Z Stream Box
The Z Stream Box is a small computer that is setup to allow fast and immediate access to free television programs, live sports and movies via internet streaming ( existing internet connection required ). Most of the streams are provided through a free program called Kodi that has been programmed with links. Using the box with this program is very similar to navigating traditional channel guides. This product also comes preloaded with applications such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, which offer many of the same shows and films as would be available through a cable television service. The Z Stream Box itself does not require a subscription, but some of the applications will cost extra in order to access some or all of their features. In addition to stream viewing experiences, the box gives the user the ability to mirror the display of a phone on the television and use the popular video chat client Skype.
Total Cost Breakdown
The cost of Z Stream Box is $397.97 plus $24.97 shipping, for a total price of $422.94.
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- Quick Setup
Connecting the device is fairly simple as it only needs to be plugged into the television ( or monitor of your choice ), the internet, and a power source. Additionally, the wireless option makes a physical internet cable unnecessary if the user has an appropriate network and login information available.
- Easy to Use
Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and many other popular video streaming services are immediately accessible through preloaded applications that appear as soon as the Z Stream Box is turned on. This is also true for other features that are included with the system. Many streams are accessible through the Kodi application, which operates similarly to channel guides on traditional cable boxes.
- Services May Need Subscription
Although the Z Stream Box is advertised as a subscription-free device, there are a number of applications that will require a separate paid subscription in order to access some or all of its features. The advertising claims are still true however, as the device itself is a one time purchase.
- Third-party Software
Many of the streams that are available with this system are accessed through software that is not made or supported by the makers of the Z Stream Box. Troubleshooting problems with such programs can be complicated and costly.
The infomercial for the Z Stream Box focuses on the comparison of this device to traditional subscription-based cable boxes. Potential savings are promoted as the primary selling point, as the access to streams that the system provides is free after the initial purchase. The advertisers demonstrate the usefulness of the device as a source of free television shows, movies, live sports, and more using internet streaming technology. An additional offer is made near the end of the video that adds a dream vacation as a gift to the purchaser, with multiple destinations available.
How it's Different from Competitors
As a competitor of television cable boxes, the Z Stream Box is unique because it does not require a subscription to physically own the system. There are no contracts and nothing will be owed to the providers of the device after the initial purchase. However, while it is often compared to cable boxes, the Z Stream Box belongs to a class of mini-computers known as media streaming devices. As a member of this group, the box is relatively common as far as look, technical specifications, and pre-installed features are concerned.
Does It Really Work?
Yes, the Z Stream Box does exactly what it claims by providing the consumer with subscription-free access to the tv shows, sports events, and movies that they would get with a cable box. The bulk of these free streams are made available with a third-party program known as Kodi. This free application is not made by the company that makes Z Stream Box. The providers of this device have preconfigured Kodi so that the user can find streams in a manner similar to browsing television channels. Other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are available through their own pre-installed apps, but will require a paid subscription to access some or all of their features.