The way we watch television keeps evolving. Technology is getting better and faster. Many people are looking to cut the cable bill and use a combination of an over the air TV antenna and internet streaming. There are a few companies that are meeting this demand. In this article, we are going to look at several Android boxes with built-in tuners that will allow you to record live TV. In addition, they can stream online content to your television, without a subscription fee. These boxes are small and powerful. All of these Android boxes offer a built-in TV tuner to allow you to plug in your HD antenna and record and pause live TV.
Android Boxes With Built-in Tuners That Record Live TV
Channel Master Stream+
The Channel Master Stream+ integrates two OTA tuners to record and watch antenna broadcast signals. It allows for recording of two shows simultaneously while watching a streaming service. The Stream+ has a subscription-free live program and DVR guide, that makes viewing and recording your favorite TV show seamless. The Stream+ is capable of 4K and HD viewing. It is all powered by an Android operating system that also allows you to install just about any app, game or streaming service from the Google Play Store. The Channel Master Stream+ is a fully integrated media player for anyone looking to watch and record OTA broadcast TV and have the capability to stream many popular streaming apps.
The Channel Master Stream+ technical specifications and features:
What is in the box:
- Quick Start Guide
- IR/Bluetooth/Voice Remote
- 2 – AAA Batteries
- Power Supply
- 1 Year Limited Hardware Warranty
Hardware and Software:
- Quad-Core ARM Processor
- Android Nougat 7.0
- 4KP60 UHD 10-bit HEVC
- SD or HD, Up to 1920 X 1080
- 4kp50-60, UHD Up to 3840×2160
- Integrated Voice Search
- Two internal ATSC 1.0 tuners
- Built-in Google Cast (Chromecast) functionality
- Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital+ audio support
- RF Port (ATSC 1.0 Dual Tuner)
- HDMI Port (2.0 with HDCP 2.2)
- Optical Audio Port (SPDIF)
- USB Port (USB3.0)
- Ethernet Port (10/100BaseT)
- MicroSD Port (U3 Required for DVR Capability up to 512GB)
- Wireless 2.4 GHz /5 GHz WiFi
- Dual Band 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.1
Where to Buy:
The Channel Master Stream+ is available at these retailers.
WeTek Play 2 Hybrid Media Center
The WeTek Play 2 is a powerful Android box that will record over the air TV. Just plug in your HD antenna, allow the box to scan for new channels and you are ready to go. It comes with a removable antenna module that will work in the USA, Canada or UK. You can pause, rewind and record live OTA television. It is not just limited to OTA signals, this box will also work with cable and satellite connections. Just insert the appropriate module for your location and needs. The WeTek Play 2 is capable of running many of the apps available from the Google Play Store, including Kodi. This box is powerful enough to stream 4K content. The user interface is easy and intuitive. If you plan on cutting the cord, this box is well worth considering.
Electronic Program Guide
The WeTek Play 2 comes with an electronic program guide that will help you view and record what is on TV. You can schedule your recordings in advance. It also has a handy web interface that will allow you to remotely control the box from anywhere.
The WeTek Play 2 can be used with different removable modules. Make sure to select the appropriate tuner module for your country and needs. The available modules are DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2 and ATSC.
- Processor (CPU): Quad-core (Amlogic S905H)
- GPU: Mali MP-450 Penta core
- RAM Memory: 2 GB DDR III
- Flash memory: 8 GB eMMC
- Modular Tuners: DVB-S2 (satellite), DVB-C/T/T2 (cable/terrestrial) and ATSC (North America, South Korea)
- Wireless LAN: 802.11 B/G/N
- Supported Wi-Fi: 2.4/5 GHz (AP6330)
- Ethernet: 1000 Mbit/s (Gigabit Ethernet)
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- S PDIF optical out: 1x
- HDMI: 1x 2.0
- A/V Output: compatible only with 17mm TRRS jack
- MicroSD: 1x
- USB 2.0: 3 External
- Serial Debug: Yes, external
- Power socket: DC In
- Software: Android Lollipop 5.1.1
- Stream support : RTSP, RTP, HTTP, UDP, IGMP etc.
- DRM: Google Widevine, Microsoft Playready, HDCP 2.2
- Video processing: H264, H265 up to [email protected]
- Video codecs: H.265(10bit), H.264 AVC, H.264 MVC, MPEG-4 ASP, VC-1, AVS, MPEG-2, MPEG-1
- Audio codecs: MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC, Ogg, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
- Subtitles: DVB, SRT, SUB
- EPG: XMLTV
Where to Buy:
The WeTek Play 2 Hybrid Media Center is available for purchase at these retailers:
MyGica ATV 586 ATSC TV Recording PVR Android TV Box
The MyGica ATV 586 is a decent all in one DVR and streaming box. It offers a powerful ARM Cortex A5 Quad Core CPU with 1GB DDR3 RAM. The best feature is the built-in over the air tuner (ATSC tuner). Just plug in you’re over the air antenna and allow the box to scan your area for free HD channels. Then you can schedule and watch recordings of your favorite TV shows. This box offers a nice on-screen overlay when you are watching live TV that will allow you to pause and record. Another nice feature is the EPG guide that allows you to see upcoming TV shows and times. It will also let you schedule weekly recordings of a particular show. In order to use the DVR feature, you will need to plug in an external hard drive or storage device for it to record on.
