What’s is Android TV?
Android is starting to take over living rooms all over the world. With Google’s next big push of the Android operating system, little green androids are popping on on TVs everywhere. While Android TV seems to just now be catching on in the year of 2015 , you may have experience a version of this back in 2010 with device like the Logitech Revue. Back then it was called “Google TV” and it has improved immensely since then.
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So Android TV is exactly what it sounds like. It’s Android on your TV. You can run apps from the Play store, login to all of your social media, use email, browse the web and a whole lot more (wink, wink).
Similar to your phone or tablet, Android TV will receive Google’s updates to the platform, so you can always have the latest features. Most of the time Android TV devices can be rooted and modified just like any other device.
What Can Android TV Do?
While listing every feature of Android TV would take quite a while, let’s go over some of our favorite features and what they do. Kay?
Mirroring your phone’s screen to your TV used to involve HDMI adapters or special miracast wireless devices. Cast Screen does away with all of that nonsense, by streaming the display on your phone through your wireless internet. It works surprisingly well. This feature can be used by downloading the Chromecast app to your phone or tablet, from the PlayStore. Get the Chromecast App
Android TV honestly has an amazing YouTube experience. It is the best way to watch YouTube on your TV. The user interface is designed to be used easily with a remote or voice. The voice feature works really well. All you have to do is say “How to make friends” and videos related to that topic will be found.
The selection of awesome games on the Android Play Store are starting to rival console gaming. Google is taking a step close by integrating gaming controllers to give you a better gaming experience. You can even play with your friends by connecting up to four controllers. If you’re like me and don’t have any friends, you can create stuffed dolls and dress them up with cheap outfits you order online. Just set the controller in their laps and change your voice when you’re talking in their place, as you pretend to have wild arguments over who’s using wall-hacks.
But all of this is just “Out-of-the-box” stuff. We can do so much more than that. Let me show you.
Attach External Storage
That’s right, you can hookup your external hard drive to Android TV. Depending on what kind of hardware you have that runs Android TV, you can either plug it in VIA USB or get a USB OTG cable that allows you to plug in USB devices into the Micro USB port. This is a great way to store all of your legally obtained movies.
Don’t pirate movies or music. It makes you a bad person and you deserve to be locked up in prison for a very disproportionately long amount of time. But if you want to torrent legal stuff, use the external hard drive trick from above, go into your uTorrent settings, point the download location to your external storage, and now you’ve got the ultimate torrenting machine.
Chrome doesn’t come stock with Android TV. However, you can sideload .APK files with the ES File Explorer app found in the TV Play store. While the experience is kind of barnacles with the remote, just hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse and you’ve get a great browser setup on your TV.
How Do I Get Android TV?
Many new TVs are coming preloaded with Android TV, which is awesome. But if you’re not ready to drop a stack on a new screen, the best option is the Nexus Player. *Read this next part in Goofy’s voice from Mickey Mouse* The Player will come with a cute little remote, a small round device running Android TV, and a whole lot of fun! *Thanks for doing that. It means a lot.*
The Nexus Player is usually around $79 depending on where you get it, and it’s a great little device.