Have you just stumbled upon the world of IPTV for the first time and are overloaded with questions? Do you wish that there was an article that could explain everything you needed to know about IPTV services and streaming devices all in one fell swoop? Then you have come to the right place.
Below we’re going to cover not only some basic facts about the nature of IPTV but we’ll also have a useful overview that covers the absolute best IPTV boxes I have ever reviewed. Plus as a bonus, we’ll also cover some very interesting topics about how the usage of IPTV is connected with matters pertaining to privacy and legality.
It’s going to be big so I hope you’re ready to dive into my definitive and comprehensive IPTV box overview.
Before we define what an IPTV Box is, we should first figure out what the IPTV acronym stands for in the first place.
IPTV stands for “Internet Protocol Television.” As the name implies, IPTV services and devices transmit televised content over the internet. This can include live streaming videos or on-demand content.
This can sound a little ambiguous though as that definition does seem broad. For example, IPTV does not include popular websites such as Netflix or Youtube. Instead of connecting to a specific website, using IPTV services connects you to a specific server through your internet connection and a separate player (either hardware or software). With a subscription to a particular service, you will gain access to their channels and content that is then relayed back to your TV screen. But to first view IPTV content, you’re going to need your very own IPTV box.
An IPTV box can sort of be seen as analogous to a cable box (commonly referred to as a TV box). It is essentially the middleman between your TV screen and the content host whose programs you want to view. Part of the reason why Netflix and Youtube, or similar streaming services, aren’t really considered IPTV services is because you don’t need an IPTV box or specialized software to access them.
All you need is an internet connection and a web browser. IPTV boxes, on the other hand, are the gateway to dedicated services that can bring you specialized media packages so you can get exactly the kind of content you want.
I’ve reviewed several IPTV boxes and now I finally have the best of the best all compiled conveniently below. This list is meant to be a definitive summary of my most highly recommended IPTV boxes with links to the full reviews included. If you plan on buying the best IPTV box to stream from IPTV service providers, make sure you end up grabbing one of the following ones below.
Formuler is one of the most well-known IPTV box manufacturers in the world and with very good reason. The Z8 is an astonishing streaming device that is as satisfying as it is cutting-edge.
The Formuler Z8 IPTV set-top box has many great things going for it (one of the best user interfaces, a great EPG, and support for lots of apps), but one of the most notable is the external antenna. It has quite a great range and will allow you to stream very heavy-duty content even if your router is on a different floor.
Speaking of heavy-duty content, the Formuler Z8 is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to stream in ultra-high definition or 4K resolution. It is also compatible with High Dynamic Range so it will be a wonderful choice for someone with an equally cutting-edge television set.
The Z8 is equipped with some very impressive hardware specs such as its CPU. Loading and browsing through menus is a breeze making this machine not only powerful but fast as well. Plus with 16gb of internal storage, you’ll be able to record and save a solid amount of content using DVR.
All in all, the Formuler Z8 gives you a lot of oomph for the price and I would be surprised if anyone was disappointed in this IPTV box masterpiece. This is probably the best IPTV box on the market right now.
The MAG 324 is a great choice for anyone who wants to do IPTV streaming that isn’t necessarily cutting-edge but still satisfies all of the fundamental aspects of what makes an IPTV box worthwhile.
If you need something that can do 4K and HDR, unfortunately, the MAG 324 IPTV set-top box won’t be able to satisfy you, as it only goes up to 1080p in resolution. It also can’t do 3D or HDR images.
But the MAG 324 is still an excellent choice for people who only have 1080p TV screens, which to this day is still quite a lot of people. It’s also quite a speedy device so you won’t have to deal with much buffering or loading with this IPTV box. Despite using an internal antenna it connects to routers easily and maintains a pretty stable connection.
It may not be loaded with the most features but this is still a very reliable IPTV box. I think it would be a great choice for anyone planning on getting their first IPTV box.
If you’re looking for an IPTV box that is fast, powerful, and will provide excellent picture quality then you’re going to want to check out BuzzTv’s XR4000. This is easily one of my favorite IPTV boxes of all time.
