In this article we provide a step-by-step guide for setting up your digital signage with AndroidTV devices.
- Choosing an Android digital signage player
- System requirements for the TelemetryTV Media Player App on Android
- Setting up the TelemetryTV Media Player App on your Android Device
- Important information about the use of Android digital signage players
ANDROID FAST FACTS
What are the advantages of these devices?
- Easy to set up
- Can be both paired or provisioned based on your use case
What are the disadvantages of these devices?
- Reliability and quality can vary widely depending on the device. Please see our recommended devices on our website.
- Different Android devices will render at different resolutions (typically 1080p or lower) and then when connected to a 4K screen they will upscale to 4k. Thus you’ll not be able to get true 4k support. You need to use ChromeOS, Windows or Linux for true 4k.
- Not recommended for video walls since Android devices typically have only one HDMI output.
Using Our Recommended Devices
TelemetryTV tests a specific set of Android devices to ensure compatibility. If you don't use one of these devices then you’ll need to do your own testing. Given that Android varies widely in quality you will be taking the risk for the functionality, stability, performance and compatibility.
Therefore we strongly suggest you use a recommended device unless you have a good reason otherwise.
Recommended devices can be found on our website.
Picking Your Own Device
The minimum RAM is 2GB but we strongly recommend using a device with 4GB as we find with more complex playlists that they are more stable. A minimum of 16GB of storage is recommended. Devices with good cooling (metal cases) are better as well. Be aware of varying WiFi quality for different devices as various devices can have difficulty.
The minimum version is version 7.1.1 however we strongly recommend using Android 8 or 9.
🚨 Android 10 and later have eliminated a key method that allows apps to automatically start after the device boots.
Therefore you should be aware that TelemetryTV will not start on boot on these devices unless they also allow you to set the launcher to be the TelemetryTV app. Many devices do not allow changing the launcher so you must be aware of these limitations when picking a newer device. Therefore only deploy on Android 10 or later when you are able to set the default Launcher.
Recent generation (2019+) Sony TV’s often have AndroidTV built in. Not all SonyTV’s will work, so please check the specific model for AndroidTV compatibility. These are decent options for deploying TelemetryTV as they do support using TelemetryTV as a launcher. However, you should be aware that they have limited RAM and storage, so this may not be a great option for more intensive digital signage functionality. You will want to look for the 800G series of TVs or better.
It’s important when using our APK install method that it requires the device to be rooted. Otherwise the Launcher APK will not be able to install and update the main Media Player APK.
Example: Rooting on an Ugoos device.
Go to Settings
Go to X2 Settings (This could be AM6 Settings for AM6 Pro)
Select Install Root
Note: If Root has been enabled on android you should see the Hashtag icon in the top right of the screen to indicate that your device is rooted.
AndroidTV vs Android (AOSP)
Android based TV boxes come in two flavours: AndroidTV and Android Open Source Project (AOSP) based. AndroidTV is the slicker interface, typically referred to as “Google Certified” with full resolution Netflix and the like. Unfortunately AndroidTV is also a lot more locked down and will prevent some features from working. You will have much better luck with Android AOSP based devices.
The Launcher is the app in Android that automatically starts when the device boots, it’ll typically show you a grid of icons to launch various apps. The device should allow the Launcher to be changed from the default launcher that came with the device to the TelemetryTV Media Player App.
There are two methods to deploy on Android, through the Google Play Store or directly loading an APK on the device. The APK method is preferred for a number of reasons, especially when you are deploying a larger number of devices. This guide covers the use of the APK install.
☝️ Your device must be rooted to install our APK.
Google Play Store Version
We have a Google Play Store version of our application. However we do not recommend using it for anything other than small deployments. Each device with the Google Play Store version requires a Google login. This is difficult to maintain for a large number of devices. There’s also a number of shortcomings for the Google Play Store version and full functionality is only available through the APK version.
If you wish to install the Google Play Store version then you can follow the Google Play Store installation method. The rest of this guide assumes you are using the APK install method.
TelemetryTV APK Installation Files
There’s two APK’s that TelemetryTV uses when installing on your device: The TelemetryTV Launcher and the TelemetryTV Media Player. The Launcher is what you download from our install page and install on your device. It will then download and install the Media Player, updating it when needed as new versions are released.
Rooting Your Device
Ensure your device is rooted. Some devices come automatically rooted, some will require a special ROM to be flashed and some have a switch somewhere in the device's settings.
Installing the TelemetryTV Launcher
Ensure the device you have meets the requirements as above. Setup your device and power it on, configure its networking and then visit the following URL within Chrome:
You’ll need to provide permission to install the APK. Once installed, ensure that you set the Launcher app to be the Launcher (it will ask you to do this when you press home on the remote control) so TelemetryTV seamlessly boots when the device starts up.
Connecting to your TelemetryTV Account: Pairing and Provisioning
To connect your device to your TelemetryTV account, you will either need to pair or provision the device. The TelemetryTV Android app supports both Pairing and Provisioning, however USB provisioning will only be available on Android devices with a free USB port.
Pairing is only suitable when you’re setting up a small number of devices (e.g. less than 5). However, if you have many devices to set up, you should use Provisioning.
Option A: USB Provisioning
USB Provisioning is an efficient and effective way to provision multiple devices without needing to enter a pairing code for each one. We recommend using this for deployments of 5+ devices.
Your AndroidTV device will need an extra USB port to use this method, so it will not be available on all AndroidTV devices. Read the guide at the link below:
Android USB Provisioning Guide
Option B: Pairing
- To pair your device, ensure you have your TelemetryTV account open to the Devices page on your computer.
- Turn on your device and open the TelemetryTV Media Player that you downloaded to your Android device. When the player is running, a 6-digit pairing code will appear on the screen.
- On your computer, click the “Pair” button on your TelemetryTV Devices page and type in the code.
Using the Remote Control
Your AndroidTV device probably came with a remote control. The remote control can be used for the following:
- Show the application settings menu and configure your device (using the select or menu buttons)
- Navigate between playlist pages manually (using the forward and backward buttons)
- Pause and start playback (using the play/pause button).
Clearing the Cache
If you need to clear the cache, you may open the application settings menu and select “Clear Cache”. This is useful when you have third party websites that may have cached content that isn’t being cleaned up properly.
High Resolution Support
A limitation of all current Android devices is that, even if the device supports 4K video output, it will display all applications like TelemetryTV at 1080p and then upscale it to 4K. This will not look as good as other devices that natively do 4K. However, Android will play video at 4K when there’s a 4K video present.
Set High Density
Go to App
Go to Force High Density
Video Wall Support
Android devices are not recommended for Video Walls due to their limited 4K support. There will only be an upscaled 4K signal available for display on video walls. Since Android devices typically only have a single display output, you would need to purchase and put a video wall matrix between your screens and your Android device.
Securing your Device
You can set a password for the Android App by following these instructions.
You may want to consider covering the IR port on your device so people cannot take it over in locations where this would be a concern.
Changing the Screen Orientation
You may want to change the screen orientation for display on vertical screens. Within the App menu, select Screen Orientation to adjust the display for vertical or horizontal screens.