What started out as an operating system for digital cameras became Android, the favorite operating system of most smartphone manufacturers. Then came other devices, such as tablets, watches, smart speakers, televisions … Currently, under the name of Android TV we find an operating system installed on televisions and devices that turn your TV into a Smart TV with Android.

With the advantages of Android, Android TV adapts to large screens where you can play multimedia content such as movies, series, songs, YouTube videos and even play video games or see the weather forecast. In addition, Android TV integrates a version of Google play with applications adapted to this television environment.

Let’s see six examples of what you can do with your television thanks to this operating system. As versatile as its version for smartphones, with some patience and curiosity you can take advantage of it and do practically what you want.

Install applications beyond Google Play

Normally, with apps and games from Google Play you will have enough to have a great time for hours in front of Android TV. But sometimes you need a specific application that not available on the television Google Play. Either because there is no version adapted to the television or, directly, because it is not in the official store.

To install applications from outside you will have to activate this option. Is named Unknown sources and it’s in Device Preferences> Security and Restrictions. The next step may vary depending on the method used.

The easiest way is by installing a web browser. Despite the existence of Google Chrome, Android TV does not have it enabled. So better to use an adapted browser like Puffin tv or TV Bro.

Once you have the browser installed you can go to alternative stores to Google Play and download the installer correspondent.

Send video, music and files to Android TV

In the same way that your Android phone saves videos, audios and photos, your Android TV can too. So you can see your own movies or content without the need to connect a USB stick or go to the cloud.

Although there are various methods and applications for submit content to Android TV, and this includes the functionality To transmit integrated into Android and Google Chrome, we will choose a specific app.

Is named Send files to TV and it is the simplest. Allows you to send content from your phone to your television with Android TV. To do this, it uses the WiFi connection, so both devices have to connect to the same WiFi point.

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Connect a game controller to Android TV

If you want to play games on Android TV, what better way than connecting a video game controller. You may use USB controllers but also generic wireless controls or specific consoles.

The simplest way is by USB, but via bluetooth You should also be able to connect Android TV with any compatible controller, such as the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. You just have to turn on the controller and, from Android TV, go to Device Preferences> Add Accessory. If everything goes well, the link will be made and you will be able to move around Android TV with the joystick and buttons on the remote.

Photo: David Ortiz | Hypertextual

Customize the Android TV home screen

As you install applications and games, Android TV places them in order of installation on the main screen. So the row of apps ends up being a messy nonsense. Wouldn’t it be better to put the apps you use the most first and leave the rest for the last, less visible?

Pressing for a few seconds the central circular button on your remote, the one you usually use to select things, will make a contextual menu. Among the options, you can remove that app from the favorites list, if you use it little, or move it so that appear among the first.

You can also make changes from Device Preferences> Home Screen. On Customize channels you can enable or disable them.

Customize carousel recommendations

Android TV, depending on your apps and content viewed, gives you recommendations so that you have more in view certain content. But those recommendations may not suit your preferences.

Since Device Preferences> Home Screen you can disable those recommendations if you enter Discover> Sign out. And from Device Preferences> Home Screen> Customize Channels You can make various related changes, such as deactivating video and audio previews.

Or, if you prefer, from that same site you can activate and deactivate the applications that show recommendations on the home screen, such as YouTube or one of the many apps on Google Play.

Share Windows and Mac on Android TV

Show on your TV what appears on the screen of your Android or your Windows and Mac desktop is possible thanks to the function To transmit. From PC and Mac, you can send videos, web pages or show the entire screen if you have Google Chrome installed.

Since More> Stream, Chrome will detect the device you want to send the content to, the TV or device with Android TV. Then you will have to choose if you want to transmit the tab that you have open, a video or the desktop. To do this, you will have to click on Sources. When finished, just press Stream> Stop Streaming.

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