Android Stick turns your TV into a Smart TV!
Nowadays more and more TVs are equipped with a so-called smartTV function. This Android mini pc ensures that your TV can do even more than such a Smart TV and that your TV will look like an Android computer. There is an app store (Google Play) where you can get games, apps and videos. If you still have a TV with an HDMI connection, the following might be something for you.
An Android stick, also called Android TV or HDMI Smart TV stick, is a complete mini PC with everything on and on and has almost the size of a large USB stick . It is small, elegant, has a powerful processor and comes in a nice housing.
You can connect it directly to your TV (HDMI) which then serves as a computer monitor. The resolution is Full-HD, so 1080p. Some even take it a step further with 2160P Super HD (UHD).
The sound is over HDMI, so you don’t need separate speakers if you connect it to the TV.
In an instant you will have the entire AndroidWorld on your TV with Google internet , Youtube , Facebook , Twitter , Skype , NPO, missed broadcast and now 2,000,000 other apps, games and programs!
The Android TV stick has built-in storage memory, often 8GB or 16GB, which includes Android 4.4 kitkat or the new Android 5 and 6 . Often there is a built-in micro SD card slot which is expandable up to 32GB where you can store more games, apps, photos, videos and more. This can also be allocated as additional storage space.
You can access the internet wirelessly with the stick, so you won’t be bothered by all kinds of cables. You can use the internet, watch YouTube videos and watch a missed broadcast on your television.
The Android stick has a USB port to which you can connect, for example, a webcam, external hard drive (with films) , USB keyboard or USB mouse .
The stick sometimes has a wireless receiver (2.4 GHz) with which a wireless keyboard or mouse can be connected. This way you can also operate the stick. In most cases, a USB receiver is included with the wireless controllers and remote controls. You can of course also use a USB hub to add many more USB devices. In short, a real Android mini pc that can serve as a replacement for the regular internet pc. You can actually compare an Android TV Stick with a High End Smartphone without a built-in screen and without a battery. Your TV is the screen!
NOTE: An external HDD may need to be formatted as FAT32 to be fully compatible with the Android mini PC. Newer Android versions (4.2 / 4.4) often support NTFS.
What does such an Android TV Stick cost?
It took a while, but the TV sticks are now widely available in stores! Do not bother to pick them up abroad via Ebay or other sites where the transport takes weeks and you can also pay a nice amount in import duties and 21% VAT.
There are already Android HDMI TV sticks available from around 50, – Euro. These are outdated sticks in terms of specifications. If you want a modern stick that can also do everything you can think of, then you should still look out for a new generation of TV stick. The prices are around 80, – Euro, but then you also have a very fast and smoothly working TV stick!
Benefits at a glance
The benefits that an Android TV Stick offer are:
- Internet TV on your TV such as missed broadcast, youtube and many other channels hence Google TV cloud stick
- Internet on your TV where you can just use Google and enjoy surfing
- Watch films and videos which you can save on the stick (SD card)
- Play movies and videos from an external hard drive
- KODI (XBMC Mediacenter) which turns your TV into a virtual video store
- Playing games on your TV, so an intrigued game console
- Keep track of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Chat with Whatsapp
- Video chat when you connect a USB webcam (Skype)
- Listen to music (stream from the internet or stored on a stick)
- You can connect the Android stick with your PC via USB to transfer files
- Super sharp image through HDMI connection (1080p Full HD and 2160P UHD)
- Operate your Android Stick with your Smartphone
- Watch free TV channels (also movie channels and other commercial channels)
- Watch Dutch TV abroad without subscription costs (kodi + jericho)
How to operate the Android Stick
You can control the Android PC with a remote control. The Android stick is equipped with a USB port to which you can connect, for example, a BlueTooth stick or another 2.4 GHz stick that serves as a receiver.
You can therefore connect a multimedia keyboard (keyboard with built-in mouse) to the USB port. These exist in various sizes and designs.
You can use a USB hub to connect more to the Android stick.
Software on the Android Stick
Loading internet pages is very fast (sometimes 5x faster than a normal Windows PC). The speed, performance and user interface have been improved a lot.
You can also download all kinds of nice apps and games via Google Play and there is a lot for free.
Officially released firmware will be available automatically. You will be notified when the android stick connects to the internet.
Raspberry Pi vs Android Stick
A Raspberry Pi is also a mini computer, but without an Android OS and less good specifications.
- Smaller than a Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi a 700 MHz and the Android stick starts from 1GHz
- Raspberry Pi 256MB against a minimum of 512MB
- Raspberry Pi has no internal storage at a minimum of 4GB
- Android Stick has WiFi and Raspberry Pi only 10/100 Ethernet
- They both play 1080P and some sticks even 2160P which is super HD.
- Raspberry Pi is more economical in terms of energy consumption: 5V / 0.7A against 5V / 2A
- Android Stick comes standard in a housing and is finished!
- Very soon Android 4.0 will also be available for the Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi costs 30, – Euro and Android Stick 60, – Euro
The general specifications of an Android TV Stick are:
- Display port: HDMI (most HDMI 1.4)
- USB ports: 1x USB + 1x micro-USB
- Network: Wireless WiFi 802.11b / g / n
- Storage: Internal / External (HDD) / sometimes microSD card
- Video output: 2160P, 1080P, 720P, 576P, 480P, 3D Movie
- Image support: JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG
- Video Support: MOV, MKV, TS, TP, M2TS, RM, RMVB, BD-ISO, AVI, VOB, DAT, ASF, TRP, FLV, WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, MPEG 1/2/4, H. 265, H.264, H.263, VC-1, DivX, Xvid, MJPEG, RV10, etc.
