How to turn the OUYA into a full blown MediaCenter with Android Apps

In this article we want to show you how to turn your OUYA console into a Media Center for your living room.

We are still waiting for a stable custom rom for the OUYA. In the meantime I want to show you how to use your OUYA as a full featured media center.

The first thing coming into mind, when you think about a media center is the XBMC project. So we tried that. There is a special build for the the OUYA, which supports hardware decoding using the lib_stagefright. You can find it here. If you want to pimp your XBMC install have a look at the tutorial at XBMCHub. You may nevertheless use the XBMC build posted above for the hardware acceleration.


The results with both versions of XBMC were however rather disappointing. I tried to play a full HD movie streamed from my NAS and the movie was stuttering pretty much. So the first try to get a Android powered media center unfortunately was a flop. Don’t get  me wrong – I’m a big fan of the XBMC project, but the performance of XBMC is not sufficient for me at the moment.

What do I want from my media center?

I want to stream my movies from my NAS, i want to listen to music – i have a squeezebox, pardon, logitech media server running. And i dont want to be bound to the controller – i would rather use it for playing games.

So what is the solution the the Media Center Problem?

There are more tools for watching movies in the Android World 😉

The probably best app for watching movies i know from my android device is MX Player. If you want to play your movies from a local drive on you OUYA you would be ready by now. Don’t forget to activate the HW+ function of the MX Player.

But how do you get the MX Player on your OUYA? There are multiple possibilities to achieve this task, the easiest for me was to install ES File explorer (you can download it from the browser on your console) and to copy the apks from your tablet or phone to the console.

But i want to stream my movies from my NAS to the OUYA via DLNA.

Fortunately there is also a free app called Bubble UPNP. Install this to you console and your Android tablet or mobile and set the MX Player as the standard movie player for videos. Now you can control playback on your OUYA from your mobile or tablet – mission accomplished ! 🙂 The MX Player is was able to play a movie with an average bit-rate og 20000kbit/s  without any problems.


For streaming music from my NAS/logitech Media Server i am using SqueezePlayer, where i can control playback from my mobile too.

There is one more thing left. How to automatically start the above mentioned programs on boot?

There is an app for that 😉 – autorun manager on the play store. Unfortunately i didn’t had time to test it, so i will tell you if that is working out some time later …

I hope, that i could help you with my testings, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you have some questions.

Read you soon – until then – stay tuned!


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