Kodi media center has made the headlines recently in countries across the globe and for the wrong reasons. In its standard form, Kodi is perfectly legal. But its ability to install third-party addons allows the user to stream pirated content yields the potential for copyright infringement. A Kodi box is illegal when it comes pre-loaded with addons containing pirated content. Most online retailers are now blocking sales of such devices.
In this post, I will discuss some of the best legal Kodi streaming boxes online that will keep you on the right side of the law. Each legal Kodi box is addon free and can be used as a media center solution to enjoy the content that you own. All boxes are legal in the majority of countries at the time of writing. [Read: 6 must have Kodi addons for broadcast TV]
Table of Contents
- Best Legal Kodi Streaming Boxes
- 1. Amazon Fire TV – ($90 or less)
- 2. Nvidia Shield TV – ($200 or less)
- 3. Roku Ultra 4K – ($90 or less)
- 4. EBOX T8 V – ($137 or less)
- 5. Raspberry Pi 3 – ($35 or less)
- 6. NEXBOX A95X – ($50 or less)
- 7. Google Chromecast Ultra – ($98 or less)
- 8. Minix Neo U9-H – ($140 or less)
- 9. Xiaomi Mi – ($70 or less)
- 10. Vero 4K – ($156 or less)
- Legal Kodi Boxes – Final Thoughts
Best Legal Kodi Streaming Boxes
The Amazon Fire TV is one the most well-known legal Kodi box on the Internet today and rightly so. And these media streaming apps make it even better. It remains one of retail giant Amazon’s flagship products and delivers loads of content to your living room TV. The Amazon Fire TV is an Android-based device with Amazon’s unique look and feel applied to it. This TV streaming box is now on its first revision with the 2nd generation box being released in 2015. A key update in this revision was its move towards 4K video and its greater level of support for this video standard. [Read: 5 Best Kodi Skins for Fire TV 2017 – Speed, Looks, Performance]
Under the hood, you get a quad-core processor (dual-core @ 2GHz + dual-core @ 1.6GHz) and a 600MHz GX6250 graphics processor. It comes with 2GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. As I mentioned one of the key improvements of the 2nd gen Amazon Fire TV product is its move towards 4K video streaming. Its video decoder supports the improved h.265 standard and integrates well with 4K streaming services like Netflix. It also features the popular Alexa software and includes an Alexa voice remote. The Amazon Fire TV is one of the best legal Kodi streaming boxes available and will cater to all your media needs. [Read: Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV using adbLink (Method 1)]
Starting with Kodi? Read these Kodi Beginner guides!
- Kodi Beginners Guide Series: Part 1 (What is Kodi?), Part 2 (Kodi Usage), Part 3 (Adding Media), Part 4 (Changing Appearance), and Part 5 (Folder Structure).
- Understanding Kodi Settings: Audio and Video
- Beginner Blueprint: Complete Kodi Setup Guide.
- Beginner Blueprint: Complete Amazon Fire TV Kodi Guide.
The second product in our best legal Kodi streaming boxes list is the Nvidia Shield TV. It is priced a lot higher than the previous device largely due to its superior hardware. It is available in two flavors. The standard model comes with an Nvidia Tegra X1 CPU, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. If you opt for the Pro version you get a huge 500GB of onboard storage, perfect for storing large media libraries. The Nvidia shield TV is a market-leading legal Kodi box when it comes to physical hardware. [Read: Step-by-Step Nvidia Shield TV 2017 Setup Guide with Screenshots]
The Shield TV boasts 4K video at 60 frames per second (FPS). While the Shield TV is great for video, it’s a capable a gaming solution as well. The 256-core Maxwell GPU easily handles dedicated Android games and the accompanying gaming controller provides a fantastic gaming experience. Alternately, you can take advantage of retro classics using emulators. The device integrates with the Google’s voice search function, and sideloading apps is easy using ES File Explorer and launching them is even easier with these Shield TV alternate launchers.
If you want more than just video streaming and an all round media solution then the Nvidia Shield TV is for you. To get started, try these top 20 streaming apps for Nvidia Shield TV and implement our suggested Shield TV tweaks. [Read: Install Kodi on Nvidia Shield TV 2017 – Stream Movies, Videos, Music]
One legal Kodi box vendor that you may not have heard of is Roku and that is somewhat surprising when you consider some of the quality streaming devices they have created in recent times. The Roku Ultra 4K comes with a slew of features from Roku iterations but is engineered for 4K video streaming. It comes with a quad-core CPU capable of 4K frame rates at 60 FPS. The box is compact and its unique looking design will complement your living room entertainment suite. While you can access Kodi on Roku devices, it’s a bit different than traditional installations. Tom’s Guide explains that Roku supports Kodi via mirroring a la Miracast.
