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Should You Buy a SuperBox? Here are the Safer, More Affordable Alternatives

You may have heard about the SuperBox – an Android TV device marketed as the ultimate streaming box with access to virtually unlimited movies, shows, and channels. But is the SuperBox really all it claims to be?

After carefully reviewing the SuperBox, consulting industry experts, and testing top competitors, I strongly advise avoiding this overhyped device.

In this guide, I‘ll explain:

  • What exactly is the SuperBox and why it often promotes illegal streaming
  • The major risks involved with using a SuperBox
  • 7 better, safer alternatives that deliver an exceptional streaming experience
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the SuperBox and streaming boxes

My goal is to help you make the best choice for your streaming needs, while avoiding legal risks and wasted money on inferior devices like the SuperBox.

What is the SuperBox and Why You Should Steer Clear

The SuperBox is an Android TV box sold by various websites for $200 to $300. It comes pre-loaded with apps like Kodi and illegal IPTV services that promise access to thousands of movies, TV channels, and more.

The SuperBox markets itself as the ultimate streaming device. But in reality, it‘s an overpriced box promoting piracy.

The SuperBox Encourages Illegal Streaming

While the SuperBox advertises unlimited access to premium content, most of the pre-installed apps facilitate illegal streaming by sidestepping licensing agreements and fees.

According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, piracy-configured devices like the SuperBox fuel a massive underground economy:

"Illegal streaming devices loaded with apps that illicitly stream copyrighted content are part of a multibillion dollar underground economy that continues to thrive through broad consumer adoption."

Accessing pirated streams can land you in serious legal trouble. Streaming copyrighted material without permission violates the Federal Communications Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Penalties under these laws include:

  • Fines up to $150,000 per infringement
  • Jail time up to 5 years
  • Internet termination by your ISP after repeat DMCA notices

Box sellers rarely warn about these risks when promoting illegal streaming. But the consequences are very real.

Technical Issues Plague the SuperBox

Beyond legal concerns, the SuperBox often suffers from technical problems that degrade the streaming experience:

  • Buggy firmware: The device ships with outdated firmware that is slow, unstable, and prone to freezing.

  • No updates: SuperBox sellers provide little to no firmware updates, so bugs never get fixed.

  • Subpar hardware: With lower-end processors and minimal RAM, the device struggles with 4K streaming and multitasking.

  • Faulty WiFi: Wireless connectivity is spotty due to cheap network chips. Even with good WiFi signal, streams buffer constantly.

  • Limited storage: With only 8GB or 16GB of storage, the SuperBox cannot hold many apps or cached content.

For an expensive box advertised as "top-of-the-line," the SuperBox fails to deliver a smooth streaming experience.

7 Safer Alternatives for Streaming

The good news is there are plenty of better options for streaming TV, movies, and more – without the legal risks and technical hassles of the SuperBox.

I‘ve tested over a dozen streaming devices in 2022 and these 7 alternatives consistently rise above the competition:

1. Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Price: $54.99

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Access to a huge library of legal streaming apps
  • Smooth 4K streaming with WiFi 6 support
  • User-friendly Fire TV interface
  • Alexa voice assistant built-in
  • Regular firmware updates from Amazon
  • Expandable storage via USB drive

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is my top pick for replacing the SuperBox. For under $60, it delivers an exceptional streaming experience in a compact package.

Amazon‘s Fire TV platform offers easy access to all the top apps like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and many more. If you want to tune into live TV, DirecTV Stream, Sling, YouTube TV, and other live streaming services are available.

The Fire TV Stick line is by far the most popular streaming device family according to Parks Associates research:

"Amazon again led the streaming media player category in 2021, largely due to its Fire TV stick devices, which represented nearly 70% of streaming player sales."

Unlike the janky SuperBox firmware, Amazon regularly updates the Fire TV OS to fix bugs, add new features, and boost performance. Navigating the polished interface feels snappy and responsive.

With the 4K stick, you can stream your favorite shows in vibrant Ultra HD resolution. The WiFi 6 feature ensures a stronger, more stable wireless connection that handles 4K video smoothly.

While SuperBoxes only come with 8-16GB of internal storage, you can plug in a USB drive to instantly add more storage space for apps and games.

If you want great software, an extensive media library, and excellent support – get the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.


Price: $199

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Premium streaming performance
  • Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos support
  • Smart home control with Google Assistant
  • GeForce NOW cloud gaming access
  • AI video upscaling to 4K
  • Plex Server to stream your media library

For those wanting no-compromise streaming power, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro is a superb choice that crushes the SuperBox.

