The smart tv. As much as the cell phone we carry in our pocket. Android TV is Google’s operating system of choice to allow televisions connect to the internet, watch videos and in short, do everything we can do on a smartphone but big.
We have been using Android on mobile for many years and almost all users know how it works. Download applications, talk on WhatsApp, take photos and all kinds of tricks. However, Android TV is a new system for many, although its operation is similar to what we have on mobile phones.
Due to the growing sale of smart televisions we are going to do a complete review of the system, the best apps for Android TV, tricks you should know and a couple of tutorials to Watch football, which in the end is what many of us want a big TV for.
Android TV, video analysis
Take advantage of the potential of Google Play on your TV
To perform this Android TV review We have not used the Nvidia Shield or a TV Box like Xiaomi, we have opted for a standard TV with pre-installed Android TV.
So much Philips What Sony There are two manufacturers that bet on this system, being a high-end model from the Japanese firm the chosen one. This is the 55-inch XE93, although the advice in this tutorial can be applied regardless of the Android TV model you have.
As we will repeat several times, Android TV is a system that works the same as a mobile. The first step will be connect to the internet by entering the home WiFi key. Once this is done, it will ask us for access to our Gmail account, essential to download applications from the Google store. Once the television is configured we will have in front of the Android TV main interface, very colorful and based on Grid where each element represents a different application.
The full potential of Google Play on your television: the more applications you use, the more benefit you will get from Android TV
Without having to do anything, we already have pre-installed applications such as YouTube, Google Play Music, Play Movies and the Play Store itself. That from Google, from here we can directly watch videos, listen to music and most importantly, from the Play Store it will be where we will download more applications, essential to get the most out of TV.
On the other hand we have pre-installed applications from the TV manufacturer, in our case Sony. Here we find some as important as “Video“, which is still a player to view any multimedia content that we connect to the TV via USB.
With the applications that we already have as a base, we have enough a priori to use the television, but perform some specific actions require downloading specialized applications for it. If we also want to amortize the investment in the new TV, here we will name some recommended applications.
Control TV from mobile thanks to Chromecast
All televisions with Android TV come with Chromecast built in. This means that we can control television from mobile without the need for any extra device. Chromecast is a very simple system, compatible with hundreds of applications and that works through Android or iOS mobiles.
How is it configured? Very easy. The first thing will be to download the Google Home application on the mobile that we want to use as a TV remote. Once installed, we will no longer need it.
From here we have several options. The first is what is called the mirroring or sending the screen. This option only works with Android devices. What it does is just that, duplicate the screen of the smartphone. Absolutely everything that appears on the mobile will appear on TV, be it the desktop, a video, your photos, a game or even WhatsApp notifications. It is the simplest option to show something we have on our mobile in large, but sometimes it is not the most comfortable.
Android TVs come with Chromecast built in. And there is no more convenient method to send content from mobile to TV.
Our pick is Chromecast’s second option: the Cast feature. How does it work? Basically it does through the Chromecast button that we will find in many applications. Once we press what it does is send that video to TV and then the mobile is no longer necessary. We can even turn it off. What we have done is tell the TV to connect itself to the video or address that we have indicated. Is the best option to watch YouTube videos, songs, our photos and especially episodes of Netflix or HBO. You select the episodes from your mobile, press the button and voilà. Your Android TV will start playing the series and your mobile will only need it to change the chapter or put another series.
This cast function is compatible with 4K content and it is much more useful than sending the screen. Think that if we are mirroring the screen and we receive a WhatsApp, it will appear on TV. And that forces us to keep the mobile on. With Chromecast it is simpler, the mobile only serves as a remote control to play the content, but then it is not necessary. On the contrary, the remote control of the TV can be used to control the videos sent via Cast.
The mobile can also be the command of a lifetime
Another application that we should download to our mobile if we have a television with Android TV is the remote control. It is a simple application that will convert our mobile into a remote control for television.
It works through bluetooth and allows us to surf the TV up and down, use the mobile microphone to speak by voice with the TV or write from your smartphone, which is often more comfortable than not doing it from the TV keyboard.
Watch Youtube videos, what we all look for
Android TV is a SmartTV system, but in the end they are all used for the same thing: watching YouTube. Yes, here we also have the Youtube application and it works perfectly, after all Google is behind.
From the main menu we can access the YouTube application, choose videos, see the most searched, synchronize it with our personal profile, watch the featured videos and do basically the same thing that we can do from the mobile or the PC, with the addition that we will see it on a large TV.
Everything begins and ends on YouTube, possibly the most important application on any SmartTV. And here we have the good work of Google.
It will depend on the TV model, but in our tests it works perfectly, fast and with the best quality. Perhaps we need to be able to force it to be reproduced in the quality that interests us the most or to be able to access the comments in a simple way.
Access to all series and movies from any platform
In addition to YouTube, on Android TV we have access to the main content platforms to watch series and movies. Netflix undoubtedly there, we also have Amazon Prime, Wuaki and Play Movies, Google’s own service that has a very extensive catalog and that among other content 4K HDR movies are available.
Yes it is true that from the Google Store itself we cannot find some like HBO,
Atresplayer, MiTele or Movistar TV. To access the first of them the solution is simple, for the last two below we will offer a solution.
With Netflix we will have hours of entertainment. If we prefer HBO the result is the same, but through the integrated Chromecast.
HBO to this day remains exclusive as an application for the SmartTV of Samsung televisions. However Atresplayer and HBO are compatible with Chromecast and to see its episodes on our Android TV, you just have to send it from your mobile and that’s it.
Other applications to consume content that we recommend are Youtube Kids, for children’s content, TuneIn Radio for podcasts or Plex, to be able to access our own cloud with videos.
Kodi is that box of surprises where we will find just that channel we were looking for.
Let’s not forget Kodi, possibly one of the essential applications if we have Android TV and want to see all kinds of content. It works through addons and although some are being persecuted, the truth is that Kodi is an excellent option for watch different TV channels over the Internet.
Listen to music from your Android TV
A sound bar is always recommended, but many of these televisions already have a powerful enough speaker to listen to good quality music. Here we recommend with your eyes closed Spotify, an application that works great on mobile and is also adapted to the big screen. We have synchronization, a simple interface for television and the possibility of quickly logging in from your mobile.
Another alternative if we want to listen to songs is Google Play Music or Vevo, the music video platform.
How to connect a hard drive and play MKV
The first Smart TVs gave many problems when connecting hard drives and USB since they needed a specific format to be able to work. Nowadays with the Android TV it does not have much mystery. As soon as we connect the external storage through the USB port, we will get the notice of which application we want to open it with: Album for photos, Music for songs or video if the hard disk contains only movies and series.
With these pre-installed applications we already have more than enough, but the truth is that we recommend installing an additional media player: VLC or MX Player. With these players we can see all kinds of formats, synchronize subtitles and configure many more parameters.
Players like VLC or MX Player will help us enjoy any 4K video that we have downloaded.
One of the most common tasks when we have a new 4K television with Android TV is search for content to take advantage of this UltraHD resolution. And if it is HDR and with formats such as HDR 10 or Dolby Vision. On YouTube you have hundreds of videos, on the internet there are many jobs and many platforms such as Netflix or Play Movies have already signed up for 4K.
If you have a video recorded in this resolution and it is also long normally it will occupy more than 4GB. Here you must take into account the format of the hard disk to be able to work with large files.
Another essential app: ES File Explorer
One of the applications that we do not have pre-installed and we consider basic is a File Browser. For mobile phones we have many alternatives but on Android TV the most complete and best adapted is ES File …