Custom Android TV box

Has anyone running the Channels app on a custom built Android box? has some nice boards that seem pretty powerful. I was debating giving it a try.

The Channels app only runs appropriately on Android TV. Many of those are running the handheld version of Android.

Your experience would not be great.

Thank you for the reply. Android TV has been ported to most of the Hardkernel boards. That’s what caught by eye. They also have IR and available remotes. I’ve used their boards for other projects but I haven’t actually tried Android TV on them so I’m not sure how well it works.

I dabbled with homemade android box about a year ago. I installed it on a VM using ProxMox on a laptop.

It worked, was customizable. But netflix would not play 1080p video. I never could figure out why and gave up.

If you want a android box, buy a shield. Im just not sure a custom client box running android tv is worth it.

if you dabble with a custom android OS. Please keep us posted on how it works.

I debated getting a shield. Since the hardware is a few years old, I thought I might be able to build a more powerful box. I know it’s still a great box but if a new one was announced I would be all over it. I’ll have to see if I can find any benchmarks to compare

The nerdy aspect of putting one together is also appealing.

I personally purchased an original Odroid; HardKernel's support is honestly not great. They use Amlogic chipsets—which sound good on the surface, but have many issues—and don't really support their users (in my personal experience). AML basically needs additional kernel patches, but they aren't mainlined. Additionally, the boot process for the chipsets need additional hacked images. Android TV is not officially supported, and getting it on their boards is a week of your life you won't get back,

While HK sounds great and looks great on paper or on their website, if you want a true "appliance" type of device or something that reliably works, find a different route.

(My original purpose for purchasing from HK was two-fold: the first to tinker with SBCs; the second to use it as a Kodi frontend for my Tvheadend DVR. In both instances a Raspberry Pi was much more suitable. The only thing I got from the Odroid was my first introduction to building Linux and its userspace on Aarch64.)

Thank you. That's exactly what I was wondering about. I also used one for Kodi many years ago. I wasn't really a fan of Kodi though. Since you mentioned it, I just looked and saw some images for the Pi 4 with Android TV. That surprised me because the Pi foundation really seemed dead set against android a few years ago. I'm sure the Shield is a better experience though.

I'm probably just bored and miss tinkering with my HTPC and Media Center.

IMO, stay away from DIY Android. It will not work as you like, and won't be good.

SBCs can make great Kodi frontends, but won't work as you expect with Android.

If you are truly wanting a great Channels client, go with Apple TV. The Nvidia Shield is a decent runner-up. But honestly, if your client costs less than $100, you're going to settle for a budget experience.

(My opinion only, but based upon hundreds of dollars wasted upon cheap Android-based streamers, including current Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, and TiVo Stream devices. Just don't dive to the bottom of the barrel hoping to succeed.)

An Apple TV is an interesting suggestion. It’s probably the only streaming box I haven’t tried at some point. I use a Chromecast the most. It’s okay but I can only pause it for a minute or two. That gets annoying.

You will ask yourself why you waited so long to get an appletv. 3 firesticks and 1 shield for me before i wised up :blush:

I just have to give my experience here with the Apple TV vs Android. I have always used Android for years. I own 4 Shield devices (2 Pro and 2 non pro), Fire TV cube, etc.

I bought an Apple TV device about a month ago specifically because the Channels Devs have created the best experience on it and that is where they started. I couldn't be happier. I went out and bought a 2nd one for our bedroom TV. I love it with Channels, Plex and I like the way it will tie all my other streaming apps together in one interface with the Apple TV App.

Looks like a good consensus. I'm going to try an Apple TV. It makes sense to given the big price difference between an Apple TV and a cheap streaming stick. I know price isn't everything but there's only so much you can pack into a $40 stick.

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