To us, there’s absolutely nothing better for television than an Android TV experience. That’s not because we’re an Android site, trying to evangelize the platform. Rather, it’s because it lends itself to the way we consume content in 2019.
The Jetstream 4K Ultra HD Android TV Box, from Ematic, is a low-cost way of turning your dumb TV into a smart one. Or, as we see it, the box lets you toss aside the ugly UI and experience that came with your current smart TV.
Priced at just $69, it’s sold at Walmart and found in the same space where you’ll find Roku, Fire Stick.
As far as input and output are concerned, the Jetstream offers up a pair of USB-A ports, an ethernet jack, HDMI, optical audio out, and an AV jack. There is also a microSD card slot for local media playback and/or expanding the storage.
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Internally, the set-top box comes with 8GB storage and draws power from a quad-core CPU. With support for Dolby Audio and 4K Ultra HD, it’s more or less everything you need in a TV today.
Given the cheap cost of the Ematic Jetstream we figured that would be the case. We’re happy to report that this unit is actually pretty damn cool and feels polished. In fact, our first sign that things were going to be alright was the dedicated Google Assistant button.
The remote for the Jetstream set-top box has a built-in mic for performing voice searches and shortcut buttons to the Play Store, Netflix, and YouTube. Also included in the box is a set of batteries, and an HDMI cable.
We found the Jetstream to be incredibly easy to set up and configure. It took us longer to log in with our various accounts for streaming services than to initially plug in and get going.
This is something we can recommend to people even if they already own a smart television. As far as interface, intelligence, and convenience is concerned, Android TV is the way to go. The Jetstream is an affordable way to get that experience.
Performance-wise the Jetstream works as well as we’d hoped. The remote is great, responds well, and feels intuitive. We’re able to hop back and forth from app to app with no stuttering or lags. It’s every bit as easy to work with and manage as the NVIDIA SHIELD but without the gaming aspect. $70 at Walmart