Perhaps the biggest reason to believe that Google will one day run down Roku and Amazon for control of the living room over-the-top environment is the sheer proliferation of Android TV/Google TV devices.
And Google isn’t even doing all of the work.
A senior developer associated with XDA, a community of DIY mobile app makers, has created a modified version of Android TV that runs on personal computers powered by Intel, Nvidia and AMD x86 chips.
The free, modified software not only lets users stream off of Android TV to their living room smart TV using their PC, they can do so on older PCs lying around the house, ready to be recycled. The app can be downloaded here.
The build is based off Android 9 Pie and requires at least a 1.2 GHz dual-core 64-bit-capable x86 processor and 64MB of video memory — pretty common benchmarks for PCs released over the last decade.
There are some limitations. Sound will have to come from the PC and not your TV set. Chromecast support doesn’t work. Only the mobile version of Netflix works at this time. And perhaps most notably, there’s no HD support for popular apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
As XDA developers noted, you'll have a better experience using, say, Google's new Chromecast with Google TV dongle. But for many of us with older PCs sitting around the crib, it's a nifty, cheap (free) solution.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!