TOP 17 best set-top boxes for digital TV: 2021 rating and which model to choose for a TV for your dacha

Smart TV is an innovative system that allows you to significantly expand the functionality of your TV. Installing a “smart” television provides various opportunities: watching movies and TV shows online, synchronizing with a personal computer, laptop and tablet, using video hosting resources, communicating on social networks.

How to choose a Smart set-top box for your TV? What are the main features of her work? What types does it come in? What are the most popular models? Let's look at these and other aspects in more detail.

Rating of the TOP 17 best set-top boxes for digital TV

TOP 17 best set-top boxes for digital TV 2021
1Apple TV 4KFind out the price
2Selenga T81DFind out the price
3Oriel 421 (DVB-T2/C)Find out the price
4HARPER HDT2-5010Find out the price
5World Vision T62AFind out the price
6D-COLOR DC1301HDFind out the price
7Lumax DV-1110HDFind out the price
8IconBIT Movie T2Find out the price
9Lumax DV 1108HDFind out the price
10D Color DC1002HD miniFind out the price
11BBK SMP240HDT2Find out the price
12NVIDIA SHIELD Android TVFind out the price
13SIGNAL ELECTRONICS HD-300Find out the price
14LEXAND LTV 300Find out the price
15A95X F3Find out the price
16AVerMedia Technologies AVerTV Hybrid Volar T2Find out the price
17Digifors SMART 200 AndroidFind out the price

Digital functions on “ancient” TV: is it possible?

Digital set-top boxes can be connected to outdated devices, this is not a question. But it is important to decide whether a particular set-top box is suitable for a particular “box”, whether their connectors and technologies are compatible. When we say “old TV,” we can mean the following devices:

  • an outdated flat LED or plasma panel, without a built-in T2 tuner for digital television and Smart TV;

  • CRT TV, popularly called “pot-bellied”, with the ability to connect a VCR or DVD player. That is, with RCA “triple tulip” or SCART “comb” connectors and the ability to switch to AV mode from the remote control;

  • an archaic tube device with a single output for an “RF” type antenna.

To decide which set-top box is needed for your old TV, first of all determine the type of “box” you have and what outputs it has. You can connect the device to any device. Even if the devices do not have compatible connectors, you can use adapters. But in some cases, you will simply overpay the extra amount and will not be able to receive the stated benefits. Therefore, before choosing a digital set-top box for your old TV, consider the following factors:

  1. Television quality – images on the screen. Nothing can improve it, so there is no need to choose a model with HD, FullHD or similar quality if you can find something cheaper.
  2. The same goes for the sound - it will be reproduced by the built-in speakers, which will not “appreciate” the efforts of the set-top box to improve it.
  3. Any adapters will slightly degrade the quality of the television and sound signal. And the “HF modulator” adapter itself is not cheap.
  4. The ability to connect a flash drive, record broadcasts, use Smart TV, access the Internet, connect a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth - you will have these and other functions regardless of the TV model. If they are declared in the console, then you can do all this without restrictions.
  5. If your device has additional tuners for cable or satellite television, then you can also watch these channels on TV. In this case, the provision of services must be agreed upon with your operator.

How to choose a digital DVB T2 set-top box

DVB T2 is a modern standard for terrestrial digital TV, which our country switched to relatively recently. It allows you to transmit TV channels in excellent quality. Data transmission occurs in a packet called multiplex.

Today, almost throughout the entire territory of Russia, there are 2 multiplexes, which include 20 federal channels. For them to be broadcast on the TV, it must have a built-in DVB T2 digital tuner. If you don't have it, you'll have to buy an external set-top box.

If you just need to watch 20 channels, then you can buy almost any digital set-top box for your TV, even the cheapest one. Choosing a DVB-T2 set-top box comes down to the availability of the required connector for connection.

You should inspect your TV: the connection can be made via HDMI (the best option), tulips or scart. It is also worth paying attention to the maximum possible resolution: this parameter must be the same for the set-top box and the TV.

More expensive set-top boxes have expanded functionality. For example, they connect to the Internet via a Wi-Fi adapter, record video on media, and play data from USB drives. The most advanced tuners have their own operating system - these are Smart TV set-top boxes. We will consider them in a separate rating.

It is worth noting that in addition to DVB-T2, the set-top box can support other formats:

  • DVB-C (cable TV);
  • DVB-S (satellite TV).

IPTV set-top boxes

A special type of device designed for transmitting and receiving video content via IPTV. Let us remind you that this is how some cable operators transmit signals to their subscribers. But much more often, an IPTV receiver is used to distribute content throughout the apartment.

