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Android TV x86 DIY App Lets Users Turn Old PCs Into Streaming Devices

Android TV
(Image credit: Google)

Perhaps the biggest reason to believe that Google will one day run down Roku and Amazon for control of the living room OTT environment is sheer proliferation of Android TV/Google TV devices. 

And Google isn’t even doing all 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/AMD x86 chips. 

You can download the app here.

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 laying around the house, ready to be recycled. 

As described by XDA-developers.com, 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 emanate out of the PC and not your TV set. The 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 noew Chromecast with Google TV dongle. But for many of us with older PCs sitting around the crib, it's a nifty, cheap (free) solution.