Android-Powered ARCHOS TV Connect Turns a HDTV into an Oversized Tablet

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News Depot' started by Spider, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    By Darren Quick
    January 3, 2013



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    The ARCHOS TV connect brings Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) to the big screen

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    Despite being developed primarily with mobile devices in mind, Android is finding its way onto bigger screens via Google TV set top boxes and games consoles such as the OUYA and GameStick. Already having mobile Android gaming covered with its GamePad, French company ARCHOS is adding to the Android-powered devices battling it out for a place on the big screen with the TV connect.

    The TV connect isn’t the first device to turn any HDTV into an Android-powered smart TV and give users the ability to play games, stream videos, video chat, email, and surf the Web. But it sets itself apart in a couple of notable ways, not least of which is the included TV Touch remote. The remote is quite literally a handful, sporting Android shortcut keys, a QWERTY keyboard, a D-pad, X, Y, A, and B face buttons, and two analog sticks.
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    To provide touchscreen-like control, manipulating these analog sticks in various directions provides “multi-touch” capabilities, such as swiping and pinching. Users can also “touch” their TV by pointing the remote at the screen and using the “Pointer-Wand” feature. Why this preoccupation with touch interfaces? Probably because instead of running the TV-centric Google TV OS, the TV connect runs the tablet-centric Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

    This means that virtual onscreen controls for games need to be mapped to the remote’s buttons using the ARCHOS game mapping tool. Additionally, playing games in portrait mode will see roughly two thirds of the screen taken up by black bars – although the device will rotate the screen automatically for games designed for portrait mode.
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    While the choice of OS may give some consumers pause, the hardware appears to have its merits. Powered by a 1.5 GHz multi core processor and with 1 GB of RAM, the base station has 8 GB of flash memory onboard, which can be expanded by 32 GB via a micro SDHC slot. There’s also built in Wi-Fi, Micro USB port, USB host port (for connecting external HDDs), Ethernet port, Mini HDMI output and a HDMI cable thrown in for connecting to a TV. The device also comes with access to Google Play.

    The base unit measures 235 x 105 x 34 mm and is designed to sit on top or underneath the screen to provide a better angle for the integrated HD webcam on video calls.

    ARCHOS will be demonstrating the TV connect at CES 2013 ahead of a planned February, 2013 release at a price of US$129.99.

    Source: ARCHOS
     
  2. satellitemark

    satellitemark Senior Member

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    Hi Spider,

    As I'm a bit of a Archos fan I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this, in my living room we have a 50" smart Panasonic plasma coupled to a Sony smart blu ray, so what does my wife use the most for "smart" functions ? actually neither ! She uses a little android box that I connected up for her ! The main advantage is that android offers far more than both the Panasonic & Sony do put together ! (with both having servere limitations with their closed operating systems) the main disadvantage is poor remote control & its a bit messy with its seperate web cam.
    This Archos should do every thing my messy android system does but in one tidy main unit & with a tailor made remote, all of this for less money than a Skype camera for the Panasonic tv makes this a must have for me, with a bit of luck they will have it on QVC UK with easypay & the chance to give it a good test & the option to return if it dont cut it.
    I hope the UK gets it in Feb too !

    Mark:cool:
     
  3. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Mark, glad to hear the article was helpful to you and I'm looking forward to hearing back when you get the Archos. Let us know how it works out in "real life".:cool:
     
  4. satellitemark

    satellitemark Senior Member

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    Hi Spider

    Today the Archos TV Connect today became available on the Archos euro web shop , I've ordered one and will report back when I've given it a good test .

    Mark:cool:

    Sent from my ARCHOS 80G9 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Great, looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it. Took quite a while before it became available.:cool:
     
  6. satellitemark

    satellitemark Senior Member

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    Hi Spider,
    Here is a copy of the review I posted on the ex pat forum that I mod on.

    Hi All,

    After catching up with my work after returning from our summer stint in Bulgaria I can finally report back on the Archos TV Connect having used on a daily basis for the whole summer.

    The Archos TV Connect is a android based device that sits on top of your flat screen TV & gives you a (very) smart TV / full internet browser / games console / video skype calls / internet radio / media player & much more, it has Google play store which gives access to the largest range of free apps bar none !

    Smart TV
    Unlike big brand smart TV's which only let you have functions that panasonic/sony/lg/samsung etc will allow you to have, the Archos runs on the very open Android jelly bean operating system give you access to some amazing apps, one of which is filmon, filmon works very well on this device & was used everyday for watching soaps & F1 etc, it also has a record function that books & stores your recordings on filmon's servers ready for you to watch when you want (very usefull if like Bulgaria there is a time differance & you want to go to bed !) Filmon's performance was the best I have seen on any device, so good infact it got more use than the Slingplayer app, another free app that got a lot of use was TuneIn radio, this gives you access to almost every radio station in the world.

    Internet browser
    The device comes with a standard Android browser & of course you can download others such as Chrome, Firefox, Dolphin, Opera from the play store if you prefer them, there are even child friendly browsers available should you want. I used the standard browser & suffered no problems with it, the Archos controller has a full qwerty keyboard which made entering data such a a search term easy.

    Games console
    Not my most knowlegable area, but my grandson loved playing the amazing spiderman & my wife enjoyed playing candy crush on a 40" TV,the Archos conroller came into its own here as it is a combination of air mouse keyboard & game pad, so even word games were easy to play.

    Skype
    With the free Skype app installed, making video calls was as easy as on a smartphone but on a big TV screen, I called my daughter in the UK & using skype like this on a TV is awhole family involving event, & now Ill have be more cautious about walking round in my pants if Skype is in use !

    Internet radio
    The TuneIn app is free (a pro version is available for pennies) I cant praise this enough, its great listening through the TV, its fantastic listening through a home cinema system !

    Media player
    If you use downloaded material (legal of course !) or want to watch your camera/camcorder/smartphone footage you can connect via the USB port or micro sd card slot (up to 32gb) & use the Archos to display it on your TV with stunning results.

    Summary
    Its not the cheapest device of its type available, but its the only one that does everything I need that I've tested, I'm very happy with it, so much so I brought it back to the UK to use it here, & my wife wants another one for the living room, the other thing I should mention is that to stream live tv or radio, use skype etc you have to have a decent internet connection speed.

    The Archos TV Connect is available at £118 on ebay or slightly more on Amazon (which delivers to BG)

    This was written for a expat (mainly non techy ) forum, so it tends to steer towards what it can do of use to expats, but I hope its still of interest.



    Mark :glasses9:


    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk
     

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  7. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey Mark,

    Thanks so much for getting back to us on this. Although a little pricey, it sounds like you definitely got your moneys worth. If you're even thinking of getting a second one, we can't ask for a better recommendation.:D

    Spider
     
  8. satellitemark

    satellitemark Senior Member

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    Hi Spider

    No problem mate , this forum has helped me a lot and Im happy to try and pay it back !

    Mark:cool:

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    That's what makes it all work so well. Ask for help when you need it, give help when you can.:cool:
     

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