As the title states, I thought it was about time that someone actually did an objective comparison between TV subscriptions vs Android TV Boxes. For those of you who argue one way or the other I encourage you to add your comments below.

So let’s get started – What are the real pros and cons between these two options – TV Subscriptions and Android TV Boxes fully loaded with Kodi media software?

When I am trying to make a decision regarding making a significant change – regardless of whether it is business or personal, I always like to quickly explore what types of benefits the changes will bring about and then compare those to what I will be giving up. Meaning, what is the value added by changing from option A to option B. If the value does not exist or simply does not justify the change – I generally either stick with option A or begin thinking about a possible option C. In this case option A is TV subscriptions and option B is switching to a Android TV Box.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the two;

TV Subscriptions

Pros

Quality – generally when you are purchasing an expensive Television subscription you should be able to have a reasonable expectation that you will be receiving a quality product. Meaning, their hardware will operate as described for a reasonable amount of time, hopefully at least 2-3 years. Furthermore, I would expect delivery of a good product with at least 99% up-time. It is reasonable to expect a little over 1 day downtime every 3 months and not get too bent out of shape about it.

Content – if you purchase the right subscriptions, you will have full access to everything you enjoy. Although there is a cost associated with this luxury, it is still a point worth mentioning. If I wait all year to watch the Superbowl in my livingroom with family and friends, you better believe that I want to ensure it is available and ready to go when the day come. Maybe a better example is Game of Thrones – one of the most popular television series of all time and if you want to watch it first, you need to pay for it by owning a HBO subscription.

Support – with the cost of a subscription you are also ensuring that you will always have technical support at your fingertips. This is of course a huge benefit to subscribing. If for whatever reason your service is down you simply call your service provider and they fix it. If not then you don’t pay.

Cons

Cost – this is of course the most obvious negative associated with TV subscriptions. Cost is usually through the roof and the trend just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. According to CRTC; Canadians in 2015 were charged an average cost of $66.08 for a television subscription. That was up from 2014 and the trend doesn’t stop there. Furthermore $66.08 is just an average cost – a more realistic number, for those who actually want diverse content availability, would be much higher.

Android Boxes

Pros

Cost – the most obvious benefit to owning a Android TV Box with Kodi media software installed is cost savings. Tv boxes are purchased with a one time payment which is generally much less than you average monthly payment for a television subscription – for instance a T95N Mini MXPlus is listed for less than $60 and Kodi will never require a subscription. There are obviously higher end options available like the Mini Neo U1 but it still comes in under $190, which is roughly the cost of a 3 month TV subscription for the average user.

Content – this is also a huge benefit of owning an Android TV Box. With the additions of the right add-ons you can have access to almost anything you desire. Whether you love live television or re-runs from the 60’s, movies, sports, or just YouTube videos – you will have access to it all.

Flexibility – Android boxes aren’t just good for watching your favourite televisions shows, you can do so much more. Download and play games from Google play, browse the internet and check your email, use Social media like Facebook and Twitter. An Android box isn’t simply a platform for streaming media – it is in essence a mini computer.

Cons

Support – this is probably the hardest hurdle for many cord cutters. Without the monthly subscriptions you aren’t going to get the same level of support for technical difficulties. However, there is a huge community at your fingertips that is always ready to help. Additionally, you are unlikely to have any problems that someone hasn’t already dealt with – answers to your troubleshooting questions are generally just a Google search away.

Quality – these days, Android boxes are easily available and with so many options out there it is sometimes hard to find a quality product. The choice usually comes down to spending $30 or less on the cheapest box you can find, deciding to find a balance and buying something in the mid-price range $50 – $100, or going for all the bells and whistles and dropping over $100 on your TV Box. From experience I know that most people are going to be happy in the mid-price range category. Below that price point and you may have to deal with slower processing speeds and technical problems caused by shoddy manufacturing techniques. Above $100 and you’re quite certain that the quality is good but you may be paying for more than you really need.

Making the Decision

The next step is to determine where the value lies for you. Some people believe that they need the security associated with Television subscriptions and the cost associated with this service is worth every penney. Others will lean towards the low cost associated with the one time purchase of an Android TV Box – they see the value in the high level of content and options associated with owning a mini PC and feel confident they can perform troubleshooting on their own.

The choice is ultimately up to the individual to decide – what would you do??