Install Synology DS Video app on Amazon Fire TV (and Fire TV Stick)

I have Synology’s DS Video working on my Amazon Fire TV and it works great. I have confirmed that these instructions work for both the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick. In order for this to work I actually needed to do a number of things, so I will do my best to outline them here. At a high level what I did was:

  • Sideload DS Video app to my Fire TV to enable browsing of movie selection
  • Sideload VLC app to my Fire TV to enable video transcoding on the Fire TV
  • Sideload Llama to my Fire TV  to enable home screen icon access to DS Video
  • Pushed file changes so that the appropriate icons showed up on my Fire TV home screen

My steps are based on using a Mac, similar instructions for PC are available at sideloadfiretv.com.

Step 1: Enable ADB Debugging to allow for sideloading

  1. On Fire TV go to Settings > System > Developer Options
  2. Then turn ADB Debugging on

Step 2: Connect to your Fire TV from your Mac

  1. On Fire TV get your IP address by going to Settings > System > About > Network
    Note: Write down the IP address, you’ll need to reference it later
  2. Unzip ADB platform tools (download platform-tools) to your desktop
  3. Open Terminal (just type Term in finder and it will come right up)
  4. Once in terminal, type the following and then hit enter:
    cd /Users/YourUserName/Desktop/platform-tools
    note:YourUserName is your mac user name
  5. This will bring you into the Platform-tools folder, from here now type and then hit enter:
    ./adb connect IPADDRESS
    Note: IPADDRESS is the address we wrote down earlier from your Fire TV

Step 3: Sideload apps onto the Fire TV

  1. Load up a web browser and download the following APK files to your dekstop:
    DS Video – (link to find the latest DS Video APKs)
    VLC (you need something to play all those different video formats) – To download the VLC APK you need to follow a multi-step process:

      1. Get the most recent VLC Play Store URL (Google Play link for VLC)
      2. Go to an APK Downloader (I use Evozi’s APK Downloader)
      3. Generate a link with the downloader and then download the APK

    Llama (optional, use if you want a home screen icon for DS Video) – You can download the Llama APK here

  2. Go back to your Terminal session and install each application by entering in the following command:
    ./adb install /Users/YourUserName/Desktop/filename.apk
    note:YourUserName is your mac user name
  3. You will know the install was completed successfully when you see a message about the install details and the word Success.
  4. Now that the DS Video application is on your Fire TV you can load it by going to Settings > Applications and clicking on DS Video.

Step 4 (Optional): Want to launch the DS Video app from the Home Screen? I used the steps found at http://sideloadfiretv.com/add-kodi-xbmc-icon-to-fire-tvs-home-screen/ and modified it a little so that I could do this with DS Video instead of Kodi XBMC.

  1. On the Fire TV go to Apps > Categories > Entertainment and search for and install “Classic TV”
  2. Open Classic TV app to verify that it worked, and then return to the home screen
  3. You need Llama to trick the Fire TV (so if you haven’t already installed it, return back to Step 3 first and do that before continuing)
    1. Go to Settings > Applications > Manage All Installed Applications and launch Llama
    2. In Llama go to the Events tab and then click the + button
    3. Now click the Add Condition button, trigger event based on Active Application
    4. Now select Choose an App and choose Classic TV and hit ok.
    5. Next you need to select Add Action and select Run Application
    6. Select DS Video
  4. Return to the home screen and launch Classic TV. Because the event was created DS Video will run instead.

Step 5 (Super Optional): Change the Classic TV icon to be a DS Video icon.

1. You will need DS Video Thumbnails and Previews, to make it easy here is the thumbnail and preview icons I used. Right-click both DS Video icons and save the images to your desktop (do not change the default file name):

DS Video Thumbnail Icon

File must be named: thumbnail_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png

DS Video Preview Icon

File must be named: preview_84a70e233a1a6d1ac0d93d2e9f1f2de0e7c2d64d289f1e6f17434fe4c3752717.png

2.In your Terminal session we now need to replace the Classic TV icons with the DS Video icons by running the following 2 commands:

./adb push /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Desktop/thumbnail_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png /sdcard/.imagecache/com.amazon.venezia/com.adrise.profilms/B00IPRAZB4/

./adb push /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Desktop/preview_84a70e233a1a6d1ac0d93d2e9f1f2de0e7c2d64d289f1e6f17434fe4c3752717.png /sdcard/.imagecache/com.amazon.venezia/com.adrise.profilms/B00IPRAZB4/

note:YourUserName is your mac user name

3. Now you need to reboot your Fire TV in order for the settings to take place. You can do this by Pressing and holding the Select and Play buttons down on the Fire TV remote for 5 seconds. Once it reboots the DS Video icon should appear. For it to work for me I actually had to launch the app, and then back out in order for it to show up correctly.

Disclaimer, Amazon links above are affiliate links. I earn credit off any purchases made from those links.