The MyGica ATV 586 box offers an uncomplicated user interface. It is simple yet effective GUI. You can access and install many apps from the Google Play Store and the MyGica Store. You can play games and install many of your premium streaming services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and Netflix. This box also has Kodi fully loaded so you can enjoy the benefits of this powerful media software. It’s GUI has an easy update option that will keep the box running smoothly.
A nice feature is the ability to stream live TV to your Android phone or tablet. The box has a powerful wireless network antenna that will give you a strong internet connection anywhere throughout the house. This is a great one-solution box that will cover just about all your media needs.
- Operating System : Android™ 4.4 Kitkat
- System Processor : Quad-core ARM® Cortex™-A5 up to 1.5GHz
- Graphics Processor : Quad-core ARM® Mali™-450
- Digital TV Tuner : ATSC HDTV Tuner
- Video Resolution : 1080p(60fps),1080i,720p,720i,576p,576i,486p,486i
- Video Playback Codec : MPEG 1/2/4,H.265,H.264,VC-1,WMV,AVI,MKV,MOV
- System Memory : 1 GB DDR3 RAM
- Internal Media Storage : 8 GB eMMC embedded MultiMediaCard
- Video Interface : 1 x HDMI 1.4
- WiFi : 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
- Bluetooth : Bluetooth 4.0
- Ethernet Interface : RJ45 10/100 Megabits
- USB Support : 2 x USB 2.0 Ports Max USB HDD Support is 2TB
- Micro SD Card : 1 Slot Max 128GB
- MyGica ATV 586
- Remote Control
- AC Power Adapter
- HDMI Cable
- Mini Indoor Antenna
- Quick Installation Guide
Where to Buy:
The MyGica ATV 586 is available for purchase at these retailers:
SkyStream X5 Android TV Box with Built-In TV Tuner & DVR
The SkyStream X5 is a very impressive Android box. It comes with a built-in TV tuner and DVR. You will need a separate HD antenna for this to work. This will allow you to watch all your local over the air broadcast channels in HD. You can also record over the air shows with their built-in DVR. You can pause and skip over the commercials. The recordings will require an external USB hard drive or SD card. Just screw in your HD antenna and hit the scan button for the box to attain your local stations. This box will also tell you what programs are coming up in their guide. It runs Kodi very well. It has an easy to use and responsive interface. The SkyStream X5 functions like most Android boxes on the market, allowing you to install many apps from the Google Play Store. It has strong wireless capabilities due to the external WIFI antenna. They have an active forum page for any technical questions and a great You Tube channel of how to videos. Overall this is the best Android box for over the air recording I have seen on the market.
This video demonstrates how the over the air recorder and DVR works:
- CPU: S812 Quad Core
- GPU: Mali-450 Octa Core
- RAM: 2GB DDR3
- Flash: 16GB
- WiFi: 802.11AC
- External Antenna
- LAN: 10/100 Mbps
- USB: 4 ports
- HDMI & AV Outputs
- Air Mouse with Full QWERTY Keyboard
- Built-in TV Tuner with DVR (external antenna required)
- Unlocked & Rooted Android 4.4 OS
Where to Buy:
The SkyStream X5 Android TV Box is available from this retailer:
Another great Android box with a built-in tuner is the Aura Live. This box has many of the same features as the MyGica ATV 586. The one main difference is this box has an antenna output. This allows you to pass the over the air signal to your HD TV. You can then continue to use the internal tuner of your TV if you prefer. You can also watch and record live TV with this box. The user interface is easy to use and well designed. It has all of the apps that are available from the Google Play Store like Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix, You Tube and PBS to name a few. It also has a nice built-in web browser that will let you surf the web from the couch on your big screen TV. It also has Kodi already installed. You can share content from any device to the Aura Live box onto your big screen TV.
- Over-The-Air DVR Integration
- Full Web Browsing
- Keyboard Controller
- Picture Viewing
- Video Calling
- Video Games
- Quad Core Processor
- Max. Resolution: 1080p
- Audio/Video Outputs: Optical Audio, Component (YPbPr) RCA, HDMI
- Media Input Connectivity: Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi
- 4 USB Inputs
- 1 Micro SD Input (64GB Max)
- 1 HDMI Output
- 1 Antenna input
- 1 Antenna output
Where to Buy:
The Aura Live is available for purchase at this retailer:
Other Options for Recording OTA Antenna Signals
There are a few methods to record an OTA antenna signal. Here is a list of different ways to record an over the air antenna signal.
The media software Kodi allows you to playback your recorded antenna signal. This requires a back-end device to capture and record the antenna signal. There are many different ways it can be set up. It can be inexpensive to build. You can see our how-to article below:
OTA Digital Converter Box
Another simple way to record OTA TV is to use a digital converter box. Your OTA antenna plugs into the converter box and the content is recorded onto an external USB hard drive. It simple and easy to implement.
You can also record using an OTA DVR. These units are all in one devices that record your antenna signal. They all have an internal hard drive and allow you to schedule the recordings.
All of these Android boxes with built-in tuners offer practical solutions for anyone looking to record live over the air TV. They are well priced and offer many online streaming options to boot. If you are looking for one box that can do it all, then choose one of these media boxes. It may be the only box you will ever need.