This is a very common question, so lets get to it! We will also discuss the advantages & disadvantages;
1) There is no such thing as ‘jailbroken’ on android – although you will see many advertisements with ‘jailbroken/unlocked’ as a marketing gimmick. They just mean that the ‘box is unlocked you can watch everything’ etc.
The real term ‘Jailbroken’ is applicable to iPhones only. The equivalent for Android is called ‘root’. If a device is ‘rooted’, it provides ‘root access’ or more permissions in simple terms. For example, you can make the device do things that non-rooted devices cannot, ie; you can edit the devices name or change the animation video that appears when you first turn the device on. You can also browse hidden directories and folders on your device, and make changes in those directories (think of this like the ‘Run as Administrator’ function on Window’s PC’s). You can remove bloatware (pre-installed manufacturer apps) & much more – but this is not really something the average user will take advantage of nor have any interest in. It does come handy for developers or people with the ‘know-how’ interested in taking full advantage of their device. Certain functions or apps will not work without ‘root’.
2) Some paid streaming apps for Android block devices which are ‘rooted’. This includes Presto & Stan (but not NetFlix).
I believe they do this as a security precaution, although in reality it’s just paranoia. A rooted device cannot access Presto or Stan for free without a legitimate account. Hence the big players like ‘NetFlix’ know this and do not block any rooted devices (this means you can use NetFlix on a rooted device).
NOTE: FOXTEL NOW / FOXTEL GO does not work on ANY Android TV BOX (including non-rooted ones) – this is not due to ‘root’, they block any device which have HDMI output (because they dont want you to watch this app on your TV, as that will hurt their standard Foxtel cable service).
3) If you are interested in having a ‘non-rooted’ device (or a ‘rooted’ device), please note the below:
NON ROOTED ANDROID TV BOXES:
– MINIX (all models) – MINIX devices have never come rooted from factory, and are recommended for those looking to use official paid streaming services like Stan or Presto.
– XMEDEX (all models). XMEDEX devices do not come rooted from factory, however, they have a cool feature in the settings; they have a ‘one click’ root option > which roots the device with a simple click. They also have the option to ‘remove root’ with a single click. So that’s something to take note of for those who wish to experiment.
ROOTED ANDROID TV BOXES:
All other Android TV Boxes are rooted from factory (this includes tronsmart, beelink and other generic devices). You cannot unroot them (while it is technically possible, it is not recommended to try – as it is very easy to ‘brick’ the device in the process and render it unusable). Please remember that you can use NetFlix on rooted devices, aswell as many other official paid apps and services. (the only 2 apps we have come across which block rooted devices are Stan & Presto).