Getting your very first smart TV box is exciting especially if it comes packed with all the Android TV box features that can fit into a tiny box. Imagine plugging it into your TV and beginning your journey into the world of video streaming.
But what if you can get more than you paid for?
Got your attention? Interesting right? Unlocking the secrets of your new Android TV box features is pretty easy, all you need is some time and a great aptitude for following instructions. But before digging deep into unlocking your TV box’s secrets, here are some standard features that your box should have, at least some things that you might need to be familiar with.
This is the central part of your Android TV box as it runs everything, from audio to video. The processor, partnered with the RAM and the graphics processing unit, or GPU, converts audio and video signal into something that you can hear and see.
This part of the TV box lets you download and store your favorites shows and movies. Your TV box should be able to let you expand it through SD cards or external hard drives via the USB ports.
- Display Options
This is your HDMI and GPU which should be able to playback 4K videos. It should also have H.265 support and a dynamic refresh rate system for optimal video display.
- Connectivity Options
Any advanced TV box comes with several connectivity options including Wifi support and LAN ports, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
- USB Ports
USB ports offer more than just additional connectivity options, it also lets you expand your device’s memory, and they can even charge your mobile devices if you need to.
- Pre-installed Applications
Ideally, your TV box should come pre-installed with the basic applications like Netflix and the Google Play Store.
Unlocking Secret Android TV Box Features
Now that you’re familiar with some standard features that your new TV box may or may not have, here is how you can fully maximize your viewing experience.
- Sideload Apps
Sideloading is the well-known practice of installing unauthorized applications on a device. Although there are associated risks, being able to sideload gives you access to apps that are not approved for large screens.
To unlock this secret, go to the device settings and let unknown sources access and install apps on your device. Using a file manager, move the applications, or APKs, from the cloud to your TV. There is no guarantee that this will work 100% of the time as part of the risks include glitches and lack of application support.
- Use Google Voice Services
If you’re familiar with using your voice to search for stuff online then you should be aware that you can use it for your TV too! The standard Android TV box will come with a remote control that should have a voice search button. This option should also be on the home screen as well.
To unlock this secret, just press the button and voice out your requests. Be nice about it as it does take some time to get the right pitch and volume.
- Customize the Android TV’s Home Screen
Any Android TV box owner wants a home screen that lets them access their favorite stuff without having to leave the home screen. You can do that too on your TV.
To unlock this secret, pick Home Screen under the System Preferences option within Settings. The next screen will let you hide any sources you don’t want to. Go over to Apps and Games and pick Customer Order under Organize to change the order of the icons on your home screen.
- Close Running Background Apps
If you’re familiar with Android phones, you would know that to close running background apps, you would need to press either Home button or the Menu button for a few seconds. This would let you access the toggle screen where you can drag or flip the running apps that you want to close. This is nifty for clearing up RAM and boosting your CPU’s performance.
To unlock this secret, look for the menu button, or the button with three lines, on your TV box remote control. This will display all the open apps. Use the arrow keys to navigate and click the right arrow key to close the apps of your choice.
If you are using a wireless keyboard, press the ALT key, hold it and then press the TAB key. This will display all the running apps, keep in mind that this is precisely how you would do it on a computer. Use the Back arrow button to close the apps of your choice.
- Restart Using A Keyboard
If you are using a wireless keyboard together with your Android TV box, where you can restart the unit without having to stand up.
To unlock this secret, press CTRL+ALT+DEL, just like you would with a regular computer. It’s that easy.
- Take Screenshots
In this day and age, sharing interesting photos of shows or movies on TV is accepted as a fad and as a way of marketing. Most people would use their phones to take screenshots of whatever they are watching and then post it on social media sites. Did you know you can do this using your Android TV box too?
To unlock this secret, press the Power and the Volume Down button on your remote control and hold. This would be saved on a screenshot drive that you can access using any file manager app.
- Use a Mobile Phone as the Remote
It’s a running gag everywhere that remotes are easy to lose and that they are equally hard to find. What if you can use your phone instead of a remote to be the remote?
To unlock this secret, download the Android TV Remote Control App. It’s that easy.
There may be other ways to improve and expand your Android TV experience but master what you can at first and start exploring as soon as you know enough to put things back where they were before you tinkered with it. As always, do remember that there are associated risks with this kind of actions because if there weren’t, they wouldn’t be a secret now then.