Date: Oct 29, 2014
This blog entry explains how you can side load APK files onto your Amazon Fire TV. You can even install Shafa Launcher on it. This blog will not teach you how to root your Amazon Fire TV. First I will explain what is an Amazon Fire TV, What kind of English based App you can load on it, and then, I will explain why do you need ViewQwest Broadband and Freedom VPN to do what we want to do here, and then, the instructions on how to side load all these fantastic China Apps onto your Fire TV. At the end of the day, you have a single tv set top box that can run bothUS content apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus & Amazon Instant Video) and China content apps (PPTV, Youku, Sohu, iQiqYi, Tudou) as well as UK content Apps, (iTV, BBC) etc.
English Menu on Xiaomi Box?
A lot of my friends were asking… “It’s there a way to make Xiaomi TV Set Top Box to have English menu?” Yes, but you will need to root or jailbreak the Xiaomi Box so that you can change the system menu into English, and then, load some crappy English based launcher. I won’t recommend that.
Netflix or Hulu on Xiaomi Box?
A lot of my friends also asking… How do I watch Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and Vimeo on Xiaomi Box? Again, you need to root or jailbreak the Xiaomi Box which is “dangerous” and then, install the google systems files and the playstore and download these Apps. And since these apps may not support the remote control, so, you may need to put in a wireless mouse to do all the navigation. Sounds ugly, isn’t it?
Amazon Fire TV
Consider buying an Amazon Fire TV. With this, you can have Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. It also run Youtube and Vimeo too.
The next questions is, how do you install the Chinese Apps such as PPTV on it?
The quality of the streaming shows are excellent!
It is only US$99.
Plus shipping you might be able to have this under US$140.
The remote control is very simple, just like Apple TV or Xiaomi Box remote control. Simple & Sleek!
It looks very slick and thin. Compare to Apple TV.
It is definitely more powerful than Apple TV.
It is a Quad Core Media Player.
The Voice Search is cool too!
Plus, you can buy a Game Controller and it works with a lot of exciting games.
Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Instant Video
US$9.99 per month for Netflix. A lot of old shows that you like. The quality is always in HD if you have very good Internet.
US$9.99 per month for Hulu Plus. A lot of newer shows too. But all shows comes with advertisement. All these shows are mostly the major TV producers shows.
US$99 per year as a Prime member. You enjoys many free books and free movies. All movies are in very high quality HD.
With all these TV and movies streaming service, you basically can cut the Starhub or MIO TV cords. This is much more powerful than those traditional TV where you pay a lot of money for very few TV channels. And plus, you have to follow the TV schedule.
ViewQwest Broadband & Freedom VPN
OK. What we are about to do is to configure a TV set top box, i.e. Amazon Fire TV so that you can watch PPTV and others China TV Apps and Neflix, Hulu and Amazon Fire together. Yes, both China contents and US contents on one box.
Traditional ISP such as the Traffic Light Color ISP will not give you this capability. Because they have to protect their own TV contents where they spend so much money for the copyright materials.
Traditional VPN providers will require you to have complicated setup, on router or PC so that you can UNLOCK the geo-lock and watch these contents.
But Traditional VPN providers can only give you ONE COUNTRY at a time. i.e. US VPN will give you a US IP address so that you can watch Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.
So, like what I am using at home, Freedom VPN from ViewQwest, although you need to pay more, but it gives you multiple countries anti-geo-block capability.
This mean, on a same box, you can watch Chinese content, US content or UK content without changing your VPN network!
The Freedom VPN is an ADD-ON $10.70/month price to the ISP Broadband price. So, this is extra you have to pay. And you can only use it on ViewQwest Broadband line.
This is the price plan I abstracted from ViewQwest website. Forget about 500Mbps, forget about 1000Mbps, as most of your IOS and home network might not even support such high speed. So, 300Mbps is enough! See the reason below…
It is not cheap compare to other ISP. But the value you will get is different experience. My home only have 200Mbps plan, and my network cabinet can only get 100Mbps because of the bandwidth loss thru the Homeplug power line. With 100Mbps actual speed within my home, I can enjoyed so much better than those who claimed deliver 1Gbps at $49. I really don’t believe in those “cheap” products. I can download a US TV shows within 1 min. That means no throttle on the ISP side.
