With the rise of mobile and internet technologies, consumers are quickly moving away from conventional cable and satellite TVs to Internet TVs. An Internet TV is, in simple terms, a system that delivers video and audio programs through a broadband connection instead of cable or broadcast formats. It’s also popularly known as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). You can watch Internet TV on your television screen through a set top box. You can also it on a computer screen, or mobile devices like smartphones and iPods.
How Does Internet TV Work?
The difference between a conventional TV and an Internet TV, is that instead of sending information through an antenna or cable wires, information is sent as data via the internet. The video streams are converted to internet protocol packets which are then carried out through the public broadband connection. Anyone can receive these packets of information as data by having a set top box with streaming technology and subscribing to its service. Using an Internet TV box enables you to convert your standard TV into a smart TV. You can watch live broadcast or live TV (multicasting), Video on Demand or VOD (unicasting), browse the internet and make long distance calls using the VoIP.
What’s the Best Internet TV Box Under $100?
There are several Internet TV boxes available for various price ranges. In the lower price range, Infomir MAGs are some of the most popular streaming media players out there. MAG set-top boxes can be used with almost all IPTV streaming service providers because of their native support of the Stalker middleware.
If your budget is less than $100 and live streaming via Stalker is your prime purpose, then MAG 254 set-top box is an excellent choice. It’s been in the market for awhile now and is still very popular. You just need to plug it in and set it up. It has a responsive interface and channel switching is fast. It has all the features to make the most out of your IPTV streaming.
However, with an STiH207 650 MHz processor, it does have limited processing power when compared to the latest android boxes. But again, you won’t be using this device to download lots of apps like you’d do on an android box. You can use the MAG 254 IPTV set-top box just like a traditional cable box without the expensive cable subscription fees.
MAG 254 comes with 2 USB ports (Wi-Fi adapter can be connected) where you can play media content from external media devices like video and photo cameras, etc. It’s an S/PDIF, LAN and Wi-Fi ready box. The device also supports an Ethernet port for wired internet connection. It’s also capable of playing 3D content. The set top box can also record video from the internet to a USB drive, even in standby mode.
The device supports the following video container formats: MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, ASF, QT, and WMV. It also supports the following video codec: MPEG1/2 MP@HL, H.264 HP@level 4.1, MPEG4 part 2 (ASP), WMV-9 (optional), VC1 video, XviD; HD video supporting up to 40 MBPS and above.
Given this Internet TV box’s quality and reliability, MAG 254 set top box is a good buy at this price. With a smooth streaming experience, this device can outlast any Android device that’s available for this price range.