There’s no doubt that Netflix is the most popular streaming service by far, with Netflix subscribers making up a massive 50% of those using a video streaming service.
So it’s not surprising that getting Netflix on an Android TV box is a top priority for many. However, with Netflix blocking installation of the app on certain Android devices, installing Netflix isn’t as straightforward as it once was.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to to install Netflix on your Android TV box, where to download the Netflix for Android APK, what to do if you’re getting the “your device isn’t compatible with this version” error and the best Android TV boxes for Netflix so you can get streaming in no time.
How to Get Netflix on an Android TV Box
Installing Netflix on your Android TV box can be done using one of two methods, depending on your particular Android TV box:
- Installing from the Google Play store: Installing Netflix from the Google Play store is the fastest way to get Netflix on your Android TV box. However, with Netflix’s recent crackdown on uncertified Android TV boxes, this option is not avaialle for many devices. Searching for Netflix on an uncertified device won’t return any results while clicking on a direct link will show you that the app isn’t compatible.
- Sideloading the Netflix for Android APK: If youre getting the “your device isn’t compatible with this version” error or don’t have access to the Google Play store, sideloading the Netflix APK is your only option. Thankfully, this is still pretty straightforward thanks to this guide.
The Easy Option: Installing Netflix on your Android TV box using the Google Play Store
If you’ve got a compatible media player, installing the app from the Google Play Store is definitely the easiest method to get Netflix on your Android TV box.
- Open the Google Play Store app on your Android TV box
- In the Search box, search for “Netflix”
- Click on the Netflix app and select Install. The Netflix app will be downloaded and installed on your Android device
- Launch Netflix and log in to your Netflix account to start streaming
The Slightly Harder Method: Sideloading the Netflix APK
You’ll need to sideload the Netflix APK if you’re encountering the following issues:
- You can’t find Netflix on the Google Play store
- You see the error “your device isn’t compatible with this version” on the Netflix Google Play store page
- Your Android TV box doesn’t have access to the Google Play store app
Thankfully, sideloading Netflix isn’t complex with our step-by-step guide.
- First, we’ll need to allow installation of apps from unknown sources. This lets you install apps from “non-official” sources i.e. not the Google Play store. Go to Settings>Security and enable “Unknown Sources”
- Open your Android device’s web browser, go to https://help.netflix.com/en/node/57688 and click “Click here to download the Netflix app” to download the Netflix for Android APK. If you’re using Chrome like me, Chrome should download the APK your Android TV box’s Downloads folder
- Open the APK file you downloaded using your Android TV box’s file manager. I’m using ES File Explorer as this is my favorite file manager on Android
- Select Install and accept any prompts to install Kodi on your Android TV box
- Click Open when the installation process is complete to launch Kodi for the first time
Not All Android Boxes are Made Equal: HD Netflix on Android Boxes
Getting Netflix on your Android TV box isn’t particularly complicated as I’ve shown. However, getting high definition Netflix is far more complicated – so much so that I’ve written a whole guide on it.
Basically, Netflix will work in SD quality (480p) on most Android devices. High definition Netflix (1080p and 4K) has a stricter set of requirements:
- Google Widevine L1 DRM: HD Netflix requires Level 1 of Google’s DRM solution to be supported on your Android box. Most boxes will support Level 3 but Level 1 is considerably rarer. You can check if your box supports Google Widevine L1 by using the excellent DRM Info app.
- Netflix Certification: Netflix appears to need to certify a device in order to enable 4K streaming. The company provides a list of Netflix-certified devices though it doesn’t have much info.
Best Android TV boxes for Netflix
I’ve pulled together my recommendations for the best Android TV boxes for Netflix based on our comprehensive testing.
All the boxes below support 4K Netflix so you know you’re getting the best picture quality when streaming (as long as your internet connection is fast enough!)
Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV is the most powerful Android TV box money can buy, making it well-worth its higher price tag.
Running Android TV, Google’s TV-optimized OS, the Nvidia Shield can play back 4K Netflix as well as other streaming services.
You’ll also get best-in-breed gaming performance, built-in Google Cast support and comprehensive integration with Google Assistant – the company’s virtual assistant.
Xiaomi Mi Box
The Xiaomi Mi Box is another streaming media player running Android TV.
Coming in at under $100, it’s not as powerful as Nvidia’s device but offers the same 4K Netflix experience in addition to excellent media playback performance.
You’ll also have Google Assistant at your fingertips thanks to the inclusion of a Bluetooth voice remote.
Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV is clearly targeted at Amazon Prime subscribers but it’s Netflix capabilities are nothing to sneeze at. Like the other streaming media players on this list, it’s able to stream 4K Netflix for the best possible image quality.
The Fire TV runs Fire OS, Amazon’s heavily-customised Android fork, which means that you’ll have to use the Amazon App Store to install apps, though you can easily sideload apps like Kodi to improve the Fire TV’s media playback capabilities.
The WeTek Hub is the only Android TV box that runs stock Android – though you wouldn’t know it thanks to Wetek’s exceptional TV-optimized launcher.
Thanks to support for Google Widevine L1, the Wetek Hub is capable of streaming 4K Netflix.
You’ll also get excellent Kodi support including advanced features such as automatic framerate switching as Wetek works closely with Kodi developers to ensure the best possible Kodi experience.