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What to Look For In a Set​ ​Top​ ​Box

Ready to take the plunge into internet protocol television (IPTV)? Interested in IPTV solutions for business?  Then you’ll want to start with a set top box (STB). There are a ton of choices when it comes to set top boxes and most of them are super affordable, making it easier than ever to ditch watching television on your laptop or tablet and bring it to the big screen that’s sitting in your living room. But what do you look for in an IPTV STB? Here are five things you’ll want to look for when you start to look for the right STB for your home.

Factors to Consider in a Set Top Box

What Content is Available?

There is no point in getting an IPTV Set Top Box if you can’t get the content that you want. The good news is that most STBs make it easy to access your favorite content. Apps like YouTube and Netflix are widely available, and most systems will support other distributors like Hulu, Spotify, Crackle, Pandora and more. Think about what media you are accessing on your laptop or through other devices and make sure you can access it through your new STB. Don’t neglect to consider file support, too, meaning you can send files from your computer to your big screen (great for downloaded content). If you can’t access the media that you watch on all of your devices, getting an STB might not be worth your money.

Can You Watch Live TV?

While IPTV allows you to access more content than ever from around the world, you might find that you still want to access live television. Things like sporting events, the local news, and other television isn’t as easy to access online as it is on live television, and you might not want to wait for it to become available in your area. Finding a system that still allows you to watch live television allows you to have the best of both worlds. Eventually, though, you might find that you are relying on live television for entertainment less than less…although it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.

How Much Storage Does It Have?

Storage is going to be a major consideration for a set top box. That’s because a lot of systems will allow you to store media so it’s available when you want it, oftentimes without access to the internet. More apps are allowing you to download content so you can watch it when it’s convenient, whether or not you have internet access at the time. That’s a life-saver if your internet goes down. Other systems allow you to record live television and play it back later. That’s a great feature so you never miss your favorite shows, but if your STB doesn’t have enough storage space, you’ll end up being more frustrated than entertained.

Does It Have Good Streaming Quality?

This is a vital statistic when it comes to finding a set top box that you’ll love. If you’ve become used to watching high-quality content in high-def quality, you aren’t going to want to start watching television in standard definition. Keep in mind what your television is capable of displaying; some televisions aren’t going to display 1080p definition no matter how good your set top box is. If you want to watch movies and streaming content in 1080p, look for higher-end boxes capable of delivering it to your television.

Is It Easy to Use?

Finally, make sure the set top box that you choose is easy to use. You want a system that is user friendly and no more complicated than watching traditional television. You should be able to turn on your system, locate the content you want to watch, and hit play. If the system isn’t easy to use, it’s not worth your time or your money.