Running the Android TV platform, the SHIELD provides quick access to media apps like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and even niche apps like Crunchyroll.

But what really sets the SHIELD apart is the pure streaming horsepower. The Tegra X1+ processor and 3GB of RAM can smoothly handle 4K HDR content and console-quality games.

The SHIELD supports advanced Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio – an immersive surround sound experience absent on the SuperBox.

NVIDIA‘s clever AI upscaling can also boost HD streams up to crisp 4K resolution. So you can enjoy upgraded picture quality even on older TV shows and movies.

Gamers will appreciate the GeForce NOW integration for access to cloud gaming with RTX graphics. The SHIELD also doubles as a full-featured Plex Media Server.

There‘s a reason the SHIELD has a 4.7/5-star rating after nearly 9,000 reviews on Amazon. It‘s simply the most powerful streamer you can buy.

3. Chromecast with Google TV

Price: $49.99

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Stream 4K HDR with Dolby Vision
  • Google Assistant built-in
  • Intuitive Google TV interface
  • Cast content from your phone
  • Simple setup with your Google Account

With Chromecast with Google TV, you get a complete streaming experience at a wallet-friendly price.

For under $50, the Chromecast delivers smooth 4K streaming, voice commands via Google Assistant, and an intuitive personalized UI.

The Google TV platform pulls content recommendations from all your streaming apps. Searching for movies and shows brings up results across different services.

Casting content is super simple – just tap the Cast button in a supported app on your phone like YouTube, Hulu or Spotify to beam video, music and more to your TV.

Unlike the bloated SuperBox interface, Google TV provides a clean look that‘s easy to navigate with handy profiles, watchlists, and tailored suggestions.

Overall, the Chromecast with Google TV punches way above its weight given the low price. It‘s a terrific value alternative to overpriced SuperBoxes.

4. Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Price: $49.99

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Tons of streaming channels
  • Simple software with no learning curve
  • Voice search via Roku mobile app
  • Smooth 4K HDR streaming
  • Roku Channel offers free movies and shows
  • Privacy-focused platform with no tracking

With an intuitive interface and excellent app support, Roku streaming devices remain hugely popular. The Streaming Stick 4K provides superb performance at an affordable price.

Roku OS makes it easy to access top services like Netflix and Hulu right out of the box. But you also get more niche options like YouTube TV, Sling TV, and specialty channels. Roku‘s channel store now offers over 10,000 streaming apps.

Even tech novices find Roku simple to use. The home screen puts your favorite media front and center. And finding new movies is a breeze with universal search across installed channels.

The Streaming Stick 4K delivers crisp 2160p video with support for Dolby Vision HDR. The refreshed quad-core processor ensures smooth UI navigation and fast load times.

Roku stands out from other platforms with a strict no-tracking policy. Their devices collect minimal user data for targeted advertising. If you value your privacy, Roku is a safe choice.

5. Apple TV 4K

Price: $179

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Seamless integration for Apple users
  • Lightning-fast A12 Bionic processor
  • Access Apple TV+ exclusives
  • Will support Matter smart home standard
  • Private listening via AirPods
  • Universal search across many services

For users embedded in Apple‘s ecosystem, the Apple TV 4K is a perfect streamer. It brings your iTunes library, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+ originals to the big screen.

The speedy A12 processor zips through menus and launches apps instantly. Graphics jump off the screen thanks to support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

Apple is building out more smart home integrations for Siri on the new Apple TV models. And Matter support (coming later) will let you control Matter-enabled accessories like lights and thermostats.

You can also route audio to AirPods for private listening without disturbing others. This is great for catching up on shows late at night.

Siri makes searching for specific titles easy across multiple apps. Just hold the Siri remote and ask to find movies, actors, or genres.

While pricier than competitive streamers, the premium hardware and Apple environment make the latest Apple TV a smart choice for iPhone households.

6. Amazon Fire TV Cube

Price: $139.99

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Hands-free Alexa controls
  • Speedy hexa-core processor
  • Built-in Ethernet port
  • Controls compatible soundbars and A/V gear
  • Integrates with Ring cameras and Alexa speakers
  • Large 16GB storage capacity

Amazon‘s Fire TV Cube advances their best-selling Fire TV formula with speakers for hands-free voice control using Alexa.