One of the great features of Roku is its ability to search multiple content providers under a single search function. Simply enter a movie into the search box and it will display results from multiple sources including Amazon and Android TV. You can then select the best-priced option and rent or purchase the movie. Roku boxes are also built with gaming in mind. The accompanying remote supports motion sensing and can be used to control downloadable game titles. The remote comes with a headphone jack for wireless audio without additional devices. Despite its lack of a dedicated Kodi app, the Roku Ultra 4K TV box is one of the best legal Kodi streaming boxes for ease of use and finding content. [Read: Roku 4 Preview: bigger, faster Roku device for your HTPC]
Best Plex Client Devices:
4. EBOX T8 V – ($137 or less)
One of the newcomers to the streaming box world is the EBOX T8 V. With the EBOX T8 V you get a decent piece of hardware for your money. It comes with an octa-core 64-bit processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage. You also get an ARM 750MHz GPU opening up the door to the Android gaming market. One thing that the EBOX T8 V offers that the most other legal Kodi boxes don’t is hard drive support. You can add a 2.5” SATA drive giving you masses of space for storing your downloaded movie content.
The EBOX T8 V legal Kodi box is an Android based device and comes with Kodi pre-loaded. It has no addons installed and so the devices are completely legal in the majority of countries. It supports 4K video streaming and will play pretty much any file type you can throw at it. The interface is extremely easy to use and the box has a great looking design. The EBOX T8 V is one of the best legal Kodi streaming boxes value and ability to install a hard drive for media libraries. [Read: Ebox T8 V Smart Box Review – An Android Based HTPC Solution]
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A top idea if you are looking for a good legal Kodi box is building your own. The Raspberry Pi 3 is a programmable device that allows you to do just that. It can be used to build the cheapest possible Kodi box. At just over $35 you can open up your TV set to the exciting world of Kodi. Version 3 Model B of the Pi comes with a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU and 1GB of memory. For such a tiny device you get many of the features of a retail TV box including Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. You cannot expect 4K video streaming or high-end gaming. But if want an affordable, portable media solution to legally run Kodi on then this is a great choice. [Read: 5 Best Kodi skins for Raspberry Pi 3 2017 – Performance and Looks]
Using the OpenElec operating system the Raspberry Pi 3 is an extremely efficient device. OpenElec is considered a “just enough” OS leaving the majority of the Pi resource available to Kodi. However, unlike a retail Kodi box, the Raspberry Pi 3 is extremely customizable. It was designed as a small programmable computer for enthusiasts to use for different projects. You can purchase various additions to the device and also a range of custom cases. You can even get a Kodi case! The device is completely legal as it comes free of software. The only applications you get are the ones that you install yourself. The Raspberry Pi 3 makes one of the best legal Kodi streaming boxes due to its price and true customizability. You can access Kodi on a Raspberry Pi via the OSMC or OpenELEC, RetroPie, and Recalbox. [Read: How to install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi3 – Kodi Media Center]
Are you looking for something portable that you can take with you to enjoy your content on the move? Do you need a device that is small enough to slip into your bag and yet still have the capability of streaming 4K video without interruption? Look no further than the NEXBOX A95X set top box. The NEXBOX A95X is an Android based legal Kodi box running on Android 6.0. The box is not much bigger than the palm of your hand and yet houses all of the hardware required to play 4K video at 60fps and using HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for a wider more dynamic color spectrum. The NEXBOX A95X comes with Kodi preinstalled but is completely addon free.
Inside the box, you get an Amlogic S905X Quad core Cortex A53 2.0GHz 64bit CPU, a Penta-core Mali-450MP GPU, 2GB DDR3 memory and 16GB of on-board storage. A less powerful model is also available if you are looking for a smaller price tag. The box provides plenty of room for expansion with 2X USB 2.0 ports and an SD card reader. The accompanying remote makes it simple to switch between the main Android interface and Kodi. The NEXBOX A95X looks great and is one of the smallest 4K TV boxes you will find. [Read: 10 Best Kodi Skins 2017 – For HTPCs and Kodi Streaming Boxes]
7. Google Chromecast Ultra – ($98 or less)
If you do not have a great deal of space in your TV cabinet and you are looking for something discrete then I recommend the Google Chromecast Ultra. The Chromecast Ultra is a dongle rather than a TV box and as a result hangs behind your TV set completely out of view.The first two revisions of Chromecast provided agood portable media streaming solution that would provide hours of home entertainment. The release of the Ultra edition earlier this year shows Google’s enthusiasm for the 4K streaming market.