- Audio Support: AAC, AAC +, eAAC +, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, M4A
- Subtitles support: SRT, SUB, IDX, SSA, SMI
This gadget is also known as:
- Google TV stick – Goole IPTV -Android mini PC – Android Box
- Google TV Cloud stick – Google Android TV Cloud stick – Cloud TV
- Android pocket PC – Android mini pc – Internet TV stick
- Mini computer with Android – PC on a stick – Pocket TV USB stick
- Gocal Android Dongle – Android TV – Android Stick
- Android TV Stick – SmartTV stick – SmartTV App stick
- HDMI Dongle – HDMI TV Stick – Androi HDMI Stick
More than 2,000,000 apps and games available
Because the Android Stick (Google Cloud Stick) uses the Google Play Market, there are currently more than 2,000,000 (2 million) apps and games available. Many are free to download. The Google Play market is growing day by day.
If you want a paid app or game for free, there is a trick for that. Developers have found a way to get a paid and downloaded apk file from your phone and re-upload it to a dedicated server. Then other Android users with the Blackmart app can download it again without paying.
The Blackmart app can be downloaded for free on this website .
The Blackmart app cannot be downloaded from the Google Play (Android Market) because it is a competitor. Check in advance whether what you want to download also has a logical size. Angry birds of 30KB is not possible. This really should be a few MB at a minimum. The Google Play app facility is closely checked for fake files unlike the Blackmart. So pay attention.
Video about the Android mini pc stick
NOTE: this is a very outdated model. What you buy nowadays is faster and more user-friendly.
Android TV Stick MK908II: A Quad Core Android Stick with 2GB Ram / 8GB storage and Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean. Buy a MK908II?
The Google TV Cloud stick / Android stick / Android mini pc can get warm. Not so hot that the case melts or it can no longer be held, but warm. This is normal and is harmless. The stick is protected against overheating. The CPU has a temperature protection which switches off when the temperature is too high. A mobile phone can also get warm during exercise. Because the surface of a mobile phone is also larger than a stick, the heat can also be better distributed. The stick will therefore not break down because it gets hot. Quad Core sticks don’t get as hot as Dual Core sticks.
Google TV android sticks are small, which means that the antenna inside is also made small. This can lead to a poorer or unstable WiFi reception. Other wireless devices do not have to be bothered by this. Android sticks can therefore appear more sensitive.
The new generation of Android TV sticks which are equipped with a Quad Core processor have an improved antenna. The problem above is more focused on the Dual Core generation.
How can you possibly solve this? Almost all Android sticks support 802.11 N technology which works at 5GHz. The N technology can reach 300Mbps speed and B / G only 54Mbps. The 802.11 B / G band (2.4GHz) is fairly polluted by neighbors and local residents. The neighbors may be on the same channel as you are now. Changing channels or switching to an N router can therefore be a solution.
Preferably buy an Android TV Stick with an antenna on the outside. This has a much better WiFi reception and problems arise.
Ram memory and Storage memory
Nowadays there are more and more Android TV devices with 1 GB and 2 GB RAM memory. Especially with the new Android 4.4. Kitkat operating system this is perfect. Kitkat can work quickly and efficiently with less memory and even works fine on devices with 512 MB RAM.
The storage memory of most Android TV sticks is often 8 GB, and the operating system takes some of this away, so in practice you are left with 7, xx of free space. Just like with a Windows PC, the Windows operating system also takes up space on your hard drive.
By using an SD card you can increase the storage memory. A 32 GB card is supported by all. Some even already support a 64 GB SD card.
Firmware / Software update
Sometimes it can be useful to perform a software or firmware update. If the manufacturer releases an official update, it will be sent via OTA (over the air). This means that you will receive a notification in your Android screen about an available update. You will only receive this update / notification if you are connected to the internet.
If you have not been notified of an available one, you can also look for an update yourself. The Google Android TV Cloud stick is still under development. Because of this it can sometimes happen that a bug pops up again. The positive thing is that something is being done about it. So there are often updates available.
Not every supplier provides the stick with the latest update, but you can easily do this yourself. You download the correct update for your stick with a PC. Then connect the stick to the PC via USB and start the update tool. With some sticks, a button has to be pressed by hand or sometimes with a paper clip.
We also keep an eye on the firmware updates of some sticks. You can find it on this page.
Advertising or information purposes
In a waiting room, canteen, sports and recreation room, reception or office, an Android mini PC can be extremely suitable for displaying advertising messages or information messages on a TV. No long cables from PC to TV, just plug in an Android mini PC and you’re done. Connect to the Internet and the news, commercials or other messages can be displayed. Watching TV without TV cable is also possible. Use internet TV streams for this. In some cases Android Sticks are not suitable for 24 hours of use. This depends on the model and application. In many cases, this problem can be solved by slightly slowing down the CPU’s clock speed so that less heat is generated. This can be done by rooting the stick and run the setcpu tool. Incidentally, the Quad Core Android TV Sticks no longer suffer from this.
Android TV Stick and Android TV Box
In addition to the Android TV Stick, there is also the Android TV Box. The difference between these 2 is that the Stick is small, comparable to a large USB stick. The Box is really a box with in most cases some extra connections, including an ethernet connection. An Android Stick has exactly the same hardware as a box, but you pay a lot less for it. In most cases, you don’t use all those connections anyway.