Edit Notes (3-1-15): Updated the Evozi link so that is correct. Also for those interested I have lately been playing around with the FiredTVLauncher to just use a custom UI instead of the out-of-the box FireTV interface. I must say it is much more functional. To date I have watched about 20 movies on the FireTV and overall the experience has been pretty good. I do wish the DScloud UI was a little more optimized for button navigation, but overall I am pretty happy with how it works.

25 thoughts on “Install Synology DS Video app on Amazon Fire TV (and Fire TV Stick)

  1. Thank you for the tutorial! On the step ” Once in terminal, type the following and then hit enter:
    cd /Users/YourUserName/Desktop/platform-tools
    note:YourUserName is your mac user name” I am doing it correctly and I keep getting the message reply ” cd: /Users/brettsmacbook/Desktop/platform-tools: No such file or directory”.

    After downloading the .zip file I unzip ADB platform tools my desktop and then I keep getting that message. I cannot figure out why!

  2. Yes, thanks very much for this.

    I did get thrown off for a minute on the step where we load VLC by generating the .apk download link. The hyperlink for Evozi’s APK Downloader is the same hyperlink pointing to the Google Play store just above it. Once I googled for Evozi’s site, i was back in business.

  3. can you use this same “file must be named” for sideload app retroarch? I’ve added retroarch app but need to put on my home screen. was going to use llama and a sacrificial amazon app like classic tv.. I wanted to add icons image of gaming characters. But not sure what I should save icon file name as when I save icon image to desktop.

  4. Technically you can sideload any Android app, but your success rate will very because the app will need to understand the button input capabilities of the FireTV. As for adding the icon to your home screen, the only way I know of doing so is using llama and sacrificing one of the current apps. The image ID I provided was specific to over writing the Classic TV image file. Something I have been playing with lately is replacing the entire FireTV home screen with FireTVLauncher. This gives me the control to just launch the apps I want on the home screen. It may lack the sexiness of FireTV UI, but it is way more functional for my use.

  5. Three tips:

    1- VLC would throw a playback error if I connected with HTTPS. Unchecking that allowed it to work.

    2- To skip between views (Just Added, All Folders, etc), scroll to the left or right in the list of shows

    3- On the FireTV stick, I had to drop the Chroma from 32 to 16 to get any sort of acceptable playback performance.

    The only thing that I haven’t been able to get working is surround sound– I know that the FireTV in general is super-picky about that, but I was really hoping that VLC would compensate. I tried turning off transcoding at the server to force the issue, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for creating this tutorial, this is exactly what I need. I assume that App updates would need to be installed manually? Would this just be a case of re-running Step 3. 1. and installing the DS Video apk?

    Again many thanks for providing this info

    Steve

  7. @Steve Yup, your assumption is correct. You’ll need to manually keep the app up-to-date. The only time I did the update I actually removed the app first, then refollowed the steps to reinstall.

  8. I just tried it and followed the guide to the teeth. Not sure its due to new updated amazon fire stick but I just get “Error Unknown Error” when I try to play a video.

  9. I followed the instruction step by step, managed to get DS Video, VLC and Llama installing process to return a “Success” but DS Video does not appear unter Settings > Applications. Any ideas?

    Used latest VLC and DS Video

  10. Hi, I can’t find the “Classic TV” app to download so I used another one. Although, now I can’t change the icon to use the DS video icon, since I don’t know exactly the path of the image file. Can you tell me how to discover the path or some other way? thanks

  11. “/Users/YourUserName/” can just be abbreviated with “~” which is a shortcut for the current users home path on unix-like systems.

    As in “cd ~/Downloads”

  12. Many thanks for the guide. However, on my Fire TV I have successfully side loaded the DS Video app (apk v3.0.1) and I cannot connect! I can open the open and input the IP of my Synology, add the account name and password, but no matter what I do I cannot highlight and click on the ‘login’ button to continue. I tried downloading a version 2 apk and this works fine. Any suggestions?

  13. Thank you for this Tenny. However I have precisely the same problem as Alan – I cannot select the ‘login’ tab with my fire to stick remote. Really frustrating! Any thoughts?

  14. these instructions dont work with the latest version of DS video because in their wisdom, the developers at synology made the application “touch screen” only… so there is no way of highlighting/clicking the LOGIN button after entering the login details… I cant think of a more shortsighted, glaring BUG from a company that is supposed to be at the forefront of streaming / storage services… bunch of idiots.

  15. hi – this worked well but how do you fix the aspect ratio as it is stretched on my tv screen

  16. @lanfeo I have had this happen to me on occation. When it has happened I have found it best to go back to the home screen and relaunch DSVideo. There are versions of DSVideo where this does not occur, but relaunching the app typically fixes the problem.

  17. Thanks mate! Really appreciate the completely accurate guide and links. I also used this to side load DS Photo onto my FireTV which worked a charm too.

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