Friday , May 25 2018

How To: Setup the Nexus Player with custom DNS and side-load apps

nexus-player-overview-1600
The Nexus Player has begun arriving on Australian shores through a variety of different means, so it’s time to look at how we can ‘Australianify’ it. The Nexus Player is of course a Chromecast receiver, but can run apps in its own right, so people have naturally begun trying to access the US-Based Netflix service on the player.

The fix to enable DNS routing is a lot easier than on the Chromecast, which requires a modification to your router setup. There’s actually settings within the Nexus Player settings to change the network settings of your device, including adding custom DNS servers which will enable you to use Netflix.

While this will help to get you to access the service, you still need to side-load the Netflix app (and others such as Kodi, Hulu etc) to access the service. So, how do you do it?

Modify DNS

Note: This setup was done on the ADT-1 which includes Ethernet, but has essentially identical software as the Nexus Player, we HAVE tested this on the Nexus Player as well. You can actually connect a USB Ethernet connector to your Nexus Player if you would like though.

Performing the setup gets a lot easier when you install the Android TV Remote Control app from Google Play, which lets you use the on-screen keyboard on your phone or tablet. But here we go:

  1. Turn on your Nexus Player and from the Home Screen, scroll down to Network Settings and select it.
  2. Nexus Player - Home Network Settings

  3. Then, select your Wi-Fi connection.
  4. Select ‘Advanced Options’.
  5. Select ‘IP Settings’
  6. Select ‘Static’, this will then require you to enter the manual network settings for your Nexus Player.
  7. Here you’ll need to enter which IP Address on your network you would like to assign to the Nexus Player.
  8. Enter IP Address

  9. Next you’ll need the Gateway for your network (this is generally the IP Address of your router).
  10. Enter Gateway

  11. Next you’ll enter the Network Prefix Length – if you’re not customising the subnet, then just enter ’24’.
  12. Network PreFix

  13. Then you’ll need your custom DNS Servers IP Addresses, a Primary and a Secondary. Enter Primary and click ‘Next’, then enter the Secondary and click ‘Next’.

This should then be right to go. It seems to be a bit hit and miss though, with my network requiring a day to pick up the new settings – even after several reboots.

Side-loading Apps

Once your Nexus Player has been freed from the restrictive DNS, you’ll want to side load Netflix, Kodi (Formerly XBMC), Hulu, or any other number of apps on your Nexus Player. So, how do you do it? First you need to enable ‘Unknown Sources’.

Unknown Sources

  1. From your Home screen, scroll down to ‘Settings’ and select it.
  2. From the Settings screen, scroll down to the Personal tab and scroll across to ‘Security & Restrictions’ and select it.
  3. Select ‘Unknown Sources’ from the menu and then select ‘On’.

Getting the APKs

Actually getting apps onto your Nexus Player can be done in a number of ways. You can upload them to Google Drive and then download them from there, you can use a USB-OTG cable and install it from a flash drive, transfer through the network, or use ADB-Sideload from your PC.

I found the easiest way was to install ES File Explorer and Chainfire’s Sideload Launcher was from the Google Play on the web. Go to each link and click ‘Install’, then select the Nexus Player from the drop down list of devices.

To transfer apks using Drive and ES File Explorer once you’ve uploaded an APK to Drive here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to ‘Sideload Launcher’ on your Android TV Home Screen and load ES File Explorer.
  2. Use the controller to go to the top of the app and select the ‘Network’ option.
  3. Then Select Cloud.
  4. You’ll have to select ‘Add New’ and then add your Drive account.
  5. Once you’re connected to Drive, you can download the APK to your Nexus Player.
  6. Using ES File Explorer ES, go to your Local Storage and install the APK. Scroll through the screens until it’s installed.
  7. Go back to the Android TV Home Screen and then open the Sideload Launcher menu and select Netflix.
  8. Enter your Netflix credentials and you should be set to go.

Big thanks to Harrison for the pointer to a couple of XDA-Developers posts for this How-To. You can find the post on changing DNS Settings here, and the post on side-loading apps here. If you need to grab a Netflix APK, head over to APKMirror, or there’s one over on XDA as well. If you’re after Kodi (Formerly XBMC), you can download it from their website.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

6 comments

  1. I see you have Ethernet for the player. Does this work for you with the smart DNS? I have revenlty acquired the adaptor and seem to be having issues.

  2. Legend, I have just purchased a nexus player to use a DNS service. So happy I can now access US netflix and Hulu. I am even considering trying Kodi as it looks very easy to install now

  3. I don’t have any experienced in that but seems to be looking very excite for this gadgets.

  4. I notice you have Modern Combat on the Nexus Player – how has the experience been? – I tried playing V5 and it was laggy and due to it being a port of a mobile game, you couldn’t zoom in to scope which made for a lacklustre game. Have you found the same experience?

    • Bear in mind I have the ADT-1 with a different processor so it could make the difference when it comes to lag. MC5 is actually pretty good. Haven’t gotten too far into it (no scope yet), but was running fine with no lag.

      • Thanks for the information, on the Nexus Player right from the beginning everytime I shoot the framerate drops, seems it might just be due to the nexus player’s lower hardware.

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