Not only is it a phenomenal choice for people looking for a 4K and HDR picture but it has a great user-interface that is intuitive and very easy on the eyes. Menus practically load at the speed of sound and it also has an excellent remote control that can be customized with shortcut inputs.
The XR4000 IPTV box is perhaps the perfect choice for someone who really wants to customize their settings, not just their remote control. You can set the IPTV box to turn on and bring you to the main menu, the electronic program guide, the channel list, and other areas.
It even has a backup and restore function in case any of the data you stored on its impressive 16gb internal storage gets lost. Let’s not forget that the customization settings for Live TV and the EPG allow you to sort through many different and specific categories.
My only gripe with this IPTV box is that it doesn’t have the best wireless connectivity. It’s good but may bring some minor grievances when streaming in UHD resolutions. Despite that, this is truly a fantastic IPTV box and I am still floored by how much comes with it for the price.
While the IPTV boxes I listed above are the best of the best, I want to take the time to mention a few runner-ups and older IPTV boxes that still deserve some of the spotlight.
Here we have two different IPTV boxes from the same company that seem fairly similar at first glance but have some important distinctions. By the way, Dreamlink and Formuler are essentially the same company with different brand/product names for their IPTV box line-up.
The Dreamlink T1 is a very robust option that is best suited for people only looking for 1080p output. It’s definitely a solid IPTV box and is also very affordable.
The Dreamlink T2 IPTV box, on the other hand, is essentially an upgraded, albeit more expensive, version of the T1. While it is still very compact, it is indeed capable of both HDR and 4K. It also has the wonderful Android 7 Nougat OS which gives it an incredible UI and swiftness in menus. This Android IPTV box is very feature-rich and will satisfy the pickiest of IPTV fans.
In short, the T1 is a great choice for a simpler cheaper option, and it may very well be one of the best budget IPTV boxes out there. The T2 is a more advanced option with stupendous app support and many other nifty features.
Before the Formuler Z8 was the Formuler Z7+ and it was one of the devices that helped give Formuler the incredible reputation they have now. Like the Z8, the Z7+ IPTV box boasts very impressive hardware for the price. It has a very good amount of RAM for efficiency and speed, plus it is very easy to set up and install.
It may be a little less cutting-edge than the Z8 but it still delivers a very vivid picture and has a nice UI. The remote control, while large, is very well built and has all of the buttons and shortcuts you could possibly need.
In other words, if you want an IPTV box that is a great all-rounder but can’t quite afford something like the Formuler Z8, the Formuler Z7+ would be a great option. It may not be Formuler’s most current model, but to this day it is still an excellent option and is by no means outdated hardware.
Like Formuler, Infomir is one of the biggest names in IPTV boxes. The MAG 322 is undoubtedly one of their best models and is well designed in many respects.
I did have a couple of gripes with the MAG 322 IPTV box but they were all relatively minor. It doesn’t sport an external antenna but it still manages to maintain a strong wireless connection. It doesn’t have support for VPNs or subtitles, which are sure to be big problems for some people.
But other than that, this is a great IPTV box. The hardware specs are undeniably solid even if they aren’t the best. It has enough RAM to deliver fast enough loading, it can handle up to 100 Mbps, and it is easy to both install and update with firmware.
The MAG 322 isn’t meant for downloading apps or other supplementary programs, this is a bread and butter streaming device, through and through. This would be a great choice for anyone who wants their first IPTV box at an affordable price.
The MAG 254 and MAG 256 are like siblings in the same family of IPTV boxes, though there are a few differences. The MAG 254 is the older one and is admittedly a little outdated, though still works as a solid entry-level IPTV box. The MAG 256, on the other hand, is the upgraded version that has more RAM and a newer Linux OS.
The MAG 254 IPTV box would be a good choice for anyone who isn’t too picky about their load times and is planning on using a wired ethernet connection anyway. The MAG 256, which is objectively the superior version going by specs alone, would be the better choice for people who want a superior interface, faster menus, and stronger wi-fi signals.
