Want to build a Raspberry Pi-based media center but find that the basic Kodi installation lacks features? Don’t worry, there’s a proven alternative: Android TV!
Here’s how to install Android TV and enjoy the full benefits of any popular Android-powered streaming app on your Raspberry Pi.
Android in a box
This is a relatively simple project that requires you to:
- Install Special Android ROM on Raspberry Pi
- Install certain Android TV software
- Start watching TV
Before you start, make sure you have:
- A Raspberry Pi 3 (not currently supported by Pi 3 B+ or Pi 4)
- Good quality microSD kart
- Reliable Raspberry Pi Power Supply
- USB keyboard and mouse (or combination remote)
- flash drive
- HDMI cable
- Ethernet cable (optional)
You will also need the following software downloads:
- LineageOS 15.1 (Android 8.1) for Raspberry Pi 3
- Open the GApps Pico package from opengapps.org
- Etcher SD card for writing software
Ready to start? Went.
Step 1: Unpack and Install Android
Installing LineageOS on your Raspberry Pi gives you the benefit of the Android operating system. This means potentially better support for media programs like YouTube and Kodi. However, with the right Google apps installed, your Android Raspberry Pi will be a great Android TV.
Install Android on Raspberry Pi with Etcher
To install, first insert your Raspberry Pi microSD card into your PC card reader and launch Etcher.
Here click » Select Image» and navigate to the unzipped image file. Select this, then make sure your SD card is selected under » Select Disk » . When you are satisfied, click flash, to start burning the Android disk image.
Wait for the recording to finish — Etcher will tell you when the process is complete — then remove the SD card. Insert it into your Raspberry Pi, then boot up.
On first launch for Android, it may take some time to load. Once launched, if you have a keyboard and mouse, set up Wi-Fi. If not, connect your Raspberry Pi to the network using an Ethernet cable connected to your router.
Once installed and booted successfully, LineageOS will require basic setup. It will be the usual things: specify the country, time zone, etc.
Step 2Prepare Android TV for Google Apps
Your Raspberry Pi is now running Android. This is an AOSP based version, which means no Google apps are installed. Instead, you will need to do it manually.
You should have already downloaded the GApps package on your computer. Visit opengapps.org and select:
(It’s tempting to select the Android TV option over Pico — don’t. It’s just a larger file and doesn’t really do anything other than create problems later on.)
Select Download then once the GApps file is saved on your PC, copy it to your USB flash drive. Carefully remove this and paste it into your Raspberry Pi.
Then in LineageOS, open the app drawer and select » Settings» > «System» > «About tablet» . Here scroll down to build numbers and click on it a few times. Eventually, this will add a developer options menu to the previous screen.