Today’s smart projectors, like the TK850i, have caught up with the smart television. The TK850i gives you access to apps and services like Google Play, Prime Video and YouTube right on the projector with the included BenQ Android TV dongle. Now you don’t have to split your time between a projector for movies and a TV for streaming. With the included media stick, you can watch all your content on the same big screen home theater.
Once installed, the included Android TV USB dongle acts as a streaming and media box with many channels and apps built-in. It simplifies streaming, as you no longer need to run HDMI and power cables to a game console or PC. With the Android TV dongle, there’s no cable mess to deal with and no separate power supply required. Just plug the Android TV device into HDMI and power it from a USB port on your projector and that’s it. You’re good to go. With much of today's streamed content being formatted for 4K HDR, it’s a shame to not use your projector for that as well.
As Android TV gains more prominence in the marketplace, expect additional apps and services to become available. As of this writing, for example, the TK850i streaming stick does not support Netflix but you can easily cast Netflix from your phone or PC. If you want it all built into one system you can use a separate media box like the new Chromecast with Google TV or an Amazon FireTV, or a game console to watch Netflix content. .
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FYI, when you log into the Google Play app store, you will see an option to download and install Netflix for Android TV. Frustratingly, the Netflix app will launch and take you to the profile login screen if you already have set up Netflix for Android TV on another device. Just when you think it’s going to work, you get an error message and have to close the app. As of the date of this review, it’s not working.