Note: This is part 2 of a two-part series, with our 1st part detailing options for Windows found here.
Everyone loves gaming on the couch. There’s nothing like curling up on your sofa blasting baddies with your obnoxiously huge TV and loud home theater system (who likes neighbors, anyway?). LiquidSky works on all sorts of devices, but, does it work on the TV? Short answer: Yep. Gaming on the couch is 100% awesome on LiquidSky…with the proper setup.
We’ve got a ton of requests to do a proper guide to setting up the best LiquidSky living room setups. With two different apps to use, we thought it would be best to split this into each app. This article, we’ll be focusing on Android. So without further adieu, here are our top ways to use LiquidSky on the world’s most popular OS:
Option #1: Galaxy S8 Dex Dock
Samsung’s mighty S8 not only is still the top Android smartphone but can become a desktop PC by just leaving it on your desk! The Dex is an ingenious dock that seamlessly charges your smartphone and makes it soo much more. Even though Dex was designed for the office, we’ve found it perfect for the living room as well. Hook in a Logitech K400 with a Bluetooth controller and it’ll leave your streaming stick to shame.
Need proof? Check out our CEO shooting some baddies from his work TV (doesn’t every CEO have one?)
Option #2: Amazon Fire Stick
Although a bit more cumbersome, the Fire Stick is all-around one of the best streaming devices currently sold. Since the Fire Stick technically doesn’t use Android (it does…just don’t tell Amazon), you’ll need to download the Android Package Kit (often called APK) from our website here. Once you’ve downloaded it to your Fire, download ES File Manager from the Fire Store. Find and install the APK from the File Manager and you’ll be running LiquidSky just like any other Android device.
There’s one more catch, however: As time goes on and we keep improving the LiquidSky on Android experience, you’ll need to manually update the app yourself since you won’t have the Google Play Store. To update, simply go to our website and re-download the APK. It will override your old install and update your app.
Now the good news: Fire Sticks are soooo much easier to use on your TV than any Android TV stick. Not only do you get the same LiquidSky experience, but you also get a much easier time watching movies at home, especially since Alexa navigation is directly on the remote that comes in the box. No need to fumble through menus to find your favorite show. Just talk to your remote! Once you’ve done it once, it’ll be hard to go back.
Plus, the Fire Stick is just $40 USD. You can find them on Amazon here.
We also highly recommend springing an extra $15 USD on the official Amazon ethernet adapter. Not only is it an elegant solution in getting speedy ethernet, but it also frees up your tiny stick’s bluetooth for your controller. It’s a small investment that will pay for itself in getting a consistent streaming experience. Get the Ethernet Adapter here.
Option #3: Android TV Boxes
You might be asking “Hey LiquidSky, why would a native Android set be ranked lower than a Fire Stick”? Good question, and it’s 100% valid. The biggest reason is…well…Android TV isn’t that popular. Admit it. When’s the last time you’ve seen an Android TV at a friend’s living room TV? There’s a good reason for that: the popular support by both developers and Google just isn’t there, unfortunately. Google has focused their attention on Chromecast, and many TV already have Smart capabilities built-in.
Amazon, on the other hand, puts a lot of attention on their Fire Sticks. They have to if they want to compete with Netflix. Plus, these little sticks are sold almost everywhere (including Amazon). You’d be hard-pressed to find an electronics store that doesn’t have Fire Sticks. Not to mention that navigating on a Fire Stick is sooo much easier than Android TV (which is essentially a scaled version of Android).
All things equal, we would recommend an Android TV box over a Fire Stick if it comes from a reputable company that’s large enough to continue supporting the device over time. Otherwise, you’ll likely run into the same problems in updating the app as the Amazon Fire Stick (not to mention long-term reliability issues).
One Android TV device we recommend is the Mi Box. It’s sold in a variety of retailers and is officially listed as an Android TV box on Google’s website. While Android is openly available, having official backing and listing by Google will ensure long-term support and app compatibility. You can find the box for approx. $69 USD at Walmart here.
