October 29, 2022·6 min·1265 words·Michele Wood
Build Your Own Android TV Box with Raspberry Pi (2021)
I have written this guide keeping beginners in mind so if you are completely new to Raspberry Pi, don’t worry. Just go by the instructions and you will be running your custom Android TV on Raspberry Pi. For your ease, you can jump between sections from the table below.
- You will need a monitor or TV to set up and install Android TV on Raspberry Pi. This can’t be done remotely.
- HDMI cable based on your board. Raspberry Pi 4 will need a micro HDMI to HDMI cable whereas Raspberry Pi 3 will require an HDMI to HDMI cable.
- Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 are only supported for Android TV and they must have at least 2GB of RAM.
- A microSD card having free space of 16GB or more.
- Keyboard and mouse. If you have a wireless combo one then that’s even better.
- A power adapter based on your board.
First of all, to build an Android TV Box with Raspberry Pi, you need to download Android TV OS for Raspberry Pi. KonstaKANG is a popular developer known for building all sorts of Android ROMs for Raspberry Pi. The TV OS is based on Lineage OS and is available in many versions including Android 9, 10, and the latest 11. Based on your board, you can download any Android TV version but I would recommend Android TV 10 for stability. That said, for this guide, I am trying out Android 11 just to check how well it runs. You can click here to head over to the download page for RPi 4. If you want to download Android TV OS for RPi3 then click on the Devices menu on the top-right corner.
Next, you need to download the GApps package as the Android TV build does not come with Google apps and services. If you are installing Android TV 10 then open this link and simply click on the download button (make sure “tvstock” is selected). If you are like me, trying a newly released Android TV 11 build then click here and download the “tvstock” test build.
Next, you need to download balenaEtcher(Free) to flash the Android TV OS onto the SD card.
Install Android TV on Raspberry Pi (2021)
- Once you have downloaded the Android TV build, extract it and you will get an IMG file.
- Next, fire up balenaEtcher and select the Android TV IMG file. In my case, it’s an Android TV 11 build, but you may have a different version. After that, choose the SD card and click on “Flash!“.
- Once the flashing process is done, remove the SD card and insert it into the Raspberry Pi. In addition,connect a mouse and keyboard. Finally, connect the power source and HDMI cable to the monitor/TV.
- Within seconds, you will findLineage OS loading upon the screen.
- After a while, you will be on the barebone Android TV home screen. Now we need to add Google Play Store and Services on our Android TV. By the way, to go back, press the F2 key on the keyboard. And some keyboard shortcuts for Android TV on Raspberry Pi are: F1 = Home, F2 = Back, F3 = Multi-tasking, F4 = Menu, Press and hold F5 = Power Menu, F11 = Volume down, and F12 = Volume up.
Install Google Play Store and Services on Your Custom Raspberry Pi Android TV Box
- Now that you have installed Android TV on Raspberry Pi, it’s time to add support for Google Play Store and other services. Use a thumb drive and move the GApps package (ZIP file) to Raspberry Pi from your computer.
- Once you have moved the GApps package, open Settings -> Device Preferences -> About -> Scroll down to the Build menu. Now, click on the “Build” menu 7-8 times continuously. It will enable Developer Options on Android TV.
- Next, go back to Device Preferences and scroll down. You will find “Developer Options“. Open it.
- Here, turn on “Advanced Reboot“.
- Now, to restart Android TV on Raspberry Pi, open Settings -> Device preferences -> Reboot -> Recovery. This will take you to TWRP Recovery.
- You will now boot into the TWRP recovery. If prompted, click on “Swipe to Allow Modifications”. After that, open “Install“.
- Here,choose the GApps packagethat we transferred to the Raspberry Pi.
- Finally, click on “Swipe to confirm Flash“.
- Now, click on the TWRP icon on the top-right corner and it will take you to the main menu. This time, move toWipe -> Swipe to Factory Reset.
