If you’re into TV and gaming, the Razor Forge TV offers a mixture of both. Combining these options with Android’s hefty app store, Razor Forge TV can be used to access a lot of media, especially if you decide to install Kodi onto it. Although you won’t find the Kodi Media Center on the Razor Forge TV version of the Google Play app store, you can install Kodi on Razor Forge TV in only a few minutes’ time by following a few simple steps.
Before we Proceed
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How to Install Kodi on Razor Forge TV
If you’ve ever dug around in an Android device’s settings, this process should be somewhat familiar to you. Razor Forge TV utilizes Android version 5.1 (Lollipop), which is among the most common versions of Android TV currently in use. The user interface has been somewhat modified to more personalize the experience to Razor Forge TV, but you’ll be able to easily navigate the menu to find what you need.
First, install Android ADB onto a computer.
- Download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows
- Download SDK Platform-Tools for Mac
- Download SDK Platform-Tools for Linux
Next, enable developer options. To do this, do the following:
- From the home screen, select Settings
- Scroll down to locate and then click on About
- Scroll down to where you see Build Number. Click on build number several times until you get a message saying that developer mode has been unlocked
Next, enable ADB debugging. To do this, do the following:
- Return to the Settings screen
- Under Preferences, scroll down click on Developer options
- When you open Developer options, select Debugging. Then, selection USB/ADB debugging
- Connect to a computer with ADB installed using a USB cable (if you do not have this connection, the ADB tool won’t load)
Next, allow your Razor Forge TV to install apps from unknown sources. To do this, do the follow:
- Go back to the main Settings page
- Scroll down and click on Security
- Click to enable Unknown sources
You’re ready to install Kodi on Razor Forge TV! Now, follow the below steps:
- Download Kodi onto your computer (Android ARM version). (Complete the next steps. If the ARM version does not work, you may need to use a developer ARM version, which you can download from here)
- Connect your Razor Forge TV to your computer using a USB cord, if you haven’t already done so
- Connect to your Razor Forge TV via the ADB tool. You can do this one of two ways:
- If connecting via USB, run “adb usb” from the command line
- If connecting via a network connection, run “adb start-server; adb connect <ip address of Razor Forge TV>” from command line.
- If you see your device as “unauthorized”, run “adb devices”
- To install Kodi onto your Razor Forge TV, run “adb install <path to apk file>” from the command line.
Sideload Launcher App
If you can’t find or launch your Kodi app after the above install process, you may need to download the Sideload Launcher app. This will allow you to launch sideloaded apps, like Kodi, which are not found in the official Google Play Store for Android TVs like Razor Forge TV.
To do this, do the following:
- Install Sideload Launcher from Google Play
- Reboot your Razor Forge TV by either typing “adb reboot” in the command line or unplugging the device
- Start Sideload Launcher and launch Kodi from the app
Key Term Explanations
If you’re new to this process, you may be wondering what “Developer Mode” and “ADB Debugging” actually are, and why they’re required to install Kodi in the first place. The following should help you better understand what these options mean.
Android tends to be a very open architecture for developers. However, it is generally closed off most of the time, preventing anyone from actually installing any unofficial applications or toying with other features within the Android operating system. Developer Mode opens up a number of options that allow developers to toy with different versions of Android. Ostensibly, this is designed so that developers can install their own apps onto their Android devices to test the functionality of those apps before officially getting them into the Google Play Store. However, it also allows you to install unofficial applications to your phone, so long as you have the right web address to download the application.
That’s only the basic understanding of developer mode, however. Generally speaking, developer mode allows you to interact with your device in ways that most people don’t actually need, which is why Android tends to limit this option. It prevents casual users from accidentally damaging their devices while giving developers the ability to test the Android OS architecture in useful ways. However, as stated, most developer options are specifically related to testing applications. Additionally, developer tools can cause some changes to the user experience that casual users may not prefer, and may slow down the system.
ADB Debugging is one of the key developer options that allow users to interact with their Android device in interesting ways. This mode is unique to Android devices, and stands for “Android Bridge Debugging”. (Yes, using the word “debugging” after the acronym is actually very repetitive. Nevertheless, this is how it’s commonly discussed.) ADB Debugging is a command-line utility in Google’s software development kit (SDK) that allows you to connect to your install and uninstall apps, or simply copy files back and forth between a computer, via a USB connection.
This one is perhaps the most obvious. When Developer Mode is deactivated, your Android can only install applications from within the Google Play Store, which carry a certain piece of code that verifies them as official. That code is only delivered through apps officially listed on Google Play. If you want to install apps that do not have that specific verification, it requires allowing apps from Unknown Sources, e.g., unregistered apps.
You can still download apps that are not located in the Google Play Store. However, your Razor Forge TV will not allow you to actually install the app unless the developer mode option activated.
Why Isn’t Kodi on the Normal Google Play Store?
You may have noticed that Kodi can be found on the Google Play Store with a normal Android device, but seems to be mysteriously missing from Razor Forge TV’s Play Store. This also happens to be the case with other Android TV devices.
Android TV devices use a different version of the Google Play Store, with apps that are designed specifically to work with these devices. The normal Kodi app is simply not listed in this version of the Google Play Store. If you’re worried that this has something to do with Kodi’s legality, there’s no need to trouble yourself here. Kodi, as media player application, is fully legal to use, even on the Razor Forget TV. The fact that it is unlisted and considered an “unknown source” has more to do with how Kodi is coded than anything else. You should be able to enjoy Kodi as normal using your Razor Forge TV without worry.
I’m Not Having Fun with Razor Forge TV. Are There Other Options?
You might note that the Razor Forge TV tends to have bad ratings. One YouTube reviewer rated it a “dud”, while one Reddit user on the Android TV forum wrote a lengthy explanation why the device is “awful”. If you’re equally feeling skeptical about your Razor Forge TV purchase or you’re considering purchasing one for Kodi, you might want to look into other options.
Our list of the best Kodi TV boxes might help you find a better device. If its gaming and TV you’re going for, the NVidia Shield TV might be a much better option for you, while some of the other devices can be paired with a Bluetooth controller that allows you to still play games from the Google Play Store as well as view Kodi.
Amazon also sells their Fire TV, which will load Kodi. While the main Fire TV does not do well with those who want a bit more hardcore gaming, Amazon does sell a gaming version of their Fire TV that can take the place of a Razor Forge TV while giving users a much better experience.
Additionally, the WeTek TV boxes score highly on our list, although these may not be the best for someone who wants both TV and gaming options from their TV device.