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Networking Android TV boxes?


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Old 24-10-2013, 12:39
Si_Crewe
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Only just discovered these things.

I already have mini-PCs hooked up to all my TVs so I can use them for web-surfing etc but one of the main benefits of having a HTPC is that it means I can network them together so I can access stuff all over the house.

Anybody know if it's possible to network these Android TV boxes together so they can share media between them?

And, more importantly, I've got an external USB HDD plugged into my router which contains video and music which is available to every PC on my home network.

Anybody know if these Android TV gizmo's will be able to access the HDD connected to my router and play media from it?

*EDIT*

FWIW, the reason I'm asking is I regularly get people asking about how I've got my tellies and computers networked at home.
Seems like if these Android TVs can be networked it'd be a much cheaper way of doing it instead of using mini-PCs.
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Old 24-10-2013, 15:49
sim1964
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Probably depends on the device itself but if it's capable of running XBMC for android then yes it's possible to share media as you describe.
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Old 24-10-2013, 16:16
Si_Crewe
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Probably depends on the device itself but if it's capable of running XBMC for android then yes it's possible to share media as you describe.
That's very interesting, thanks.

I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to all this Android stuff.
Any suggestions for a website or forum where I might be able to get up to speed on what it's really capable of?
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Old 24-10-2013, 16:53
chrisjr
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Or maybe a Raspberry Pi with XMBC? Though experience suggests it's perhaps not so "plug and play" as a dedicated Android box might be.
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Old 24-10-2013, 18:37
Si_Crewe
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Or maybe a Raspberry Pi with XMBC? Though experience suggests it's perhaps not so "plug and play" as a dedicated Android box might be.
Hmm, those Rasberry Pi things strike me as being more of an "enthusiasts" gadget rather than a mass-market thing.

Just seems like the idea of a dirt-cheap gizmo which comes with a fairly well-accepted and well-supported OS could prove to be the ideal thing for creating some kind of all-encompassing home entertainment system.

...IF they can all be networked together and access some kind of central storage device.
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Old 24-10-2013, 18:52
Stuart_h
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try something like Skifta' (app from the play store) if you want something to play from and to any othe the hardware on your network.

or have i misunderstood the question ?
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Old 25-10-2013, 03:10
Si_Crewe
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try something like Skifta' (app from the play store) if you want something to play from and to any othe the hardware on your network.

or have i misunderstood the question ?
Nope, that's handy to know. Looks like it not only allows you to decide where to look for stuff on a home network but where to actually play it too.

This is all very interesting stuff (to me, at least).

Also found THIS article myself, too.
Seems to be suggesting that a thing called "ES File Explorer" is a simple way to access media on a network and even on Windows machines, which is perfect for me cos it means the Android devices can access stuff on my PC home network.

Think I'm gonna be forced to get myself one of these Android TV boxes off eBay, just to have a play with.
Seems to have great potential for a tiny price.
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Old 27-10-2013, 18:12
Bunions
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Nope, that's handy to know. Looks like it not only allows you to decide where to look for stuff on a home network but where to actually play it too.

This is all very interesting stuff (to me, at least).

Also found THIS article myself, too.
Seems to be suggesting that a thing called "ES File Explorer" is a simple way to access media on a network and even on Windows machines, which is perfect for me cos it means the Android devices can access stuff on my PC home network.

Think I'm gonna be forced to get myself one of these Android TV boxes off eBay, just to have a play with.
Seems to have great potential for a tiny price
.
BIB - I'll be following this thread avidly in that case as I really am seriously considering buying one of these too.

Having first-hand knowledge about it from someone who has one would be a real bonus for me
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Old 28-10-2013, 02:08
nvingo
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...And, more importantly, I've got an external USB HDD plugged into my router which contains video and music which is available to every PC on my home network.

Anybody know if these Android TV gizmo's will be able to access the HDD connected to my router and play media from it?
Does the router provide media access (DLNA) or file access?
try something like Skifta' (app from the play store)...
Another option is BubbleUPNP
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Old 28-10-2013, 02:29
Si_Crewe
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BIB - I'll be following this thread avidly in that case as I really am seriously considering buying one of these too.

Having first-hand knowledge about it from someone who has one would be a real bonus for me
Ordered one off eBay yesterday.

I'll post up the exact spec's when I get it but, basically, I went for the cheapest one that claims to have a quad-core processor.

FWIW, I've already had a play using the missus' Android tablet and phone and I've managed to link them both into my Windows home-network, and to each other, using that ES File Explorer app with no problems at all.
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Old 28-10-2013, 13:08
emptybox
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Ordered one off eBay yesterday.

I'll post up the exact spec's when I get it but, basically, I went for the cheapest one that claims to have a quad-core processor.

FWIW, I've already had a play using the missus' Android tablet and phone and I've managed to link them both into my Windows home-network, and to each other, using that ES File Explorer app with no problems at all.
Really?
I must admit that's one of my bugbears with my android tablet, that it doesn't easily integrate into my home network.

None of my Windows, Android or OSX computers can see the android tablet, and although I have ES File Explorer on my tablet, I can only access the other computers by finding out their specific internal IP addresses.

It's possible with a bit of work, but your average bod isn't going to know how to find out IP addresses.
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Old 28-10-2013, 13:34
Si_Crewe
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Really?
I must admit that's one of my bugbears with my android tablet, that it doesn't easily integrate into my home network.

None of my Windows, Android or OSX computers can see the android tablet, and although I have ES File Explorer on my tablet, I can only access the other computers by finding out their specific internal IP addresses.

It's possible with a bit of work, but your average bod isn't going to know how to find out IP addresses.
Sorry, to be clear, I meant that the android devices can see each other AND see my other PCs and network drives.

I don't think the PCs can see the Android devices but, for me, that's not a big deal.

ES Explorer does need you to type in IP addy's but it's not a huge deal and, if you're integrating the Android devices into a home network, it's a one-time thing so it's worth the effort.

Ultimately it'd be nice if there was a way to set up desktop shortcuts on Android devices which'll open straight into a given network folder.
The stuff I've read so far suggests it's not possible though, so using summat like ES Explorer would be required.
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