- Once the reset is complete, click on “Reboot” on the same page.
- Voila, you will boot directly into Android TV on your Raspberry Pi. And this time, you will be prompted with the Google Setup. Now, go ahead and follow the on-screen instructions. I will suggest you not add your primary Google account as Google has been lately terminating accounts for unknown policy violations. If you get a popup to set up a remote, press “Esc” on the keyboard. Further, if you face an error during Google login, use the remote option for on-device login.
- So here it is. Google Play Store, Chromecast, and all Google services are available on your Raspberry Pi-based Android TV and working absolutely fine. In case, Chromecast is not working or apps like Netflix are not available then follow the below fix.
Fix Chromecast on Raspberry Pi-based Android TV Box
- If Chromecast is not working on your Raspberry Pi, there is nothing to worry about. You can manually enroll your custom Android TV on Google’s list of certified devices. To begin with, install the Device ID appby Evozi (Play Store/APKMirror) on Raspberry Pi. Since the Play Store on Android TV does not have this app, you will have to sideload it.
- Next, open the Device ID app and it will display the code forGoogle Service Framework(GSF). Click on it and copy the code.
- Now opengoogle.com/android/uncertified on Raspberry Pi or your computer and log in with the same Google account that you have used on the Raspberry Pi. After that, paste the GSF code and click on “Register“. You have finally done it. Now, wait for 5-10 minutes and Chromecast should start working.
- If you are still facing issues then restart your RPi-based Android TV. Press and hold the F5 key and click on Restart. This time, Chromecast should work fine.
- To further customize your Raspberry Pi-based Android TV, head over to Settings -> Device Preferences -> Raspberry Pi Settings.
- You can even add an IR remote to your Raspberry Android TV setup. Just enable the Infrared remote toggle and use your IR remote to control Android TV. For more information, head over to the developer’s documentation.
Install Android TV on Raspberry Pi to Make Your TV Smart
So that is how you can install Android TV and utilize Raspberry Pi as an Android TV Stick or Box. I know the installation process is a bit lengthy, but once you set it up, everything works fine. I even tested the latest Android 11 build and it worked like a charm. So go ahead and try it out.
Additionally, we would recommend you install Pi-hole on your Raspberry Pi to clean your home network from ads and trackers. And if you are wondering, yes you can set up Raspberry Pi remotely without a monitor or Ethernet/HDMI cable. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are facing any issues then let us know in the comment section below.
You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new TV to get Android TV. In fact, all you need is a compact $50 computer and a microSD card. You can make your own Raspberry Pi Android TV box for a fraction of the price of a new TV, and configure it exactly how you want.How to make bootable USB for Android TV box? ›
- Step 1 - Prepare your Bootable USB Format one of the USB drive. ...
- Step 2 - Download Flash Burner Download the Open Source Flash burner balenaEtcher. ...
- Step 3 - Writing the OS Image into USB Select the downloaded Operating System Image, select the formatted USB Drive and Flash!
Your Raspberry Pi can substitute the functionality of a smart TV, making a so-called dumb TV into a smart TV. So, what should you expect from it? The ability to play media from a USB storage device or external HDD. This is possible via a USB port on smart TVs.How do you set up an Android TV box from scratch? ›
- Turn off your TV and connect your box to your TV using an HDMI cable. Plug in the box's power cable and pair your remote.
- Select the language you wish to use and connect the TV box to your wifi. Then, sign into your Google account.
- Search for games, shows, and movies on your TV.
