This Post is all about using an Android device to Power your HTPC.
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Why Use An OLD Android Device to Power Your HTPC Setup?
HTPC is a pretty simple thing and doesn’t require tons of processing power to work. If you do not want to Play Games on your HTPC, then an Old Android device is just perfect for you. We will need two Android devices one will become our HTPC, and other will allow you to controll the HTPC.
We will need two Android devices one will become our HTPC and other will allow you to control your HTPC. You Mobile is best for a secondary device. You can control your HTPC with your Mobile.
My HTPC Setup Device.
I used my Nexus 7 (2012 WiFi only) to power my HTPC setup, and it was a straightforward and fast process. The screen of My Nexus 7 is broken so was not able to use it for any purpose. I was able to setup my HTPC with Broken screen also, and now it works perfectly. I used a Mouse for doing all the setup as my screen was broken but after setup, I don’t even need to touch my Nexus 7.
I am using my Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 for Control. I can control my HTPC using this device. Any other device in my WiFi Network can also control my HTPC so my whole family can use the HTPC.
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Follow the Steps Below to Setup HTPC using Old Android Device.
1. Root and Wipe Your Device First.
I am hoping that you are using an Old Android device for this thing so you can root without any Fear. Make Backup of your Important files first. Go to YouTube or Google and find a Method to Root it. Wiping your Android device will remove all the apps and files installed by you. This thing will make your device faster.
Rooting is not a Necessary step but without root, you won’t be able to do many things and these small things helps you a lot while running your HTPC without touching it. Root access will help you to run your HTPC wirelessly.
Also, read Install Kodi on Firestick.
2. Disable All the apps on your Device.
Our Android devices come with tons of pre-installed apps that we can not Uninstall, and they keep on slowing the device. If You are going to use an Android device as HTPC, then you won’t be using most apps on your device.
Essential apps like Calculator, Calendar, Gmail, YouTube and many other becomes useless on an HTPC setup.
Apps which I disabled on my Nexus 7 HTPC Setup: Calculator, Calendar, Cloud Print, Google Drive, Email, Gmail, Google App, Google Play Books, Google Play Games, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, Google Play Newsstand, Google +, Hangouts, Street View, TalkBack.
An HTPC doesn’t need these apps so disabling them was best.
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3. Make Your Device fast and Disable some features.
Disable the Bellow features which we don’t need in HTPC.
- Diable “Adaptive Brightness” or “Auto Brightness” Go to Settings > Display.
- Disable “Daydream” or any Screensaver. Go to Settings > Display.
- Disable “Location”. Go to Settings > Location.
- Diable Background “Sync”. Go to Settings > Accounts > Google.
- Disable “Animations”. Go to Settings > Developer Options.
These things will make your device little bit faster but as we never need them so disabling them is best.
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4. Install SambaDroid (Root Required).
SambaDroid is a small app that can help you in Filesharing. Filesharing is essential for and HTPC. We can not use apps like Share it because we don’t want to touch or device every time we need to send some files.
After Doing this, you can send or take files from your device by using any other Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, Linux device. Any device in your Network can share files with your HTPC. This step is crucial, and it will help you to use your HTPC wirelessly. Rooting your device for this step is not a Bad deal.
SambaDroid PlayStore Link.
5. Install Screen Standby (Root required).
It will turn off the screen of your Device as soon as you connect your device to your TV by using HDMI cable. It will automatically detect HDMI connection and will turn off the screen of your device.
Screen Standby very useful if you are going to use your HTPC for long hours. It will save your battery a lot, and you will be able to run the HTPC for more extended hours.
6. Install Kodi. Kodi is the Best HTPC Software.
It is the Only app which we will use every time. We will see this on our TV screens. Kodi will allow us to stream Youtube, Torrent, iTunes and many other media. It is a simple setup we can do. Kodi can be easily handled with other Android device, so we never need to touch our HTPC. Kodi is a fascinating app, and you will love to use it. Start using it and you will Love it do some research on Kodi.
7. Setup Kodi Remote on Your Android Phone. (You will use this device to Control your HTPC)
There are many Remote apps to control Kodi. An official Kodi remote is also available but Yatse remote best. And it works perfectly with our HTPC setup. Install the app on your Controller device and setup it. Make sure both devices are connected to the same WiFi network.
8. Install ES File Explorer on Your Controller Android Device.
Es File Explorer is an excellent file manager which many Android users use. This app will allow us to connect our Android phone to our HTPC for File sharing. It will help us to connect to Samba Server that we created in 4th step.
Install the app and Then click on the top left the corner. Now You will see an option. Click on that and you will be able to see a folder with SambaDroid name. You can copy files to this folder, or you can copy files from this folder. It allows us file transfer wirelessly.
Here is a small guide on how to update Kodi.
9. Connect Your HTPC to your Home Thater.
It is the most important step. After this, we can use see our Android’s screen on TV. We will be using a Micro USB to HDMI cable. This cable costs around 5-10$ depending upon your location.
We will not use any regular Micro USB to HDMI we will use a cable which will allow us to connect to TV and charge our device simultaneously. With this cable, we can use our HTPC 24X7.
One end of the cable will go to our HTPC machine (Micro USB), One will go to TV (HDMI), and another USB end will go to the charger. With this setup, we do not need to think about the battery of our device.
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If you did everything correctly, then you have an Android device connected to Your TV. Now you can use your Phone to control this HTPC setup. You can send files to this device with your phone. You do not need to touch your HTPC to control it.
Kodi is an incredibly powerful media center. You can use it to stream YouTube directly, And many other sources of movie, TV series, Music, and Images. Other than this you can do many things with Kodi setup.
If you have an Old Android device sitting around then, you must try this. It may take one full day to perfect setup your HTPC. If you liked this article, then please share it.