With the release of the Amazon FireTV, AppleTV and TheVerge posts around AndroidTV, the 99$er TV set-top box war is getting into high gear.

Let’s take a step back though. The FireTV sports a 2GB RAM, dedicated GPU, quad core Qualcomm CPU and a full-size USB port for 99$. This is a fantastic low-end PC that I’ll gladly install WinRT / Ubuntu on if it’s possible, but in the meanwhile, here’s a step-by-step tutorial to install XBMC on the FireTV.

Enabling Debug Mode

On the Amazon FireTV, go to:

  1. Settings
  2. System
  3. Developer Options
  4. ADB debugging

Turn ADB debugging on

Now get your FireTV IP address by going to:

  1. Settings
  2. System
  3. About
  4. Network
Getting the IP Details

Write down your IP address

Getting the Android Developer Tools (ADT)

Get the Android developer tools and install the appropriate SDK for your machine. In my case, I got the x64 Windows bundle.

Extract the files and open the folder “sdkplatform-tools” folder.

Getting the XBMC APK for Android

Visit xbmc.org and download the Android flavor of XBMC. Save the APK file into the same “sdkplatform-tools” folder

UPDATE: Consider getting SPMC (XBMC on Ouya Fork), runs better on the fireTV.

Installing XBMC on FireTV

Open a console window in the “sdkplatform-tools” folder and run the following commands:

  1. adb kill-server
  2. adb start-server
  3. adb connect 192.168.1.116 (replace with the FireTV IP you’ve written on the side)
  4. adb.exe install xbmc-12.3-Frodo-armeabi-v7a.apk (or spmc-armeabi-v7a_12.3.3.apk / other version you’ve downloaded)
Commands in the Console

If those steps pass successfully, you’ll now be able to access XBMC on your FireTV

Running XBMC

Back on your FireTV, navigate to the XBMC app:

  1. Settings
  2. Applications
  3. XBMC
  4. Launch application
Running XBMC

 Content

At this point, it’s XBMC all the way. The fastest way I found to pass some content in was using Serviio to set up a UPnP server on Windows, but consider using any approach you’d like to set things up.

IceCast on FireTV

Note: You can use a USB keyboard very easily for inputting text – it seems there are XBMC glitches when it comes to text input using the remote.

USB Keyboard

Finishing Touches

Here are a few screenshots from XBMC’s hardware reports:

XBMC Info