[HOW] Install / Sideload GApps (Google Play Store) on TCL Android TV / China TV 4.2.1 (2023)

I have recently acquired TCL 40E5800. It's a good Android TV at a very decent price. But the problem is that it came with its own App Store will less than 300 apps. From posts I read from Chinese sites and other brand of TVs. I have found out a solution to install / sideload GApps to this TV. And this is possible for it is running on Android based platform. So, this guide should also be applicable to any China TV running on Android.


I am not responsible if anything goes wrong with your Android TV. I am making this tutorial for future reference in case I have bricked my TV.

You will need the following for this guide:

1. ES File Manager
2. Droid Info
3. Package Installer
4. Total Commander with ADB Plugin
6. gapps-jb-20121212-signed

1. You will need to download ES File Manager from the TV App Store.

2. Connect Android smartphone to the same WiFi as TV. Install ES File Manager and Droid Info from Play Store in your smartphone. The reason you need to do this is that you cannot install app or apk from ES File Manager if your TV because it doesn't have Package Installer. It will just return an error saying "No application found."

3. From your smartphone, browse to APP folder, find Droid Info and click Install to TV. This will install Droid Info into your TV.

4. Go to your TV and run Droid Info. And look for this information:

5. Take note of the Model, OS Version, SDK, Density and Architecture.

Model and OS Version will help you determine the Google Play Services you need to install. You need to install specific version of Google Play Services for this to work. In my case, my TV model says: rtd299x_tv030. The last three digit or character usually determine the file version of Google Play Services you need to install. (This is just for future references. You don't need to worry information right now.)

To figure out the right version of Google Play services for your Android device, download Play Services info or go to Settings -> Apps -> Google Play services, and look at the last 3 numbers in the parentheses. You'll see something like -XYZ where:

* X defines Android version:
0 for Android <5.0
2 for Android 5.0 and 5.1 starting with Play Services v8
4 for Android 5.0 and 5.1 before Play Services v8, Android >= 6.0 after
5 for Android Wear
7 for Android 5.0
8 for Android TV

* Y defines CPU architecture:
1 for armeabi
3 for armeabi-v7a
4 for arm64-v8a
7 for x86
8 for x86_64

* Z defines DPI:
0 for universal
2 for 160
4 for 240
6 for 320
8 for 480

It seems that -7YZ builds became -4YZ with Google Play services v6.5. If you were on -7YZ before, you should now install -4YZ.
It seems that -4YZ builds got split into -2YZ for Lollipop and -4YZ for Marshmallow with Google Play services v8. If you were on -4YZ before, you should now install -2YZ in Lollipop and -4YZ in Marshmallow.

SDK means the API level. Any app with API level above your SDK will not install it.

6. Now that you have all that info. Next thing you need to install is Package Installer. You need to search it and download the Package Installer that is for Android 4.2.1 for my TV Android OS Version is 4.2.1. Mine is attached below. Or you can browse Package Installer from your smartphone through ES File Manager. Go APP folder and select System App and you should see Package Installer and install it on TV. If this method, doesn't work for you, you can try ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) or Total Commander.

View attachment PackageInstaller.apk

7. Skip this step if you have managed to install Package Installer. For this guide, let us use Total Commander. For this step, just refer to this post here. You need to download the Document and read the Document for the link to Total Commander with ADB plugin is there. Just in case, you are confused, then you just need to open Total Commander and from the right side pane, choose ADB as the directory and then click the IP address of your TV and then browse to the [apps] folder. Here are some screenshot for your reference.

8. Now that you have able to install Package Installer, you can now install any apk file from ES File Manager. How cool is that, right? This is optional: You can now browse to XMBC, now Kodi website and download the apk version of Kodi (or you can download it here - ARM version for my TV has an Architecture of ARMv7). As you can see in my screenshot before that I have manage to install Kodi (look at the icon beside Package Installer, it's Kodi). See how cool is Kodi:

9. Next is installing GApps. You need to install the specific GApps version for your TV. Any other version will fail. This step is critical. Do not think if you have a TV running Android 4.2.1 that installing 4.1.2 or 4.2.2 are the same and it will work. You need to search the right GApps version for you. For this to work, you do not need to install just certain GApps. You need to install the WHOLE package. What I used was a package from a custom ROM, Cyanogen. This GApps package will install entire GApps to your TV. Choose the right GApps for you here. Mine was gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip

10. Download and extract the GApps package. We can't install the package through flashing it from recovery. So, we need to install it manually through Total Commander and ADB. First is by Total Commander. For the left side pane, browse to the directory where you have extracted the GApps package and copy everything in the system folder to the root folder of your TV. From the screenshot before, it should be like this:

The left side pane is where you extracted the GApps package. The right side pane should be the root folder of your TV, i.e. "\\\ADB\TV IP Address:5555\*.*" Then click "F5 Copy". If there are files that need to be overwritten then just select "Skip". DO NOT OVERWRITE. This way you did not just install GApps into the system folder but you also installed its needed library for it to work.

11. The next step should be to correct its permission. We will do this through ADB. Connect PC to the same WiFI as your TV. And use TCPUDP for this to work. How to make this work, you can read it from the same Document (about Total Commander) that you have downloaded. Or you can simply install ADB to your PC (search how to install ADB) and then type in the command "adb connect (tv IP address:5555)". What I did: I used TCPUDP. Click "CreateConn" and a dialogue appears. Be sure to select UDP under Type box. Then enter TV IP address in DestinationIP box. Leave Port box to 8090. Then click "Create". After that, under Client Mode, you can see the connection to your TV. Select it, and then select TCP for the Type. Then click "Connect'. After that, type "start adb" in the first big box. Then click "Send". After that you will see "ok" into the second big box. For your reference, here are some screenshots:

12. Open Command Prompt. Navigate to where you installed your ADB. If you downloaded the Total Commander from the Document, then you can find ADB installed in its Plugin folder, i.e. "TotalCmd\Plugins\wfx\ADB". Then type the following commands:


adb remountadb shell pm grant com.google.android.gms android.permission.INTERACT_ACROSS_USERSadb shell chmod -R 0644 /system/app/*.*adb reboot

13. Let your TV reboot. After reboot open Google Play Store. DO NOT OPEN ANY OTHER GApps. Then you may have to log in your Google Account. Then enjoy installing millions of apps from Google Play Store, as well as in Google Play Games.

14. If you however opened some GApps that is not Google Play Store. Then it will create some error. You may find some error regarding some certain GApps failed to respond. Just click "OK". And you may also found out that Google Play Store is no longer listed in your TV App main page. Just use ES File Manager and browse to System Apps and open it there.

15. Updating and downloading apps from the Google Play Store may be take too long but just wait. It will download eventually. Enjoy GApps. I have finally cracked this one.

Don't forget to say thanks. [HOW] Install / Sideload GApps (Google Play Store) on TCL Android TV / China TV 4.2.1 (15)[HOW] Install / Sideload GApps (Google Play Store) on TCL Android TV / China TV 4.2.1 (16)[HOW] Install / Sideload GApps (Google Play Store) on TCL Android TV / China TV 4.2.1 (17)

#Android TV
#China TV
#Play Store

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