With the help of a $50 Android Mini PC (found via Amazon or eBay), ex-pats or anyone wanting to enrich their foreign language skills can watch foreign TV stations on their home TV. The Android Mini PC connects to an HDTV set, and with the add-ons of a wireless keyboard and a powered USB hub, you can turn your TV into a smart TV, and have free and open access to TV station apps that will allow you to watch news, movies, and other programming from overseas.
Step 1: Items to Purchase to Turn Your TV Into an International TV Set
Purchase the following:
- A Quad-Core, Android Mini PC ($50-$80). This can be purchased through any major online retailer (Amazon, eBay, etc.) Make sure an HDMI connection cable and AC power unit are included with the Android Mini PC.
- A wireless keyboard/mouse combo unit ($15-$30).
- An AC powered, USB 4 port hub ($10-$15).
Step 2: Connect the Components Together
Connect the Android Mini PC to one of your TV’s HDMI ports, with the USB hub attached to the Android Mini PC. Connect the keyboard’s wireless remote adapter to the USB hub.
Step 3: Set Up Your Android Mini PC, Connect to Wifi, Download Apps!
Once everything is connected, you will be prompted to set up the Android Mini PC. You will connect the device to your home’s wifi Internet signal. Since it’s an Android system, you’ll be prompted to set it up using a Gmail account, to gain access to the Google Play Store and other features. Your Android Mini PC should look similar to the above image.
Step 4: Download Apps Provided by Foreign TV Channels
Navigate to the Google Play Store, and install apps provided by foreign TV channels to watch foreign programming and content - free of charge! Note, some channels restrict viewing based on your IP location, so some channels may not work. For instance, BBC, ITN, and ESPN either restrict based on location or your cable TV subscription.
Step 5: Watch TV, Surf the Web, Play Games - Your TV Is Now a Computer Work Station!
Happy viewing! In addition to being able to watch international TV stations, your TV is now a basic computer system which you can use to surf the Web, use apps, play games, and stream content from your home network.