For example, some applications designed for Smart TV have IPTV support. Also, via IPTV, you can play content on a computer, smartphone or tablet - it’s not difficult to find the appropriate players. Setting up IPTV is very easy - just connect the set-top box to the router, after which the signal can be distributed either over wires or over Wi-Fi.

Please note that we are gradually starting to watch videos in higher and higher resolutions. If you're ever going to buy a 4K TV, your IPTV set-top box needs to be powerful.

Be sure to make sure that the device's processor is capable of processing images in 4K resolution (and don't forget to check the frame rate). You may also need support for H.265 (HEVC) - this is a new codec in which video is distributed with the best picture quality.

IPTV set-top boxes are also different. Some of them have Linux-based firmware, while others do not require the installation of additional software. They also differ in the number of different sockets on the rear panel. The cost of IPTV set-top boxes usually does not exceed 5,500 rubles.

Smart consoles for Android

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This device is capable of providing Smart TV functionality to your TV. Even if the set-top box is connected to the Rubin CRT, released 15 years ago. Also, purchasing such a device is relevant if you have a computer monitor, but no system unit or laptop. You just need to make sure that on the back of the laptop there is one of the connectors that the set-top box has.

This device is called smart because the Android operating system is installed here. This allows you to expand the functionality of the set-top box as widely as you like, as long as you don’t run out of free space in memory. The system control is slightly modified, because the user does not have a touch screen. As a result, you can activate certain functions using the remote control. The set-top box can also be synchronized with a smartphone or tablet.

As expected, a smart set-top box allows you to watch movies and listen to music. But she also knows how to access the Internet using a variety of network services. Roughly speaking, such a set-top box turns an ordinary monitor or TV into a simplified version of a computer.

Or, if you prefer, into a large tablet. Internet access is usually achieved via the built-in Wi-Fi module. But many smart set-top boxes also have an Ethernet connector. A wired connection is very important in cases where the user decides to watch a movie in 4K resolution.

Smart consoles come in a variety of varieties. Of course, their prices also differ. If you have a 4K TV or are at least planning to buy one, then the set-top box must be very powerful - a simple model is not capable of reproducing such heavy content. And don’t forget to check the speed ratings of the connectors. For example, to play the same 4K video from an external drive, USB 3.0 is required, the “tab” of which is colored blue.

Cheap smart consoles have a modest processor, which causes the operating system and applications to slow down from time to time. Therefore, we advise you not to save money, only then using the gadget will not bring negative emotions. See a detailed article reviewing the best TV set-top boxes for Android in 2019 -

What should you think about when choosing a set-top box?

When buying any TV box, people forget to think about the little things. In this regard, we decided to share some useful tips:

  • Stock up on batteries. It will be a shame if you return from the store and don’t find batteries for the remote control in the box. And even if they are there, there will definitely not be an extra pair of batteries.
  • Think about the future. If you know that someday terrestrial television will not be enough for you, then buy yourself a TV set-top box that supports not only DVB-T2, but also DVB-C. Of course, this only applies to residents of large cities where there is cable television.
  • Don't forget about the antenna. Trite advice, but some people really remember about the antenna only after buying a TV set-top box.
  • Buy yourself a USB flash drive or external hard drive. This will allow you to record your favorite programs and series at a time when no one is at home.
  • Focus on reviews. Nowadays digital TV set-top box is a mass product, so you can find a lot of reviews on the Internet. If people only complain about a certain model, then it’s better to buy another one - miracles don’t happen, your copy won’t behave in the best way either.

Key aspects of choice

All the impressive functions of a Smart TV set-top box are limited only by the capabilities of the Android TV operating system.

1.Operating system Android TV 6.0, Android TV 7.0, Android TV 8.0
2.Resolution 4K UHD



3. Connectors and Interface
  • Old TVs:

special cables

AV connectors


  • Modern models:

HDMI 2.0 connector

memory card slot

connectors USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, AV

4.Internet connection stable internet

Wi-Fi ac slot

Bluetooth 4.0-4.1;

5.Media content format Codecs H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG1/2/4, VP8
Decoders - MPEG1/2, DTS 2.0, Dolby Digital Plus
  • presence of a convenient remote control
  • convenient Russian-language menu
  • video recordings of programs or films
  • viewing videos and photos
  • visiting websites and watching videos online
  • download games
  • making video calls
7.Warranty 1-2 years warranty service

The presence of a convenient menu, ease of control and automatic settings increase the accessible efficiency of this useful gadget. A clear interface at the level of intuition will allow you to remove all the nuances in using a TV set-top box.

Also read: How to choose a TV for your home?

