The TV box market has largely moved away from the “fully-loaded” option, with streamers preferring to subscribe to paid-for apps such as Netflix and Prime Video than gambling on IPTV packages.
But if you are looking for an IPTV Android TV box that offers access to thousands of channels, then the new Tanggula 128G IPTV Box is probably one of your best bets.
The Tanggula box comes fully loaded with a huge range of live TV channels, movies, TV shows, and even access to pay-per-view events. While the initial asking price might seem a bit high, considering how much you would usually have to pay to get access to that content, it quickly pays for itself.
There are certainly problems with the device, and we will dive into those in our review. But overall, our opinion is that if you want a box that comes fully loaded with seemingly unlimited content, and no ongoing fees, you won’t find a better option.
About Tanggula TV Box
They have carved out a niche in the market by offering both high performing devices and access to over 10,000 popular channels for no subscription fees.
The streaming box itself is high-spec, capable of streaming content in both 4K and 8K, but also expensive when compared to boxes of similar specs.
But most people will be more concerned about the content you get to access. With the box, you receive access to Tanggula IPTV, which includes over 10,000 live TV channels, more than 200,000 movies, and 3,000 series to stream on-demand. The IPTV service also unlocks access to major pay-per-view sporting events.
Sadly, Tanggula doesn’t provide comprehensive information about what content is available through their box before it arrives on your doorstep. But glimpses that we have seen from user unboxing shares suggest you won’t be disappointed.
Tanggula also functions in a legal gray area, which means there are some modest risks attached to the purchase.
For all of those reasons, we have scored Tanggula a nice four out of five stars.
Technical Specs Of The 128G
But just because the main attraction of this box is the content, doesn’t mean that what is under the hood isn’t important, so let’s take a look at the technical specs.
The box starts with an AMLogic Cortex-A55 quad-core CPU, which is on par with what you would find in most 4K-enabled Android TV boxes, with the exception of top-end models, like the NVIDIA Shield, that uses a more powerful Tegra X1+ CPU.
The system runs the Android 9.0 operating system, which is designed specifically for Android TV. This means that when it comes to streaming, you have the smoothest experience. However, it does not work quite as well if you want to bring other content from the Google Play Store to your TV, like games, but this will not bother most steamers.
The machine has 4 GB of ROM, which is again pretty standard for most Android TV boxes delivering 4K, but it also has 128 GB of RAM, which means there is loads of space to store lots of content and download all your favorite apps. If you do need more storage, you can also expand with a TF card.
You can also transfer content from an external hard drive using either USB 2.0 or superfast USB 3.0 connections.
The result is that you can actually stream not only in 4K but 8K. The specs say it can deliver a maximum resolution of 8K by 4K at 24 frames per second. The real challenge is finding interesting 8K content to stream, as it is not generally available yet, but this is something for the future. But it is also capable of streaming 3D movies, again, if you can find any you want to watch.
You also shouldn’t have any trouble getting the internet speeds you need to watch high-definition content. The box features both the latest 2.4/5G Wi-Fi and a 1000M Ethernet connection if you prefer to connect directly to your broadband. This is very useful as the service has a minimum requirement of 20 Mbps and works best 50 Mbps.
However, be warned: this box will not let you stream content from Netflix or Amazon Prime in 4K. This isn’t about the specs, but authorization. It is not on the list of devices the streaming services recognize as authorized to stream their 4K content.
The remote control is also pretty basic and doesn’t feature voice command, something that has become standard with most Android TV boxes. However, it does have air-mouse functionality to make typing out passwords or titles that you are looking for a little less frustrating than stepping around the keyboard with a standard remote.
OK, so what content can you actually expect on the Tanggula?
Well, first, it comes with all the major streaming apps such as Netflix and YouTube installed, and you can also download any apps from the Google Play Store. But to access these apps, you will need an account for the individual services, which often involves a monthly fee. So, these apps aren’t the reason anyone is investing in this box.
Really, what most people will be interested in are the more than 10,000 TV channels that are available to stream without a monthly subscription fee. These include more than 7,000 local and national U.S. channels, 1,000 UK channels, almost 1,000 Canadian channels, plus a variety of other options from Turkey, Germany, and Portugal and a range of Arabic channels.
Popular channels include CNN, CNBC, ABC, Fox, and NBC. And if that seems like a lot of channels to navigate, don’t worry; you can favorite the channels you watch the most to save yourself on navigating time.
There is free access to major pay-per-view (PPV) events, such as big fights, from the likes of ESPN, UFC, WWA NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL.
There are also adult channels and parental controls to ensure that kids don’t accidentally stumble across these.
