How to: side load Android apps on any Android TV (Sony, Nexus Player, etc)

UPDATE: You do not need to enable “Developer Options” as I show in this video, if you don’t want to. It was just a habit of mine from hacking on phones, but later realized it’s not necessary. It doesn’t hurt anything, but if you’d like, you can skip it and just enable Unknown Sources directly.

A small walk through on how to side load apps, particularly Kodi, on your new Sony TV.

***EDIT*** — The TV DOES support audio pass through of DD/DTS over optical out (tested and confirmed) and DD/DTS HD codecs via HDMI ARC (untested, but theoretically this should not be a problem — if somebody tests it, please let me know). You must enable audio pass through in your Kodi settings, just like any other Kodi device.


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  • Pasqual, thank you for this little guide here. But can you tell me what kind of apps you found useful to sideload – if i may ask?

    I want to get the most out of my TV, w/o becoming a hacker target, so i actually do care about your opinion.

  • after installing an .apk, upon opening the app, it says "[App] won't run unless you update Google Play services." and there's no way round it as it's already up to date. ((((((((((((((

  • es file explorer had been removed from Google Play Store for Android TV, I found another easy solution (available in Google Play for TV store), just search "mi box apk installer for android tv" it allows you to install apk directly from USB.

  • Trying to install something "Install" is grayed out. I have Developer Options and Unknown Sources turned on. I have Verify turned off. Any ideas? I installed an older version of this App before, so I uninstalled it first and it is still grayed out to Install it.

  • Good Job! There are some apps that have to be loaded this way since Google play is lacking in smart TV apps. ES file explorer or similar app is a must.

  • Thanks for this video. I need help, when I will install an APK i have only cancel button available. Can you help me please ?

  • I installed popcorn time on my sony kdl 43w950c
    After installing it doesn't show up in the application list.
    What should I do?

  • Does this work on models that do not have the app store or normally allow installing other apps? I am trying to find a 32" TV with Android built-in (yes, I know I can buy an external box :D). I see the Sony KDL32W600D. It definitely runs Android, but it seems to be locked down where you can't install any apps other than what they have on it.

  • Does anyone know why an App Ive installed through ES file explorer on to my Tv isn't appearing on the Home Screen of my TV apps ? I have to open it inside ES file explorer itself. I have downloaded the Mobdro TV app .

  • Hey Pasquale, I have a XBR-55X900A TV There is no About in my settings. Do you know how I can enable Side loading programs on my TV? It has all the apps but doesn't have the Play Store.

  • Thanks for the important info. Does sony offer Android updates each time another Android version comes out or are you stick with the Android version you bought the tv with? So when Android 7 comes out, will sony offer the Android 7 update for the tv's?

  • Besides simply searching for "Android TV" under Apps in the Google Play Store, what's a more definitive way to figure out what apps in the Play Store will actually run correctly on an Android TV platform like the Bravias? I'm not sure I trust the Play Store to really be examining every app's metadata correctly to know if it may be able to run on an Android TV.

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