UPDATE: 25th February 2019
Despite the DS-Video app now being available in the Amazon Fire TV App store, I have updated this because it seems that the Fire TV version of the apps has problems with SSL certificates (even ones issued by a 3rd party certificate authority). There’s been a few changes to the locations of downloads, an additional prompt on the Fire TV stick when connecting via ADB and many newer versions of the APKs!
UPDATE 5th Aug 2017
Thanks to Benil for the info about a new Synology DS-Video App specifically designed for TVs, info below updated. Note if updating to the new Android TV App, you’ll need to remove *ALL* DS-Video app versions from your Fire Stick as they cannot co-exist.
I recently purchased one the newer generation Amazon Fire TV Sticks (with Alexa voice control). I was very much in two minds as to whether or not to buy the older one as I knew that one could have apps sideloaded.
Fortunately it turns out the newer one can too! Immediately this meant I could install two key apps: the Synology DS-Video app (to browse movies stored on my [easyazon_link keywords=”Synology NAS” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Synology NAS[/easyazon_link]) and the Synology DS-Cam app (to watch the feeds from my security cameras just – well – because).
The steps below explain how to sideload an app using the DS-Video app as an example.
Prepare the Amazon Fire Stick
On the Settings menu, select Device
On the Device menu, select Developer Options
On the Developer Options page, turn ADB debugging ‘On’ and Apps from Unknown Sources ‘On’
Determine the Fire TV Stick’s IP Address
On your [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZV9RDKK” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link], select Settings the main menu
On the Device menu, select About
On the About menu, select Network
On the right hand pane you will see the IP Address being used by your [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZV9RDKK” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link], note this down – you’ll need it later!
Download Necessary Files:
To get the DS-Video App working with your [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZV9RDKK” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link] you’ll need to download 3 pieces of software:
Android Debugging Tools SDK
This provides a set of tools to let you connect remotely to Android devices.
Synology DS-Video App APK
This is the DS-Video app used to browse the Video Station media server on your [easyazon_link keywords=”Synology NAS” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Synology NAS[/easyazon_link].
Synology have now released a version of the DS-Video App specifically for Android TVs, I used version 1.14 which you can download here: AndroidTV-DSvideo.1.1.4-10049.apk.
You can view all the releases of the Android TV app here: here: https://archive.synology.com/download/Mobile/Android-DSvideo/
If you have any problems with the Android TV version, you could try an Android Phone/tablet version as this work for me previously too, the last version I used was: DSvideo.3.3.0-247.apk
VLC Media Player APK
The original DS-Video app is unable play video files itself and so VLC Media Player needs to be installed to actually play selected videos for that *but* the newer Android TV DS-Video app seems to have a player built in that worked fine for me. If you have any problems however, use VLC.
Update: You can now download VLC from the Fire Stick app store with no problems
Connect to the Amazon Fire Stick
Unzip the Android SDK Tool kit to a folder on your computer, I highly recommend putting it in a folder in the root of your C: drive to make it easy to reference in command prompt, for example c:\androidsdk
Open a Command Prompt with Admin privileges
Browse to the folder you unzipped using the following command:
Enter the command:
adb connect 192.168.1.123
Where 192.168.1.123 is the IP address of your Fire TV Stick as identified earlier.
Update: Amazon have added a security feature at this point, you will see a prompt appear on your TV via the Fire TV stick asking you to confirm you want it to accept the connection. It should be similar to below:
Click OK to confirm
You can now verify you are connected to the Amazon TV Fire Stick by running the following command:
You should see your device listed like this:
To install an APK, ensure its copied to an easy to access path on your machine (I put them in the same folder as the Android Debugger Tools) and install them using the following command (changing the filename to match the APK you wish to install):
adb install AndroidTV-DSvideo.1.1.4-10049.apk
You should see a Success update.
Setting up the DS-VIdeo or DS-Cam App
You may have trouble finding the app when you first install it, sometimes I have to launch it via ‘Managed Installed Apps’ found under Settings > Applications > Manage Install Applications – select the App then press Launch.
The next problem you may encounter is that the application layout is completely stretched and messed up. For some reason this occurs when you first run a Synology Android app on a Fire TV that was made for generic Android. If you press the home button and open the app again, the layout should be fixed.
Finally, entering your information can be frustrating on a non TV version of the app – just remember that the application doesn’t always show a visible cursor when moving through the options and also that sometimes you need to use left and right (as well as up and down) to move across to things like the checkboxes on the other side of the app.