ADT-1, Netflix, and Foreign Language Subtitles

It seems I can't go a few months without posting another ADT-1-related article, and with good reason. It's an old box, but still very, very capable hardware, and with a bit of active development, capable in the software department too. The Pure Nexus ROM allows the ADT-1 to run Android 6.0.1, well ahead of the 5.0.2 the box was supported up to.

But even if you run things stock, or close to it, there are issues that frequently arise while using unsupported hardware. Today I'll talk about issues regarding foreign language subtitles and the Netflix application that comes preloaded on all ADT-1 devices.

It seems any subtitles using non-ascii characters are not supported on the version of Netflix shipped with the ADT-1. Comparing builds with those available on APK Mirror the version supplied is quite old. After some more digging, it's obvious why; versions of the Netflix for Android TV application past Version 2.1 require Android 5.1 or higher.

Version: 2.2.1 build 643 (643)

Min: Android 5.1 (Lollipop MR1, API 22)  
Target: Android 5.1 (Lollipop MR1, API 22)  

I thought I was out of luck, but I decided to dig through old releases until I found a version that allowed API 21, and guess what, it was much, much newer than the build on the ADT-1. It seems Netflix removed it from the supported devices on the Play Store before they shipped the final compatible version. But that's okay, since the minimum API requirement is still met by Android 5.0.2, we can sideload the working APK!

Get adb access to your device

Either by accessing adb over TCP, or by the USB cable, you will need to use ADB to install the APK.

Grab the latest working APK

Tested working with Japanese subtitles, Netflix for Android TV 2.1 is the latest version of the application that can be run on the ADT-1.

Installing the APK

Your ADT-1 should have an older version of Netflix for Android TV installed, so we can omit the -d flag we used to rollback the cast receiver.

adb install -r com.netflix.ninja-2.1_build_425-425-minAPI21.apk  

After a few minutes, you'll be able to watch Netflix on your ADT-1 with non-ascii subtitles (think Korean, Japanese, Chinese).


This post is part of a series I've written in an attempt to keep the ADT-1 a (software)-current device. Check out the rest of the posts here.