Earlier this month, UK police was reported to have started raiding individuals selling pirate TV android boxes. Several locations were hit and it seems that it’s not over yet. Yesterday morning on June 30th, more than 2,000 mini android boxes ready for pirated TV streaming we’re seized by the Metropolitan Police‘s London Regional Intelligence Unit. The raids targeted addresses in Feltham and Sunbury, while in Dudley, West Midlands an additional 35 set-top boxes were seized along with computers, sat navs and mobile phones.
In case you are not familiar with Android-OS mini computers, they have become predominantly popular for their ability to run pirate TV apps such as XMBC – now called Kodi. Similar to a Roku or Apple TV, these mini computers are often as small as a thumb drive, or a few square inches for more powerful ones, easily connecting to your TV with HDMI connections, they can be controlled via mouse/keyboard or popular air mouse devices by USB. Network connections often rely on Wi-Fi while some devices provide a network interface port. Once configured with Kodi/XMBC, users can expand with addons to get an unrestricted collection of broadcasters.
Although it’s fairly simple to setup an Android box up with Kodi, there remains a very high demand for pre-configured TV sticks. These are the individuals the UK police chose to target. Anyone selling pre-configured Android TV sticks on a larger scale were traced and investigated using online ads and accounts. Many popular UK merchants quickly ceased selling activities on the first signs of raids. Some individuals operating from home have also been arrested. It all seems extreme, as it will certainly push UK users to turn back to online streaming sites and torrents.