One of the main aims of the Chromecast is to give you the ability to stream content from other devices in your house straight to your TV screen and this it does very well. You can stream a range of online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video from other devices. To assist with its 4K video streaming capabilities the Chromecast Ultra is the first revision to include an Ethernet port for those places where Wifi signal is an issue and to retain the quality of your 4K movie streaming experience. With the Chromecast Ultra you stream Kodi to it rather than install it. The Chrome Cast Ultra edition is one of the most cost-effective 4K streaming solutions in our best legal Kodi streaming boxes list and if you want a simple easy to use streaming solution then this is for you. [Read: Quick Chromecast 2 review: colorful and cheap screencast]
8. Minix Neo U9-H – ($140 or less)
The Minix U9-H is a powerful Android-based set-top TV box. Minix has created a range of quality streaming solutions over the years and only right that they feature in our best legal Kodi streaming boxes list. It comes with an Octa-core Cortex A53 (64-bit) CPU & a Mali-820MP3 graphics unit. As with the majority of recent TV boxes, the Minix U9-H has been built for 4K video streaming and this it does well. It offers full 4K video resolutions at 60fps and has full support for HDR10. This combined with true Dolby audio provides a great home theater experience.
You will not be short of storage with the Minix U9-H. It comes with a total of 3X USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD reader leaving plenty of room for expansion. Both Ethernet and Wifi are available to receive your streamed content and to connect to your network. The Minix U9-H comes with XBMC Minix Edition preinstalled on it and ready for use. This is a purpose built version of Kodi optimized for the U9-H hardware. Despite the hardware optimizations, it is Kodi /XBMC in its raw form and completely free of illegal addons. The Minix U9-H is a legal Kodi box that will deliver a great 4K picture. [Read: 5 Best Kodi Alternatives for Media Enthusiasts – Kodi Like Apps]
9. Xiaomi Mi – ($70 or less)
Another top legal Kodi box is the Xiaomi Mi. In my opinion, this is one of the best-looking devices out there with a modern hub style feel to it that will sit nicely under your main TV. It is a compact device that will deliver full 4K video resolutions and with a small software update accommodates HDR10 support. Under the hood, you get a Quad-core Cortex-A53 2.0GHz CPU, a Mali 450 750MHz GPU and 2GB DDR3 of system memory. The 8GB of onboard storage will give you just enough space to store some of your favorite content. The box comes with no Kodi install and the version that you deploy is left completely up to you.
The Xiaomi Mi utilizes the Android TV 6 operating system and comes packed with a whole host of applications for streamed TV content. Enjoy services such as Netflix, YouTube, Plex, Red Bull TV, and many more.
Browse your content from the comfort of your sofa using the accompanying remote with full voice control built in. The Xiaomi Mi can also be used as a gaming device for the array of Android titles available. Hook up the Mi Game Controller (sold separately) and use your set top box as a gaming system. The Xiaomi Mi is one of the few all round TV boxes in our Best Legal Kodi Streaming Boxes list and is perfect for applications, 4K streaming, and gaming. [Read: Medium Budget 4K HTPC Build 2017 for Kodi, Plex and Gaming]
10. Vero 4K – ($156 or less)
Almost every legal Kodi box in our list either uses the Android operating system or a tailored version of it. Android isn’t the only TV box operating system out there and it is time for our first Linux based entry. The Vero 4K is a TV box that uses the OSMC operating system. OSMC (Open Source Media Center) is a minimal Linux distribution designed to bring media center solutions to computer systems without the overhead of a bulky mainstream OS. OSMC Kodi in its standard form is completely free of illegal content.
Vero 4K is a TV box solution designed by the developers of OSMC. It features a Quad Core 1.6Ghz 64-bit processor, 2GB DDR3 memory and 16GB of on-board storage. As the Vero 4K hardware has been designed specifically for the OSMC software and so you can expect a seamless experience.
The Vero 4K will play almost any video file format you can throw at in including all of the major 4K video standards. In the box, you get both a remote control and a TV mounting kit. The Vero 4K is the only device in our Best legal Kodi streaming boxes list with hardware designed specifically for the OS and the result is a truly great product [Read: 8 Best Linux Media Center Software Options – Linux Media Center 2017]
Legal Kodi Boxes – Final Thoughts
It is important to remember that in its original form Kodi is a legal application in most countries. Only with addons installed that contain pirated content does it cross the line. Each legal Kodi box in this list either comes with an addon free install of the application or leaves the install process up to you. These various streaming boxes offer something different whether you want 4K video, gaming or the most affordable solution there is something for you. Kodi is a fantastic product and even without addons you will enjoy hours of media entertainment. Notably several of these streaming boxes are also excellent Plex client devices.