You can search for content, launch apps, play music, check sports scores, and manage smart home devices completely hands-free. Alexa on the Cube is highly responsive.

The cubic design makes the Cube easy to place in an entertainment center near your TV. Dual-band WiFi ensures solid streaming, but there‘s also an Ethernet port for a wired setup.

Under the hood, a speedy hexa-core processor delivers snappy performance whether navigating menus or jumping into games.

With 16GB of onboard storage, you can download more apps before needing expandable storage. The SuperBox‘s paltry 8GB fills up quick.

Alexa smart home integration allows you to view Ring cameras or control speakers and lights with your voice. At under $140, the well-rounded Fire TV Cube is a steal.

7. BuzzTV XRS 5000

Price: $109.99

Why it‘s better than the SuperBox:

  • Purpose-built for IPTV streaming
  • Includes IPTV-friendly remote
  • High-end Broadcom CPU and Mali GPU
  • 3GB DDR4 RAM and 16GB storage
  • OTA firmware updates with new features
  • Expandable storage via USB or microSD

While I don‘t recommend boxes loaded with illegal streaming services, BuzzTV boxes like the XRS 5000 provide a more polished IPTV streaming experience compared to janky SuperBox hardware.

The XRS 5000 runs speedy low-level firmware optimized for IPTV app performance. You can install Kodi or TiviMate to manage IPTV streams.

Plex support lets you stream personal media from a Plex server. And you still get major apps like Netflix and Prime Video.

Broadcom‘s beefy CPU/GPU delivers far better performance versus the SuperBox‘s cheap silicon. App launching and navigation are super smooth.

BuzzTV issues frequent OTA firmware updates to squash bugs and improve the user experience. SuperBox firmware languishes with no updates.

With 3 gigs of DDR4 RAM and 16GB onboard storage, the XRS 5000 makes multitasking and storage a breeze compared to underpowered SuperBoxes.

While IPTV streaming comes with risks, the XRS 5000 provides a much slicker overall experience.

Frequently Asked SuperBox Questions

What apps and channels come on the SuperBox?

The SuperBox comes preloaded with various piracy apps like:

  • Kodi – Open source media center with plugins for illegal streams
  • IPTV Smarters – Accesses bundles of pirated live TV channels
  • Mobdro – Scrapes the web for copyrighted movie and TV streams

It provides access to unlimited movies, shows, sports, and TV channels by pulling in illegal streams. But many channels suffer from poor quality and instability.

Can the SuperBox be jailbroken to add more apps?

Since the SuperBox runs Android, yes you can sideload additional apps through unknown sources. However, the device‘s underpowered hardware struggles to run many new resource-intensive apps smoothly.

What are the consequences of illegal streaming?

Accessing copyrighted streams without permission breaks both civil and criminal copyright law. You could face serious monetary damages and even jail time for repeat offenses under the Federal Communications Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Streaming pirated content also poses dangers like malware, device hijacking, and identity theft if you access shady sites. Streaming safely requires using reputable apps and services.

What‘s the best SuperBox alternative under $100?

For under $100, the Chromecast with Google TV (only $49.99) and Roku Streaming Stick 4K ($49.99) are your best alternatives. Both deliver smooth 4K streaming in compact devices for an affordable price. They also run intuitive software platforms with easy access to all the top legal streaming services.

How much storage do you need on a streaming device?

The more apps and games you want installed, the more local storage you need – especially for add-ons inside Kodi. For most mainstream streaming, even 8GB is enough. But 16GB or higher gives you more room to grow. The best alternatives I recommend offer at least 16GB storage to avoid constantly uninstalling and reinstalling apps.

What streaming devices support screen mirroring?

Many streaming devices now support wireless screen mirroring:

  • Fire TV Stick – Mirror Fire OS and Android devices
  • Roku – Mirror iOS or Android by installing the Roku app
  • Apple TV – Mirror Macs and iOS devices with AirPlay
  • NVIDIA SHIELD – Mirror Android phones and tablets
  • Chromecast – Mirror Chrome browser tabs or Android/iOS screens

This allows you to display and play mobile content right on your TV screen.

Do you need a streaming box if you have a Smart TV?

Standalone streaming devices often provide a better software experience compared to the default interface on most Smart TVs. Boxes like the Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku receive more frequent software updates with new features. Their processors and networking hardware also outperform low-cost Smart TV chipsets for smoother streaming. Dedicated boxes are worth the investment for an improved user experience.


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