If you wish, you can do No contract plans to try.
So, in order to install both US content (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video) and Chinese content (PPTV, Youku, LeTV, Tudou, iQiYi and Sohu) on Amazon Fire TV box, you must have ViewQwest Broadband + Freedom VPN.
If you do not have this, you can still read the following blog entry, but it will not work swiftly on your traffic light or purple ISP link.
So, you have been warned, and please do not ask me how to do if you do not have VQ broadband. I have already fed up with Green and Red ISP for so many years before I found the best ISP for my needs.
Side Load APK Files On Amazon Fire TV
Now, let’s come back to the main topic.
Please follow the guide from the following links. (I will post some screen shots here).
Or you can watch the video here.
Step 1. Enable ADB Debugging.
Step 2. Obtain Fire TV IP Address.
Step 3. Download the “Platform-tools”.
Download Files here: platform-tools here
unzip the file, and then, run Terminal and type in the command. (the Users, YourUserName is based on your machine)
Step 4. Side load the APK. type in the command.
You can obtain all the hacked China APKs here.
or the most important app to install is 沙发管家 (Sofa App Store).
Because Amazon Fire TV systems file is in English, so Sofa App Store is also in English.
You can install many Apps here. But those popular one you will need to have a hacked version and it cannot be found on Sofa App Store.
If you really really don’t know for what reason you want to root or jailbreak your Amazon Fire TV, bad news. There is no root method available for these Fire TV running the latest version of firmware.
You just have to wait until they come up with a root method for these newer firmware.
Amazon seems doing a great job closing all these loopholes.
One reason for rooting your Fire TV is to have the ability to change the HOME button so that it can select multiple launcher. At the moment, when you press on the HOME button on the remote, it will go to the Amazon stock launcher. Which does not list the apps you just download from your Mac using the ADB method.
So, to access your apps that you downloaded, the stupid way is to go into Settings
Manage All Installed Appliacations
Find the App you want
And select Launch Application.
This is a new launcher I downloaded earlier. It is called “firedTV” launcher. For this App, if you press the home button, it will keep launching this app. So it does not really go back to the stock Amazon launcher. But I don’t like it as it is too simple.
Of course, I will use back my favourite launcher, which is Shafa Launcher.
You can change the theme to IOS theme too. Which is more simplistic.
EPL app 光芒体育 cannot run due to encoding problem.
LiveTV app also cannot run.
But most of the App is OK.
This is PPTV on Fire TV.
Vimeo on Fire TV.
Youtube on Fire TV.
Tudou on Fire TV.
BestTV on Fire TV.
Budin on Fire TV.
Youku on Fire TV.
Hulu Plus on Fire TV.
Netflix on Fire TV.
Sohu on Fire TV.
The Amazon stock launcher with Amazon Instant Video / Prime Video.
1. This is the ultimate goal. To run both English content and China content on the same box.
2. You can’t do this on Xiaomi Box because the China Developers did not write the English App to work with the remote control of Xiaomi Box.
3. You can do this on Fire TV because it is basically an android box and most of the US App works with the remote of Fire TV and most of the China Apps magically works with the remote control of Fire TV.
4. Amazon Fire TV is Quad Core Android box. So, its performance beats Apple TV and level with Xiaomi Box.
5. In order to do this, you cannot use Traffic Light or Purple color ISP. Because all these player has incomplete solutions or they have to protect their TV content copyright fees.
6. In order to do this, you have to use service such as Freedom VPN that allows you to unlock geo-lock from US, China and UK and other countries at the same time. If you use other VPN services, good luck in configuring and it can only VPN to one country at a time.
7. In addition the gaming experience on Fire TV is super!
OK. Have fun with your Fire TV.