How to build an Android Smart PC TV set top box (in under 2 minutes)

If like most of our subscribers, you either have a normal LED or LCD TV, or you simply don't want to spend several thousand pounds on a new Smart TV, you can convert your existing TV into an Internet enabled Smart TV easily.

You just need an Android based TV dongle or Android set top box. These can be bought online, or in many good electrical retailers for less than 80 pounds sterling.

We have experimented with several of these devices, and found that some are better than others. The features they provide vary widely, so you need to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve.

For most people, they want to access UK TV, browse the web or social network sites, and possibly use Skype.

We found that by and large, the best of the bunch was the K10A Android TV dongle from Justop.( www.justop.com )

 

The Justop K10A Android TV Dongle

Justop Android TVThe Justop Android 4.2 dongle provides everything you need to seamlessly access the Internet from your TV.Rii Mini Keyboard

It can be used in conjunction with our Host My UK TV service, with our VPN service, and even with Skype, Email, and Facebook.

It provides a complete Android 4.2 operating system, which is connected to a TV with an HDMI cable. The dongle does not need to be plugged into a power socket. You can connect it directly to the USB port on the back of your TV. This saves power, and makes sure the dongle is only running when your TV is running.

We also suggest using an Rii Wireless Keyboard. They are about the same size as a normal remote control for a TV. These work well with the Justop Android TV dongle, and provide a full qwerty keyboard and track pad mouse.

All you need to do is plug in the wireless keyboard adaptor, and connect the dongle to your TV and wireless network, and it is up and running in minutes.

Setting up the VPN Service

Once the Justop dongle is connected to your wireless network, you will need to configure the SimplyExpats VPN service.

Load the Android settings.

On the left hand menu select More.

Select VPN, and then press the + (add VPN) in the top right hand corner.

For the service name, set this to SimplyExpats

The VPN type should be set to L2TP/IPSec PSK

Then set the server address to l2tp.esixgroup.net

and the IPSec Pre Shared Key to "SimplyExpats.net" (Note: this is case sensitive).

Save the settings.

Press connect, and you will be prompted to enter your username and password.

Tick the Save Password option, and press connect.

The dongle will then connect to the SimplyExpats VPN network.

We suggest that you use the Default Browser to access the iPlayer websites, rather than installing the Android Apps. However, you need to change the browser settings first. In the default browser, select the settings, and go to the Advanced options. There is an option UAString, under the advanced settings. Set this to Desktop, and save the changes. This will prevent websites trying to install Android apps on your Android TV dongle.

Additional Apps

If you intend to use your Justop Dongle with our VPN service, we recommend installing the following Apps from the Google Playstore:

VPN Shortcut: This App places a shortcut to the Android VPN settings on your Homepage. It provides a quick way to enable and disable the VPN service.

Keystore Unlocker: One of the most annoying things when using Android is the Keystore. The keystore holds the passwords and login credentials set on the Android device. However every time you reload your Android device, you are constantly prompted to enter your keystore PIN. Twice!

This can be really annoying. Luckily, the Justop K10A dongle has the root service enabled (the dongle is "rooted" in tech speak). Installing Keystore Unlocker will automatically unlock the Android keystore every time the device is rebooted, so you can forget about this irritating feature.

Conclusion

The Justop Android TV dongle provides a simple, and effective solution to convert your existing TV, into a Smart Internet enabled TV.

The total cost for this project was £54.99 for the Justop K10A Android dongle, and £20 for the keyboard.

Better than spending fifteen hundred pounds or more on a new Smart TV!!

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