Are Android TV /Set-Top boxes illegal? Learn what you must know to play safe

In my post some weeks back, I critically analysed the legal issues facing IPTV technology. Today, we shall be discussing in details, some uncertainties surrounding android tv boxes legality. Especially relevant, I mean; are android tv set-top IPTV boxes legal? Is it lawful to own and use any IPTV set-top box?. Are any decoder with the capabilities of opening channels using IPTV technology legal?. Going forward, I will first reiterate some facts that support the lawfulness of the usage of IPTV boxes.

android tv boxes legality

Must read: What is IPTV and all you need to know about it



To the best of my knowledge android tv boxes or IPTV set-top boxes are widely and legally available. They are been used all over the world. They are available anywhere there is the internet. By definition, i will say an IPTV set-top box, is a media player that affords the owner to stream all sort of digital video contents from the internet.

To begin with, The purchasing of set-top boxes to watch content from the internet on your TV is perfectly legal.    

There are some undeniable facts that serve as a pointer to the lawfulness of IPTV. As at today, more than 2 billion of the world population is using IPTV. Apple tv(by apple), Chromecast (by Google), Amazon fire stick(by Amazon), Roku stick are among the earliest and the best streaming devices. If such media giants can product IPTV sticks and boxes, it means IPTV boxes in itself is 100% legal.


Furthermore, developed countries of the world like UK, USA, Canada France and the likes have the highest concentration of IPTV users dues to their fantastic internet connection. Noteworthy is the fact that there is no law be it local or international that bans the production and distribution of IPTV set top boxes.

Much as the foregoing, an IPTV box preloaded with only Kodi app is 100% legal. You can quote me anywhere. Having just Kodi on an IPTV box doesn’t make that box illegal. Same as downloading and using official Kodi add-ons does not get you into the wrong arms of the law. Official kodi add-ons can be downloaded via kodi installers itself. Also, we should all note that for the fact that kodi can be used illegally does not make kodi illegal. If Kodi is illegal, Android OS will be the most illegal operating system ever. Google android os is open source same as Kodi xbmc.


Seems like, we are contradicting ourselves here. My readers, we are not. I shall explain how you can be in a position of being prosecuted for using IPTV boxes. android tv boxes legality issues have lingered for long and I am very certain that this article will clear the air once and for all. Since the production and acquisition are legal, what then is illegal about IPTV boxes mean, where is does android tv boxes legality problems arise. Most of all, we will try to simplify this as much as possible:

  • First of all, Authorities are saying that it is ILLEGAL to modify set-top boxes to receive digital TV subscription channels for free.
  • As much as an android tv box preloaded with kodi is legal, any android tv box preloaded with 3rd party addons that violate any copyright protection is illegal. Probably, you buy one without any 3rd party add-ons.
  • Paying manufacturers of any android tv box any subscription fee apart from the one you used in purchasing the box is illegal. This is due to the fact that, for you to pay a subscription, it simply means that some copyright protected apps or services have been added to your box.
  • Nobody should ask you to pay for Kodi app if that Kodi contains no illegal add-ons.
  • In addition to this, It is difficult to prosecute end-users in most African countries because we lack major database that stores activities of the citizens. The seller of IPTV boxes that have been pre-modified to show illegal contents is more at risk of prosecution.
  • Seems like, there is this general notion that you are not guilty until proven by the law courts. I will rather say, you are not liable until you are caught. Therefore, as a personal user in Africa, you may use your android tv box illegally without anybody catching you. In the opposite, as a seller, you can be caught within minutes if it is discovered that you market or redistribute android tv boxes that contain illegal apps for viewing copyrighted contents
  • Especially relevant, Selling devices which bypass subscription services, to access pay-to-view TV, including movies and sports is against the law.
  • Also, promoting android set-top boxes and selling it to consumers to watch pay-TV is illegal.


Android tv boxes legality issues attract severe legal actions against violators. While violators in developing countries are more aggressive, offenders in advanced countries receive more severe punishments. In the UK for example, if you are guilty, you can be sentenced to jail for up to 15 years. In the opposite, here in Nigeria, for example, many sellers are hunted and raided.


In conclusion, the question now arises, how can I play safe. For sellers, the only preventive measures that you have is by following my recommendations above. I mean try and censor what you say and promote online. Do not let greediness get you into trouble. In the opposite, as a personal user, you can simply stay out of trouble by keeping your mouth shut. Do not form any bragging right on watching paytv contents without a subscription. If indeed you are doing this due to poverty, you will surely be mute. Once you step out of your ways to make it public, you may be in for it. I have once used a ps3 that was ha*ked, am currently using a rooted Android phone. The best I can do is to tell someone free, not to make money from it.

It is noteworthy that Android phone rooting, windows phone unlocking and iPhone jailbreaking are all legal. However, you can use them for illegal purposes. Hacking any PlayStation is 100% illegal though. I believe all parties can read my hand writings on the wall. Online, you do not say too much. When it comes to set-top boxes which stream content, the bottom line is that certain programmes and channels are only available through subscription pay services.


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  5. Apostle George says:

    Is it good to use an account on Android TV set up box apart from kodi?

    • @Apostle George: It is good only on official iptv services. not on 3rd party Android boxes. If you do it on 3rd party boxes, make sure it is not a content that is copyright protected.

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