4K Ultra HD has become the next evolution in video with many new TVs being sold with this high resolution.
Just a few years ago 1080p was the High Definition standard which is now giving way to 4K UHD.
What is 4K Ultra HD?
Simply put it has more pixels than previous standards which give it a much better picture.
The first HD standard was called 720p which was 1280 pixels (wide) x 720 pixels (tall).
1080p soon came along which became the standard for many years. It has 1920 x 1080 pixels.
4K Ultra HD has 3840 X 2160 pixels which can give a much better resolution then previous standards.
Technically 4K and UHD are separate since 4K is a term used for movie projectors.
The two terms have become to mean the same thing, so if your TV says 4K, UHD, or both than it likely has 3840 X 2160 pixels.
How Fast Does the Internet Speed Need to be to Play 4K Ultra HD?
Netflix suggest a minimum speed of 25 megabits per second to stream online Ultra HD content, of course faster the better.
To stream the older 1080p HD content a speed of 10Mbps is recommend.
Streaming 4K videos from online sources needs much faster internet speeds than in the past, which means an android TV box must be able to keep up.
A box that also has the newer 802.11ac WiFi would be the best option when looking at units.
Of course as most know WiFi can be problematic at times so running a Ethernet cable may be necessary.
So What Does This Mean for Android TV Media Players?
If you have an older android TV it will still work fine with a 4k UHD TV it simply will play video at a lower resolution.
There is no need to upgrade if you are happy with an older unit, although if you have a 4K TV you likely want to use it to its full potential.
Also getting a unit that has dual band 802.11ac WiFi is best to handle the internet speeds necessary to stream 4K online.
Here is our picks for best 4K Ultra HD Android TV boxes. As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
Our Picks for Best 4K Ultra HD Android TV Boxes
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Streaming Media Player
Anyone looking for a 4K android TV media player will no-doubt soon come across the Nvidia Shield.
It is in our opinion the best unit to get, unfortunately it is also the most expensive.
The Nvidia uses the Tegra X1 processor with 3GB of RAM which gives it a lot of HP to run 4K Video.
4K Ultra HD ready
4K playback at 60 FPS (VP9, H265, H264)
4K capture at 30 FPS (H264, H265)
Besides its graphic abilities it also has a host of other features including gaming and streaming with Kodi.
All-New Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote (2017 Edition, Pendant) | Streaming Media Player
The Fire TV supports 1080p and 4K Ultra HD for great picture quality.
It also has fast 802.11ac WiFi for a fast internet connection.
This makes it a very good box for all the standard streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
Kodi does not come installed and needs to be side loaded since there is no official app.
If you have a bit of technical experience there is many YouTube tutorials for how to install Kodi if needed.
DHong K99 TV Box Made of Premium Aluminium Alloy, R-TV BOX RK3399 4GB RAM 32GB ROM 6 Cores 64-Bit Android 6.0 USB 3.0 Bluetooth 4.0 Dual Wifi Type-C Display Port 4K FHD UHD Smart Media Player
Antutu Benchmark Score 77453
The K99 is a new unit for 2017 with some very impressive hardware. It comes with a 4GB of RAM and a RK3399 CPU along with dual band 802.11ac WiFi.
In our test it outperformed all other boxes except the Nvidia Shield.
The one downside is the high price range. Currently the price is high but will come down at som point making it worth a look.
Read Here for a Full Review of the R99
MXR PRO TV Box 4K HD RK3328 4G 32G Quad-core Android 7.1 DDR3 4G+32G WIFI
Antutu Benchmark Score 35880
The MXR PRO is a low-to-mid-range Android TV box built for playing 4K Ultra HD videos.
It comes with the RK3328 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB internal storage ROM.
The RK3328 is comparable to the S912 with a bit more improvement for 4K Ultra HD videos.
During testing it did well at streaming 4K @ 30FPS but did start to lose frames at 60FPS.
Overall it is a good budget box to stream the new 4K videos or any HD 1080p video.
Read Full Review Here
EstgoSZ H96 Pro 3GB RAM 32GB ROM TV Box Amlogic S912 Octa-core CPU Android 6.0 Dual-band WIFI 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Bluetooth 4.1 1000M LAN 4K 2K Set Top Box 2017 Model
As great as the Nvidia Shield is low cost android TV boxes have began to catch up to its hardware.
One such unit is the H96 PRO PLUS which comes with a S912 CPU and 2GB of RAM.
The S912 is a improvement on the S905 and big improvement over the S805/S812 processors.
It also comes with 2GB of RAM which is a big boost over the many other units that have 1GB of RAM.
We did some testing with it and played a 4K video at 60fps nicely. It also has good built-in WiFi and played gamed well.
Read Full Review Here for the H96 PRO PLUS
T95Z Plus Android TV Box Amlogic S912 Octa Core Android 6.0 Marshmallow 2GB DDR RAM Streaming Media Player
If your on a budget than the T95Z PLUS is worth a look.
It supports 4K x 2K H.264/H.265 60fps with HDMI 2.0.
The processor is the newer S912 which is a big improvement over the S805 used previously.
Kodi comes pre-loaded and ready to stream.
Read Full Review Here
With Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming sites introducing 4K videos being able to watch them would be a improvement over 720p and 1080p content.
If you have a 4K TV than getting a good 4K UHD android box along with a fast internet connection is all that needed.
One thing to be wary of is if your internet provider has data caps since Ultra HD content uses much more data than previous standards.
With 4K having four times the resolution of 1080p it no doubt is here to stay, and having a android box that can play it will no-doubt be a great benefit.