To run Android on Raspberry Pi, you would need a robust Android version that is regularly updated and actively developed. There are versions in the wild out there, but the best way for running Android on Raspberry Pi is to go with a tested system.Is it legal to have an Android TV Box? ›
Media streaming boxes are devices such as Android TV or Kodi boxes. They are legal until they are altered with apps or add-ons that allow users to access 'paid for' material for free. This could be subscription TV, premium sports channels and new films. Using apps or add-ons like these is against the law.What format does a USB need to be for Android TV? ›
The FAT32 USB format is the most common format supported by TVs, although recent TVs support the ExFAT format.Can I boot TV from USB? ›
In general if you plug a flash drive or external hard drive into a TV it won't boot, including an Android powered TV. If you plug a flash drive or external hard drive into a laptop, connect the laptop to the TV via a VGA/DVI/HDMI cable, and boot the laptop it will work even if the laptop screen is broken.Can you make your own WiFi with a Raspberry Pi? ›
Connect your Raspberry Pi to an Ethernet connection.
Our Pi will become a wireless access point, but our connection to a router will be via Ethernet. This provides the strongest connection and ensures the highest speed possible.
Capturing HDMI is possible but it requires dedicated hardware called a digitiser or a video capture device. It will not work with a HDMI output. It will not work with a Raspberry Pi unless you add this hardware.
You just need to subscribe to an IPTV service or to get one of the many free channels out there. A Raspberry PI also works well as a device permanently connected to a big screen or even a beamer, without having to spend the money on a laptop or an android device that is unable to upgrade its software.What cool things can you do with an Android TV box? ›
- Make use of Google Assistant and voice control. ...
- Customized screensavers. ...
- Personalize the home screen. ...
- Video Calling with Duo (PiP Support) ...
- Mirror your phone/laptop with Chromecast. ...
- Utilize the Data saver mode. ...
- Sideload Launcher. ...
- Use your smartphone as your TV remote.
Opening Google Play Store. Look up IPTV apps in the search or type in the app's name you want to download if you are looking for a specific app. Hitting the 'download' button and following the instructions given to get the app installed on your device.What is required for Android TV box? ›
Choose an Android TV box that has at least 4 GB of RAM and storage of at least 32 GB. Moreover, be sure to purchase a TV box that supports the external storage of at least a 64 GB microSD card.Which Android version is best for Raspberry Pi? ›
A developer named KonstaKANG is popular for making Android ROMs for Raspberry Pi 3 and 4. The ROMs are based on Lineage OS and available in many versions, including Android 9, 10, and 11. Depending on your board, download any Android version, but I would recommend Android 10 for stability.What's the most powerful Raspberry Pi? ›
The Raspberry Pi 4 is the one with the strongest specifications in the Raspberry Pi stable of single-board computers (SBC). It is the most powerful of all Raspberry Pis with the highest amount of RAM and the fastest clock speed.What is the Android equivalent to Raspberry Pi? ›
|Best Raspberry Pi alternative||Processor|
|Odroid N2+||Amlogic S922X -- 4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.2GHz, 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.9GHz|
|Udoo Bolt V3||AMD Ryzen Embedded V1202b dual core/quad thread @ 2.3ghz (3.2ghz Boost)|
|Raspberry Pi Computer Module 4||4-Core 1.5GHz 64-bit CPU|
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Android TV boxes are enormously popular. They're great for cord-cutters, people who want to improve their TV's smart capabilities, anyone who uses Kodi and Plex to manage their own media, people who travel a lot, and more.Does Android TV box have free channels? ›
We're also launching free built-in channels from Google TV that you can watch without even downloading or launching an app. In total, you can now browse over 800 channels and premium programming, including news channels from NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX.
- Audio: AAC, FLAC, MP3, MIDI, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, PCM/WAVE, WMA, AC3, DTS.
- Video: H. 263, H. 264 AVC,H. 265 HEVC, MPEG-4 SP, VP8, VP9 (4K TV only), WMV, VP6, MJPEG.
To make sure the flash drive can be read on your Android, a proper file system is vital. If you want to use it with Android, the file system for the USB drive should be FAT32. If you need to format Android flash drive to FAT32, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition is recommended.Can Android TV play from USB? ›
Google TV and Android TV models
On the remote control, press the HOME button. Connect the USB device. Wait for a few minutes until the screen of the application selection appears. Note: Depending on the TV model, a notification will appear on the TV screen.
