The cheapest gadgets to make your TV smart

Many South Africans may have an older TV set which still offers a great viewing experience but lacks smart integration.

Other might be stuck with a TV with an older smart operating system that has lost support for certain important applications.

One example of this was Samsung last year announcing that its smart TVs manufactured in 2010 and 2011 would lose access to Netflix.

Having to hook up a laptop or copy files to a USB to watch on your TV every time can be a tedious undertaking, but a smart TV box offers a hassle-free, plug-and-play solution to make a TV with an HDMI input smart.

These devices are effectively compact computers with an operating system (usually Google’s Android TV) that allows for the playback of content via apps or through external media.

Features to consider

There is a wide range of options for cheap smart TV boxes with Android TV available in South Africa.

Aside from the required hardware for solid performance, there are several features to consider which could have a significant impact on your experience with a smart TV box or stick.

Firstly, Google-certified devices offer support for all official apps as well as official versions of the Android TV OS.

If a box is not Google-certified, then applications like DStv Now will not be available to download directly from the Google Play Store.

In certain instances, it may be possible to side-load the app, although this does not guarantee it will work as intended.

Another factor to weigh is what type of remote you’ll be getting with the device, as well as whether the box supports Bluetooth connectivity.

The addition of full-size keyboard may make it easier for you to search for and find your content, improving your overall experience.

Bluetooth support will also allow you to connect wireless peripherals like a mouse or keyboard to ease navigation and input.

Smart boxes under R1,000

We’ve put together a list of 10 of the cheapest TV boxes and sticks available in South Africa for those looking to add smart features to their TV.

Most of these devices are not Google-certified, but still offer users access to a wide range of applications, including Netflix, YouTube, and Showmax.


Tech Geeks 4K Android TV Box – R675

Tech Geeks 4K Android TV Box

Tech Geeks 4K Android TV Box
Output [email protected]
CPU Amlogic S905W
GPU Mali 450
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x microSD Card reader, 1 x 3.5mm AV jack
Google-certified No

MXQ Pro 4K  Smart Box – R725

MXQ Pro 4K TV box

MXQ Pro 4K  Smart Box
Output [email protected]
CPU Amlogic S905W
GPU Mali 450
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x SPDIF jack, 1 x 3.5mm AV jack
Ports 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Google-certified No

X96 Mini Android TV Media Box – R797

X96 Mini Android box

X96 Mini Android TV Media Box
Output [email protected], with HDR10
CPU Amlogic S905W
GPU Mali 450
RAM 1GB
Storage 16GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD card reader, 1 x 3.5mm AV jack, 1 x CVBS output
Google-certified No

Blaupunkt Android Media Box – R699

Blaupunkt Android Media Box
Output 1080p
CPU Rockchip RK 3229
GPU Mali 400
RAM 2GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x SD Card reader, 1 x SPDIF jack, 1 x 3.5mm AV jack
Google-certified No

Ultra Link Android TV Box – R799

Ultra Link Android TV Box

Ultra Link Android TV Box
Output [email protected], with HDR
CPU Amlogic
GPU Mali 450
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x microSD card reader
Google-certified No

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick – R895

Output [email protected]
CPU Quad-core Cortex A53
GPU Mali 450
RAM 2GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV 9.0
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 1 x HDMI 2.0
Google-certified Yes

MyGica ATV495X – R892

MyGica ATV495X

Output [email protected]
CPU Amlogic S905X
GPU Mali 450
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB
Operating System Android TV 6.0
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Ethernet
Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x CVBS, 1 microSD card reader
Google-certified No

MyGica ATV4595MAX – R889

MyGica ATV495Max

MyGica ATV495MAX
Output [email protected]
CPU Amlogic S905X
GPU Mali 450
RAM 2GB
Storage 16GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Ethernet
Ports  2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD card reader
Google-certified Yes

TX 6 Android TV Box – R898

TX 6 Android TV Box

TX 6 Android TV Box
Output [email protected], [email protected]
CPU AllWinner H6
GPU Mali T720
RAM 4GB
Storage 32GB
Operating System Android TV 9.0
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet
Ports 1 x USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x SPDIF
Google-certified  No

Sigmalink Amlogic – R909

Sigmalink Amlogic

 Sigmalink Amlogic
Output [email protected]
CPU Amlogic S905W
GPU Mali 450
RAM 2GB
Storage 16GB
Operating System Android TV 7.1
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, Ethernet
Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD card reader, 1 x 3.5mm AV jack
Google-certified No

Now read: Netflix Mobile vs Showmax Mobile – The winner is clear

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The cheapest gadgets to make your TV smart