There isn’t much difference when it comes to the streaming itself as both devices are pretty much identical in that regard. It’s all a matter of how much the extra speed and power matters to you.
While they are still not a well-known brand, TVIP really impressed me with the v.605. It’s a very powerful and intuitive IPTV box with a quad-core processor. The v.605 was easy to install and easy to use.
Why should you go with a TVIP IPTV box over something from Infomir or Formuler? Because in many respects, it is just as good. 4K resolution, great streaming capabilities and solid hardware keep it in the race.
This is a lag-free IPTV box that would especially work well for someone who is in the mood to upgrade to a new device. Plus I was very impressed by its dual-boot feature that allows you to use Linux or Android 8.0 as the OS.
While it is still just an IPTV box and doesn’t have the versatility of something that supports apps, this function is still pretty unique and it deserves credit for that.
This quad-core IPTV box is a pretty versatile device. BuzzTV’s XPL3000 contains Stalker middleware, which allows it to be used with just about any IPTV subscription service you can think of. Plus with some solid hardware specs and an external antenna, it will handle streams very well.
Additionally, the XPL3000 IPTV box has PVR capabilities and a TV tuner. Let’s not forget that it can also handle HDR for some truly beautiful lighting and shadows. It’s easy to install, has top-notch speed and picture quality, and is receiving rave reviews from owners everywhere.
Feel free to check out my full review of the XPL3000—spoiler alert: I loved it too.
There are some key differences between an IPTV box and an Android TV Box. While they both have the main function of streaming content over the internet to your screen, Android boxes are a little more complex. In a sense, they essentially upgrade your TV to the point that it resembles a Smart TV with Android OS.
These features include the ability to download a variety of apps to access streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, and Netflix. And of course, since they are using Android OS, they come with the great UI, firmware updates, and system optimization that Android is so well known for.
Essentially, an Android TV Box tends to be a bit more versatile, and usually considerably cheaper than an IPTV set-top box. However, the disadvantage of an Android Box is the lack of optimization for IPTV. In most cases, an Android TV box won’t give you the same smooth, cable-like experience that an IPTV box can, simply because Android IPTV streaming is just one thing an Android Box does, next to a dozen other things. An IPTV box, on the other hand, is purpose-built to stream IPTV. All in all, an Android TV Box won’t be as easy to use, but still can get the job done.
You can read all the details in my in-depth comparison of IPTV and Android boxes linked above.
Once you’ve selected what IPTV box you want to buy, the next thing you’re probably going to wonder is what IPTV service provider you should pair up with. Don’t worry because I’ve already written an extensive article on that subject, linked above.
There are several elements that one needs to take into account when deciding on an IPTV service. You need to know what kind of content they stream and if they have packages that appeal to your taste. You need to make sure that they are compatible with the IPTV box you own. And of course, more simple factors like pricing and stream quality come into play as well.
To learn more about how to choose the right IPTV service for you, and what my personal top picks are, feel free to check out the full article.
The legality of IPTV itself is, admittedly, a pretty complex issue. IPTV seems to exist in this gray zone where people have a hard time figuring out just how safe it is. There are many factors to consider and it can feel like wandering through a maze just trying to make sense of it all.
The general gist is that IPTV is legal so long as said services are not violating any copyright infringement laws. To find out more about how you can spot the difference between legal and illegal IPTV activities, refer to my in-depth article on the subject linked above.
VPNs are considered an invaluable tool by many for a wide variety of online activities and the fact of the matter is that using a VPN for IPTV usage is indeed one of them.
I covered four primary reasons in my article linked above about why having a VPN can be very beneficial for you while accessing your IPTV content. They include having the ability to ignore the throttling of your ISP, protecting your online privacy, bypassing any blocked IPTV services, and improving the speed and streaming quality of your IPTV streams thanks to routing solutions.
To learn more about specifically how VPNs are a great side tool for IPTV streaming, and to see which VPN I recommend the most for IPTV usage, check out my article linked above for the full story.