It is recommended to choose an Android TV box with a5 GHz Quad-Core CPU or higher than this (octa-core preferred). Storage: It is also an important factor that affects performance. Most Android TV boxes come in the range of 8GB-64GB.How to install apps from USB in Android TV? ›
- On your Android TV, go to the Home screen.
- Scroll down and select Settings .
- Under "Device," select Apps.
- Select the app you want to move.
- Scroll down and select Storage used.
- Select your USB drive.
- Connect the USB to your PC.
- Transfer the APK file from your PC to your USB.
- Connect the USB to your Android TV.
- When the file appears on the screen, click on it.
- The installation will begin automatically.
For starters, Google TV is the more modern, updated version of the Android-powered platform, providing more features, better compatibility with Google services, and generally a better user experience across the board.What is the latest version of Android TV? ›
Android TV 12 was released on November 30, 2021, with rollouts planned for late 2022. Android TV 13 was released on December 2, 2022 for developers using the ADT-3 development kit.How to install Android OS on USB drive? ›
- Visit the Android x86 download page to find a list of available downloads. Android x86 Project.
- Look for the latest Android ISO files. Depending on the computer you use the Android USB on, choose between the 64-bit and 32-bit files. ...
- Select the latest ISO. ...
- Save the ISO file.
All you have to do is plug in the Ethernet cable onto your home router, then plug in your raspberry pi using the other end of the Ethernet cable. Once you connect your raspberry pi, the network LEDs should start to flicker. If you are utilizing a raspberry pi zero, you will require a USB Ethernet adapter.
If you want to connect your Raspberry Pi to the internet, you can plug an Ethernet cable into it (if you have a Raspberry Pi Zero, you'll need a USB-to-Ethernet adapter as well). If your model is a Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 3, or Raspberry Pi Zero W, you can also connect to a wireless network.Can Raspberry Pi become router? ›
You can configure Raspberry Pi as a wireless router or a wired router. You can connect your Raspberry Pi to a wireless Wi-Fi network which has internet connectivity and route the internet traffic to the wired network interface. This way, you can use your Raspberry Pi as a wired router.Why are Raspberry Pi so expensive? ›
The shortage in stock is due to supply chain issues which affected any components which used semiconductors. The Raspberry Pi range was not alone in this: graphics cards, along with other PC components, also saw stock shortages and high demand. It's also difficult to buy a bare board.Can Raspberry Pi be powered from USB port TV? ›
In theory, you could use this USB port to power your Raspberry Pi. In reality, however, that is a very bad idea and is likely to have a negative impact on stability. For any signage deployment, you should be using a dedicated Power Supply Unit (PSU) for each Raspberry Pi.What is used to connect TV to Raspberry Pi? ›
What do we use to connect TV to RPi? Explanation: HD TV's and most LCD Monitors can be connected using a full-size male HDMI cable, and with an inexpensive adapter if DVI is used. HDMI version 1.4 cable is recommended. 4.Can a Raspberry Pi control a TV? ›
Searching for the model of your TV should help you find what this setting is called. Using the HDMI-CEC protocol, you can use your Raspberry Pi to control a TV in a variety of different ways, such as turning it off and on or changing the volume.Do professionals use Raspberry Pi? ›
"For IT professionals, you can do a lot of coding and development with the Raspberry Pi, making it a great tool for when you want to make something and don't know where to start. Using a Raspberry Pi as the base, you can load everything that you would need on.Can you make a VPN with a Raspberry Pi? ›
Using a Raspberry Pi is a cheap way of setting up a virtual private network (VPN) that can stay online 24/7 without consuming a large amount of power. It's small and powerful enough to handle a few connections at a time making it great for private use at home.What apps can you install an Android TV box? ›
- MX Player. MX Player. ...
- Sideload Launcher. The Google Play Store on Android TV is a slimmed-down version of the smartphone version. ...