In addition to these live channels, there is also a huge range of on-demand movies and series you can watch whenever you like. Currently, the library boasts more than 200,000 movies and more than 3,000 series that are ready to stream.
The biggest problem with the app is there is nowhere you can see a full list of all the channels that are available with Tanggula. The channel list on the website is woefully thin, listing only the number of channels you get from each country. They don’t list the content available, and this is probably a reflection of the fact that they are functioning in a legal grey area.
But what this means for you is that you are going in a little bit blind when you make your purchase and don’t have any guarantee that the content on offer is the content you are looking for.
That said, if you watch any of the unboxing videos made by Tanggula users available on YouTube, you can get a glimpse of what is available. From these videos, the channel selection seems comprehensive and the movies and series that are available are the kinds of new releases and popular shows most people would expect. The service seems to be particularly strong when it comes to sports coverage.
All this content is delivered by the Tanggula IPTV app, which used to be available to purchase separately, but is currently only available when you purchase a Tanggula box. It is unclear whether that will continue to be the case or whether the app will become available again. On the website, it is simply listed as “out of stock.”
The box comes with the ability to record programs to watch later using “Catch-Up” mode. You can also pause live TV if you need to leave the room for some reason and you don’t want to miss anything from your program.
The Tanggula box also features a multi-screen mode that lets you watch up to four channels on a single stream at the same time if you are so inclined. This can be useful if there is more than one big game you don’t want to miss or if you like to browse across various news channels to see how things are being reported. If you choose to use this mode, you can expect four times 1080P at 24 frames per second.
Price And Is It Worth It?
The Tanggula 128GB IPTV Box can only be bought directly from the supplier and is quite expensive at $300.
But considering that a (now unavailable) subscription to the Tanggula app only is listed $99, the box itself is costing you around $200. This makes it comparable in price to the NVIDIA Shield, one of the most high-end boxes currently on the market. So, if you were just looking at the box, it wouldn’t be worth the price-tag.
But the fact is that we aren’t looking at the box, we are looking at the content, which is currently only available when you purchase one of the Tanggula boxes. And, whether you look at getting lifetime access to that content as costing a one-off fee of $99 or a one-off fee of $300, it represents a lot of value.
Let’s compare it to the cost of other live TV subscription services such as Sling TV or Philo TV, which don’t come with the movie and show package that we see with Tanggula.
Sling TV is one of the best live TV services currently on the market, offering the best channels and great choices to select what you want. Packages range from $30-$45 per month, and there are also lots of add-ons you may see yourself needing to buy. So, you are looking at paying at least $360 per year for a basic package, much more than you are paying for Tanggula.
A more price-friendly competitor is Philo TV, which costs $20 per month with no hidden fees, but that is still $240 per year. They only offer 60 channels at the moment, and some of the major channels aren’t there, including the major sports channels, Disney, HBO, the CW, and so on.
So, Tanggula just doesn’t really have any competition out there when it comes to how much content they offer for their one-off price-tag.
We said at the start of this article that there are some risks attached to investing in the Tanggula. These stem from the fact that Tanggula functions in a legal gray area as a result of unclear laws around these types of streaming services.
This results in three main risks.
First, Tanggula could be forced to shut down suddenly, in which case you would lose access to your content. If you have already had access to Tanggula for a year, you might not feel too hard done by. But, if it happens next week, it could feel like a lot of money wasted.
Second, because of the legally dubious nature of their business, if you do find yourself in dispute with the company for some reasons, for example if they temporarily cut off your access to the service or request additional subscription fees, you may be excluded from any kind of legal recourse.
Finally, if you make your Tanggula purchase in your name and with your credit card details, Tanggula will have a record of your purchase. If they are investigated for their activity, authorities may also gain access to that information.
While, currently, authorities in the U.S. pursue the distributors or illegal content rather than the consumers, legally, they could pursue you if they so wished.
These risks are all relatively unlikely, but they are, nevertheless, risks.
When it comes to technical specs, the Tanggula 128G Android TV Box isn’t anything special. But if you choose to buy one, you won’t be buying it for the hardware; you will be buying it for the content.
Tanggula offers one of the few fully loaded TV boxes on the market. It comes preloaded with access to more than 10,000 live TV channels, and a library of more than 200,000 movies and 3,000 shows to stream.
You get access to that content for life when you buy the box. Considering how much you would have to pay for the content available via individual subscriptions, that is a very good deal.
That doesn’t mean that it is without risks. Tanggula is operating in a legal area, so there is a chance that they could be shutdown at any time and that you lose your content. But for many, that is a risk that they are willing to take.
Do you have a Tanggula Android TV box at home? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments section below.