The debate around the legality of Android TV Boxes has been going on for quite some time now. Though their makers have even tried to distance themselves from this controversy and issued statements with clarifications, many Americans are still on the fence about Android TV boxes and using them. In this article, we will answer the question “Android TV Box – Legal or Illegal?”
But first, let us understand what exactly are Android TV boxes, and what puts them at the risk of being illegal:
What is an Android TV box?
An Android TV box is essentially a media center. You can connect this one device to your TV. After that, you can watch movies and TV shows as you want to. Thus, the best part about this small yet innovative device is that you can turn virtually any modern TV into a smart TV. All you have to do is connect both of them, and you can stream anything from Netflix on your very own big screen. You can also use the internet and simply surf the web with an Android TV box as well.
They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are for low budgets and others are quite a high end. The process of setting one up will differ from one box to another, depending on the make and the manufacturing company.
What can you do with it?
As discussed above, though an Android TV box is primarily used to stream videos and shows, you can do a lot more with it too. This is because of a couple of reasons. Android is open-source software, which means that modeling hardware products around it are easy and cheap as well. Thus, Android TV boxes come with many viewing options, and as well as a set of input and output options too. This means that with just an internet connection and this box, you can turn your TV into a device that can install a long list of apps and run them as well.
Add ons for Android TV Box – Legal or Illegal?
Add-ons help you in getting the best out of your Android TV box experience. You can find a vast number and type of add-ons, and all of them will have something or the other to give you. They save time in that you do not have to surf the web in order to find interesting media content – the add on you choose will do that for you.
There are mainly two types of add-ons – the first is the official add-ons and the other is third party ones.
- The former has been developed and designed by companies like Kodi. You can access many streaming websites where you can watch movies and shows with ease. You have to pay to access this media content. They are usually preinstalled on the TV box.
- The latter consists of add-ons that have been formulated and developed by independent coders and developers. Android’s flexibility and the main community-based approach of, for example, Kodi make this possible. There are hundreds of add ons in this category too and they have scores of content free of cost.
Are Android TV Boxes Legal In The US?
The problem of legality with Android TV boxes come up when you are using third party add-ons. Because they are usually unregulated and not moderated by officials, they often end up having illegal content for streaming and downloading purposes for free. This content is illegal because it has no permission from the copyright owners to be distributed in this manner.
Thus, if you simply own Android TV boxes, you are not doing anything illegal. Even using the add-ons, pre-installed or otherwise, is not illegal by a lot. But when it comes to the content you are accessing – content that might not have been free on any other platform, then it is illegal. Therefore, for the viewers, it is absolutely necessary to be conscious of what media content they are watching.
Use android TV boxes with caution
The onus of using media content with Android TV boxes thus falls on the viewer as well. If you come across an add-on that is promising you free access to content that is way too good to be true, it is better to be on the safe side and not watch it.
Hence, the answer to “Are Android TV Boxes Legal In The Us” comes down to the add-ons you are using. If you have a Kodi application installed, make sure you understand which add-ons are legal and which ones are not. If you stick to the Kodi ones, you do not have to worry about any legal issues. But if you are not, then you can make use of a VPN and antivirus software to ensure your experience is safe and secure.