- Netflix. Netflix. ...
- Plex. Another no-brainer. ...
- AirScreen. AirScreen App. ...
- X-plore File Manager. ...
- Kodi. ...
- Wake on LAN.
Android TV Boxes and Cable TV Boxes are both set-top boxes that provide content, but they function differently. Android TV Boxes provide TVs with smart TV capabilities and connect to the Internet to get content. Cable TV Boxes, meanwhile, provide content on your TV through regular cable channels.
These versatile devices can be used to stream content to your television, play locally stored files, video games and more. With numerous options out there, many of which are from no-name brands you've never heard of, picking the best Android TV box for you can be a daunting experience.How to make your own IPTV? ›
- Research your market. ...
- Choose the right IPTV business model. ...
- Obtain the necessary licenses and permissions. ...
- Select the right solution providers and suppliers for your IPTV business. ...
- Build a customer base. ...
- Offer a wide range of content. ...
- Promote your IPTV business.
IPTV is legal as long as the service provider holds the correct licenses for all the content it provides. In other words, an IPTV provider needs the copyright owner's permission to host streams of copyrighted TV programs, films, or other content. Services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are completely legal.How do I set up free channels on my Android TV box? ›
- On your Android TV, go to the Home screen.
- Scroll down to the "Apps" row.
- Select the Live Channels app.
- Press the Select button.
- Under "TV Options," select Channel setup. ...
- Choose which channels you want to show up in your program guide.
- To return to your Live Channels stream, press the Back button.
Yes and No. Yes, if you are going to watch movies or only video content on the Android TV. If you want to play games, it may not be sufficient. If you want to download more apps than the default apps given by the Android TV manufacturer and you have the habit of keeping many apps open, then 1GB RAM is not sufficient.How to run Android APK on Raspberry Pi? ›
- Step 1 Register an account. ...
- Step 2 Download the installer. ...
- Step 3 Flash the microSD card. ...
- Step 4 Start F-Droid. ...
- Step 5 Find an app. ...
- Step 6 Install an App. ...
- Step 7 Sideloading Android apps: Use an APK.
- 1032. Stremio. Free • Open Source. ...
- 1402. Kodi. Free • Open Source. ...
- 827. Plex. Freemium • Proprietary. ...
- 897. Android. Free • Open Source. ...
- 157. Emby. Freemium • Proprietary. ...
- Splash. Free • Proprietary. Media Player. ...
- Plasma Bigscreen. Free • Open Source. Operating System. ...
- Google Home. Free • Proprietary.
For home users, a Raspberry Pi B works just fine for 10-15+ clients. We even asked you how many devices you had: here were your responses. But if you read the above section, you should feel a confident it can handle your home network, even if it has lot's of IoT devices in addition to your user devices.What can Raspberry Pi not do? ›
It does not replace the computer, and the processor is not as fast. It is a time consuming to download and install software i.e.; unable to do any complex multitasking. Not compatible with the other operating systems such as Windows.How long can HDMI be for Raspberry Pi? ›
Re: Max length for hdmi cable
You could do 25' with no problem at all.
- Step 2: Download the emteria OS installer. ...
- Step 3: Select between the stability levels. ...
- Step 4: Flash the emteria. ...
- Step 5: Insert the SD Card into the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ device. ...
- Step 6: Configure the new Android installation. ...
- Step 7: Configure an app store. ...
- Manually updating Android on Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Waydroid uses Linux namespaces (user, pid, uts, net, mount, ipc) to run a full Android system in a container and provide Android applications on any GNU/Linux-based platform (arm, arm64, x86, x86_64). The Android system inside the container has direct access to needed hardware through LXC and the binder interface.Which OS is best for TV Linux or Android? ›
If you need to have a familiar interface—almost the same as in a smartphone—and wish to install your apps, opt for an Android TV device. If you prefer a simple interface without unnecessary apps and don't want to rely on Google services, choose Linux.