Xiaomi Mi Box International Version

The Xiaomi Mi Box was equipped with Android 6.0 in the international version and was finally translated into Russian properly - users of previous versions more than once had to learn the interface in Chinese in the so-called “gray device”. By the way, we described how to distinguish “gray” equipment from “white” in a separate article.

Firstly, the set-top box supports 4K UHD resolution. Secondly, MKV, FLAC, APE formats. Thirdly, Google Play: you can install applications on the device. Fourthly, support for DLNA, AirPlay, MiraCast standards and the ability to connect a smartphone. And finally, an external power supply that plugs into an outlet—no special charging capabilities are needed on the TV.

The best DVB-S2 satellite receivers

To connect and activate satellite TV, you will need a CI slot or a DVB-S2 tuner. Most often, service providers themselves install all the necessary equipment for their clients, as they do.

GS B528 – set-top box from Tricolor with IPTV function



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buyers recommend this product

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The tuner with server receiver comes with a scratch card from the “Unified” package and a number of pre-installed functions: Cinemas, Best on TV, Online TV, TV archive, TV mail, as well as a PVR package for recording programs.

The box can receive more than 1000 channels and connect via Ethernet. External interfaces are also represented by USB, HDMI, RCA (tulip) connectors and a miniSIM card reader. provides a certificate of additional warranty for this model.


  • ability to connect to any TV;
  • the presence of a USB 3.0 port for connecting an external hard drive;
  • IPTV viewing;
  • Timeshift mode;
  • the ability to create your own lists of television and radio channels;
  • connection to a game console.


  • viewing of online channels in UltraHD format is not provided;
  • does not support AC3 audio standard.

The B528 receiver will appeal to connoisseurs of high-quality, ultra-quality pictures. It is this model that Tricolor offers to its new subscribers who are connecting satellite TV for the first time.


12 Best Digital-to-Analog Converters

Open Box AS4K CI Pro – compact and super functional



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buyers recommend this product

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Unlike the previous model, the Open Box device is more versatile. It receives Tricolor TV and NTV+ signals, but its Internet capabilities are even better.

Essentially, we have a mini-computer running Android 7.0 with support for Torrent TV, KODi and Air Play. It has 2 gigabytes of RAM and 16 GB of flash memory.

The panel houses a large number of interfaces: a card reader, a CI+ slot, an Ethernet controller, USB2.0 and 3.0 ports, as well as a microSD reader.

Open Box has remained the market leader in satellite receivers for several years, but this year the set-top box was updated to the PRO level, adding several additional options: an original Internet browser, its own OS and support for 3G modems.

Now users have the opportunity to connect a wireless headset to the console, and also use it as a simple game console. Many online games have already been developed specifically for Open Box and can be downloaded from the Play Market.


  • subscription to several satellite packages;
  • remote control function;
  • Huawei processor with high-quality accelerator;
  • fairly recent Android 7;
  • reading audio and video files of all formats.


  • short power supply wire;
  • Overheating is possible during prolonged use.

The Pro version of the popular AS4KCI model will appeal to fans of satellite TV, as it opens access to channel packages from different operators.


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Analog or digital

Just 50 years ago, only one type of television broadcasting was widespread everywhere – analogue. The term comes from the name of the signal of the same name for transmitting picture and sound on a TV. The signal was continuous and constantly subject to various interference.

This was a huge drawback. The image and sound reached the consumer in a distorted form. Research was carried out at an accelerated pace to improve analog devices for high-quality data transmission. At the same time, the developers were looking for other technical solutions.

The transition from old broadcasting to a new type would have become possible back in 1965 with the discovery and description of the theory of digital video compression. But the technical capabilities of that time did not allow this success to be practically consolidated anywhere in the world.

A digital signal is more stable, has a discrete structure and is less affected by interference. It delivers the original sound and unaltered image. The main difference between analog and digital signals is how they are supplied: continuous or intermittent.

For data transmission, digital and analog signals cover 3 methods:

  1. Terrestrial TV - an encrypted digital signal is received and decrypted into an analog television receiver with a built-in decoder or an external device: tuner, receiver or set-top box
  2. Cable TV – compressed digital signal travels over optical fiber, coverage range depends on cable providers
  3. Satellite TV – the transmission processes are similar, only the media content in DTV is of better quality

A complete transition from analogue to digital broadcasting is a matter of time. The European terrestrial DTV standard, belonging to the second generation, is the most common broadcast format in our country.

Almost all modern TVs are equipped with a standard digital signal receiver. For older models that do not have a special module for a digital signal, you should select a set-top box for the TV.

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