If you’re looking for the advice on the best nz streaming boxes then you’ve come to the right place. Currently owning and operating such devices in NZ is perfectly legal, what you actually do with the device is the problem.
Early in 2017 Sky TV started upping their fight against internet piracy, targeting a small Hamilton business called MyBox that offered IPTV through a streaming box for a one time fee of $259. I’d avoid buying a streaming box from anyone who promises you free Sky channels for a one time fee.
Since then, media players and streaming boxes have come a long way. We now have devices from Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xiaomi Mi Box and countless Chinese imports. While these devices have good intentions, they can be used for bypassing geo restrictions and side loading apps that would otherwise be blocked.
Years ago, tech savvy IT guys would download movies on Limewire, then came torrent sites, usenet servers and more recently streaming sites such as Putlocker.
Fast forward a few years and android streaming boxes, magboxes and even Roku and Amazon Fire TV stick’s can be used to watch free premium TV.
If you have a VPN running, you can watch geo blocked TV such as iPlayer, ITV, BBC Sport, Kayo Sports etc from New Zealand on these devices.
Any streaming box can stream illicit content, it’s a fact. We’re not going to go into details on how to do this but if you know where to look you can download an IPTV app or install Kodi plugins that faciliate this process. Just make sure you’re using a VPN if you are.
You can actually do this on a smartphone, it’s no different to a streaming box.
So whether you have good intentions or bad, here is the best nz streaming boxes.
NZ Streaming Boxes
Amazon Fire TV ($39 USD)
Believe it or not, the best nz streaming box is actually the Amazon Fire TV which comes loaded with a pre-set interface with their hidden gem deep inside the settings area.
The best way to get your hands on one is buying on Amazon and shipping to Myus.com or Youshop.co.nz and forwarding this to NZ. We recently did this and it was $39 ($55nzd) for the box, then $20 for shipping. Total landed cost was $75. Compare this with Apple TV or the Roku and you’re saving a fortune.
With a few tweaks you can sideload android .apk files into the box allowing you to install those all important apps. For example you could sideload an IPTV app and sign up for a subscription.
Alternatively many eBay sellers will ship you one with Kodi and other apps pre-loaded.
The Fire TV is definitely the most powerful streaming box at the lowest price.
Roku Ultra 4 Media Streamer ($89 USD)
Depending what you’re actually planning to watch with your media streamer then a Roku 4 might be your best bet. It’s far more powerful than the Amazon Fire TV yet offers mostly similar features.
The main downside to the Roku is the inability to sideload apps, however a quick search online reveals the Roku hidden channel feature that allows you to add a wide variety of unofficial apps such as IPTV and geo restricted content.
Adding to this is the usual apps such as Netflix, Amazon and Vudu however you’ll need to ensure you setup your Roku correctly before using it within your home in New Zealand. This might be the biggest turn off for most people, as you need to use a smart dns VPN provider.
Regardless, if you do setup smart dns in your router, you can choose to register the device as a UK or US device giving you access to BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Netflix UK or the US offerings of Vudu, ESPN, Netflix US, Hulu, Time Warner and much more. There’s no NZ apps available on the Roku and it’s a nightmare changing firmware once setup.
Xiaomi Mi Box NZ ($85 USD)
If you want to download apps within minutes of opening the box then Xiaomi is definitely the best nz streaming box to checkout. You’ll need to purchase one from Amazon (it’s approx $85 USD)
You’re unlikely to find this on Trademe so head straight to Amazon and be sure to change the plug to Australian on checkout.
Once it arrives you’ll want to download an IPTV app. The box also comes with the usual Netflix, Hulu and other android apps. You can download .apk files and install these manually too using the sideloading method mentioned above.
MagBox NZ ($99 USD)
If you don’t care for apps such as Netflix and just want to stream content then getting yourself a Magbox is the best idea.The most popular ones are the Mag254 and Mag256.
You’ll need to look further afield to get one of these, although I have found one on Amazon.
A MAG box is a set-top box for streaming media to your television. You can play offline media files from a storage device through the USB port. Most users choose a MAG over an Android box because of its native support of the Stalker middleware. This allows you to connect to remote servers to watch live TV or stream VOD movies.
A quick Google images search will show you what this box does, it’s probably what MyBox was actually selling, who knows?
Best NZ Streaming Box
If you’re looking for a streaming only device then you’ll want to get yourself a Magbox. These devices will never be sold in New Zealand so you’ll need to order one from Europe.
If you’re looking for a android streaming box for NZ then you should consider the MiBox or the Amazon TV. Personally I’d go for the MiBox due to the power and open interface, Amazon offers too many restrictions.