Want to save money on a TV streaming box? Learn how to make your own Android TV box on a Raspberry Pi 4!
Android TV may be made without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a new TV. In actuality, all you need is a microSD card and a $50 portable computer. For a small portion of the price of a new TV, you can build your own Raspberry Pi Android TV box that you may configure however you want.
Learn how to install Android TV on Raspberry Pi 4 and 400 computers.
Android TV Box on a Raspberry Pi
Before getting started, it's critical to understand that the Android and Android TV versions used in this project are beta versions. Because of this, they have several shortcomings that you may not experience with a real Android TV device.
There are two Raspberry Pi models suitable for running Android TV:
- Raspberry Pi 4
- Raspberry Pi 400
The greatest results may be obtained using a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM.
The Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400 steps are shown below.
Here's all you need to do to make a Raspberry Pi smart TV without spending money on a new Android TV:
Note: It is possible to install Android on a Raspberry Pi 3 or 3B+; however, doing so would significantly slow things down. Furthermore, no acceptable user interface exists to offer an Android TV-like experience. As a result, a Raspberry Pi 4 is your best Android TV option.
Install Android TV Box on a Raspberry Pi 4 or 400
To make your own Android TV box on a Raspberry Pi 4, you'll need:
- Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB or 8GB models)
- A good quality microSD card (16GB)
- Raspberry Pi 4 PSU
- USB keyboard and mouse
- USB flash drive
- HDMI cable
- Ethernet cable (optional)
Step 1: Download and Install Android TV
Start by grabbing the LineageOS 20 Android TV build to install Android TV on a Raspberry Pi 4.
Download: LineageOS 20 for Android TV by KonstaKANG
The SD card should then have LineageOS installed using Etcher. For more information, see our guide on installing a Raspberry Pi OS.
Eject the SD card once it is finished, place it in your Raspberry Pi 4 or 400, and then boot the computer.
Step 2: Pair a Bluetooth Controller
You may use a Bluetooth remote (or a spare game controller) with the Raspberry Pi Android TV.
You will be prompted to pair the controller after the first boot, so make sure it is in pairing mode first. To pair, follow the pairing instructions on the screen. It should be noted that both wireless and cabled USB controllers, as well as a mouse and/or keyboard, may be used.
After completing this, click “Start” and “Accept” the EULA. Choose your “Location“, choose the best Wi-Fi network, and then click “Skip” if you wish to set up Wi-Fi later or are using Ethernet. Click Start to start using the Android TV environment after unchecking the telemetry option (LineageOS Features).
Step 3: Learn to Use Android TV on Raspberry Pi
It's a good time to familiarise yourself with the controls before you start installing any applications. If you're using a keyboard, this is a very smart idea.
The controls are as follows:
- F1 = Home
- F2 = Back
- F3 = View open apps
- F4 = Menu
- F5 = Power
- F11 = Volume down
- F12 = Volume up
It's worth noting that tapping F5 will put the device into standby mode. Hold F5 to do a complete shutdown. Other power options may be found in the Settings > System menu.
Step 4: Update Android TV
Check for updates to verify you're using the most recent and secure version of Android TV. Navigate to Settings > System > Updater. If there is a new update available, click Update and wait for the package to download. When this is finished, click Install and wait.
Note: Determine how often the system checks for updates using the Preferences button.
Step 5: Install Streaming Apps
Google Apps are not currently supported by this version of Android TV. You will thus need to sideload APK files.
The best way to do this is to grab a bunch of suitable apps from a safe APK download website.
- A VPN
- A browser
- VLC player
- Your usual media streaming apps
After that, copy them to a USB storage device. Connect it to your Raspberry Pi and open the File Manager app on Android TV. To install an APK, follow these steps:
- Browse the APKs
- Select one to install.
- At the warning, click “Continue“.
- When you are sure you want to install the app, click “Install“.
- Click “Open” to use it, or “Done” to install another.
Note: Popular apps may not function in Some versions. Try older releases instead. This involves an amount of trial and error.
Step 6: Reboot Your Raspberry Pi 4 to Use Android TV
You may start using Android TV after you have installed the Google apps. Log in to your accounts, download media streaming applications, or attach your media to the system. Everything is there for you!
Do you need more configuration? This build of Android TV for Raspberry Pi 4 has several setup tweaks that you may make. This covers everything from installing a hardware power button to setting up SSH. You may also use an IR remote to control the device and send audio via the 3.5mm jack instead of HDMI.
In Settings > System > Raspberry Pi settings, you may find options specific to the Raspberry Pi 4.
On the download page of the KostaKANG website, you can find tweaks and troubleshooting tips, and you may still make them in the /boot/ partition. If not, you now own an Android TV Raspberry Pi 4!
Enjoy Your Media With Android TV Box on a Raspberry Pi 4!
Thanks to LineageOS and the Android TV user interface, you should now have a Raspberry Pi 4 (or 400) with an Android TV streaming user interface and music player. You now have a DIY Raspberry Pi TV box that is powered by Android TV.