Although not officially supported devices, you can find a plethora of Android TV boxes on Gearbest ranging from $40-120 USD. Like a PC, these boxes will have a wide variety of configurations and even interfaces. We recommend sorting based on reviews and finding a model that works for you. Unlike the Mi TV Box, we can’t guarantee compatibility with many Android apps, as software support and configurations vary widely, so caveat eptour. You can find Android TV devices at Gearbest here.
Option #4: Galaxy Smart Dock
Before the Dex, there was the Smart Dock. For those Note 4 lovers and holdouts, this might just be the perfect solution for you. Just like the Dex, you just hook it up to the TV and use your phone while it charges.
Unfortunately, the actual experience is nowhere near as cool as the Dex. Except for certain specialized apps, you’re essentially using your phone without any modifications. Unless the app forces it (like LiquidSky), you’re gonna be looking at a Portrait screen on a Landscape TV. All the apps you use for multimedia do automatically switch to Landscape when watching videos. Everything works perfectly, but it just looks funky seeing most of your TV in black bars when getting to your apps. One workaround is to force Landscape in the down toggle. Still, it’s far from a perfect experience. Which brings us to our next option…
Chromecast (Android Only)
Let’s say you 98% of the time play LiquidSky off your smartphone or computer setup…but would like a way to connect from the couch on those 2% lazy days. Enter Chromecast, your lazy day best friend. Simply play your games like you normally would on LiquidSky for Android, and cast your entire experience to your TV.
There’s several reasons why this method is at the bottom of the list: It eats your battery (as you’re just streaming your phone to the TV), there can be a delay between your audio and video, and there’s some lag when using this. On our tests, it was doable for single player experiences, but it’ll likely meet your doom on competitive multiplayer where every millisecond counts.
We also tested Chromecast on other devices. Any device that streams via the Chrome browser, whether that’s a Windows PC or a Chromebook, creates significant lag and stream stuttering. We can’t recommend streaming via Chromecast for anything except on an Android device with good internals.
Also, using Bluetooth was a lagfest using this method. We recommend plugging your controller directly into your device’s USB port. We’ve tried both the PS4 and Gamesir controllers and it worked well when plugged in directly to your phone.
One Last Tip:
A/V HD Receivers
Setting up a Home Theater for yourself can be a huge hassle. Your TV only has so many inputs for all your stuff. Plus, it gets even more complicated when you add in a 7.1 surround sound setup calibrated to each gizmo in your living room. Then you start running out of ports to hook your stuff up, so you start daisy chaining several adapters together. Do you want all that funneled through your TV set?
Enter receivers: your ultimate living room companion. Instead of hodgepodging your TV with a bazillion hookups and adapters, you just plug in 1 measly HDMI cable into your HDTV and let the receiver do the rest. Not only will this make your living room setup much neater, but also much simpler to organize all your devices. Switching devices is also a breeze with a receiver.
The biggest advantage to receivers: they amplify the sound to your speakers, creating a much more theatrical and bombastic sound experience than hooking speakers to your TV directly. Also, receivers funnel your audio directly from whatever input device you have. Whatever goes into the receiver will go out to the speakers. This is especially important with Windows hookups, as direct connections can sometimes be messy or have issues.
Luckily, receivers have gotten a lot cheaper over the past few years. For less than $200 USD, you can get a powerful receiver that does everything you need for your living room. Getting an A/V Receiver is not needed to use LiquidSky in your living room, but we highly recommend it to deliver the best possible audio and video experience.
Top Budget Receivers:
Sony 7.2 Channel Home Theater 4K AV Receiver
Onkyo 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver
We hope you guys found this article useful! Be sure to check out our Blog for more helpful LiquidSky tips. Check out our living room tips on Windows devices here on our recommended setups for our Windows client.
Looking to spruce up your network? We’ve got two guides for our top networking tips! First, check out for our networking in the 21st-century guide here, especially if you’re keen on sprucing up your digital security. If you’re already setup with the basics and looking to upgrade your home wireless, check out our picks for best WiFi routers and receivers article here.