile, though, which means there are more 'Kodi boxes' than there are sand grains on the beach. So which hardware should you be looking into? Here are our top picks.

We must warn you that, while it is possible to use Kodi for streaming pirated content, we don't recommend the practice. While there's very little chance you will be caught if you sort everything yourself, especially if you use a VPN, you never know what Theresa May and her dedicated team of cyber-snoops are trying to cook up.

Amazon Fire TV Stick, £40

Amazon's streaming stick doesn't technically have Kodi, but it's not that difficult to sideload the app and enjoy the media centre. If you don't know how to do that, the Kodi wiki has a guide for you. That means you get a cheap, discrete device that's capable of handling Kodi in its entirety, without risking electrocution with an unregulated Chinese knock-off. It doesn't support 4K, however, so bear that in mind. [Buy it here]

Amazon Fire TV, £80

Like the Fire TV Stick, but more powerful, with ethernet and microSD support. Once you sideload Kodi onto Amazon's fully-fledged streaming box, you have all Kodi can offer - including support for 4K resolutions. Obviously it's quite a bit more expensive than the Fire TV Stick, but it'll make the most of your 4K TV and leave enough storage for all your files that aren't save somewhere in the cloud. [Buy it here]

NVIDIA Shield, £170/£280

best kodi boxes

Another pricey option, but for that price you get yourself a powerful streaming box running Android TV - meaning you can just head into Google Play and install Kodi without any messing around. What gives the Shield the advantage is that it has enough juice to play 4K content at 60FPS with HDR, the choice between 16GB and 500GB of storage (with microSD expansion), ethernet, along with gaming options from Android, streamed from Steam, and NVIDIA's Gamestream. It also has two USB 3.0 ports, and a single micro USB port, to plug extra bits in. [Buy it here]

Raspberry Pi 3, from £33

best kodi boxes

The Raspberry Pi is a wondrous device, letting you do all sorts of amazing things. It's inherently customisable, so you can build a device with whatever hardware or software you see fit. Heck there are even Kodi-specific operating systems out there (like LibreELEC) that will turn your Pi into a literal Kodi box - rather than something that happens to have a Kodi app installed. It might require a bit of extra work, depending on how you do it, but there are plenty of resources on the Kodi Wiki to help you out. TechRadar also has a guide to building your own box from scratch. [Buy it here]

WeTek Hub, £80

The WeTek Hub's specs aren't quite what you'd expect for something this expensive, particularly the 8GB and 32GB microSD storage options, but this is a nice compact box that won't be taking up much space by your TV or in your travel bag. Plus the fact that it has a built in TV antenna socket means those of you who still watch live TV won't have to do as much fiddling about to watch everything. It's also another device capable of 4K video at silky smooth 60fps, which most Kodi-enabled boxes can't claim. No HDR though, which is also worth bearing in mind. [Buy it here]

Seguro Trongle X4, £40

One of the cheapest boxes on this list, but still managing to pack 4K support into its tiny shell. The Seguro Trongle X4 comes bundled with a wireless keyboard that offers some touch controls - in case a regular remote isn't good enough for you. It runs Android Marshmallow, supports HDR10 and LHD HDR, and comes with ethernet, 8GB of storage (with microSD expansion up to 32GB), 1GB of RAM, and a USB 2.0 port. Those are far from the flashiest specs, and that storage isn't brilliant, but if you want 4K without paying a lot of money this has your back. [Buy it here]

Q-Box 4K, £44

Another cheap 4K option, the Q-Box is an Android Marshmallow device that should suit your Media Centre needs. While it can do 4K, it's not the most advanced box out there. For starters the microSD only supports up to 32GB in size, and combined with the 8/16GB of storage and single USB 2.0 port, there isn't a lot of room for those of you with a massive media collection. It's a no-frills box with a simplified interface, so even if you're not the most tech-oriented person out there this should be able to do what you need. [Buy it here]

Wildcard: Chromecast, £30

best kodi boxesChromecast is a great way to send content to your TV from an existing device, and while you can't install Kodi onto Google's dongle you cast Kodi content to it. There are a couple of different ways to get content from Kodi to Chromecast, and Alphr has a guide to getting yourself set up. There's the complicated way, an easy way (which involves casting your device's screen outright), and a way to get Kodi content from your desktop. The Chromecast Ultra might be a good purchase, since it offers support for 4K and HDR, but you can get the regular one for £30. [Buy it here]

Wildcard: Apple TV, from £139

Apple is one of the only operating systems that isn't particularly friendly to the Kodi ecosystem, so you won't find Kodi anywhere in iTunes' app store. The Apple TV is no exception, but just like on iOS you can jump through some hoops to get Kodi installed no problem - without resorting to jailbreaking. MacWorld has a guide on how to do it, though you will need a few things (like a Mac and a free iOS developer account) and it will make updating a bit of a chore.

But still, if you're already integrated into Apple's ecosystem, there's no need to purchase a brand new device that will need yet another HDMI port and plug socket. [Buy it here]

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