Android’s openness allows many things to be produced by several manufacturers. I already wrote about the Archos 9.7 tablet with the Retina-Like Display (called Archos 97 Titanium HD) being made by Archos. Well, Archos has several items that you may see at their booth at CES. One most importantly is Archos TV Connect. The holidays and more importantly, around the Super Bowl are the biggest TV selling periods throughout the year. As CES takes place January 8th – January 11th and the Superbowl is taking place on February 3, Archos is taking advantage of that timeframe to announce to the world Archos TV Connect at $129.99.
What is Archos TV Connect?
Simply, Archos makes any HDTV a Smart TV by adding Android, a Chrome web browser, apps, games, video chat and everything else Android has to offer. This all happens through a multi-functional remote/joystick/keyboard and a small receiver placed on top of your TV. TV Connect provides the full Android experience, even multi touch functionality through the remote, which allows for zooming and swiping. Offering both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, an SD card slot, full USB host and Mini HDMI host this device seems prime to be a piece in your home.
How is this different from Google TV? Similar to Google TV in many ways, Archos has taken the simple approach of attaching the Android experience to your TV. Unlike Google TV, it doesn’t require partnerships with cable providers or Media outlets; it provides the whole Google Play Store as your playground. So YouTube, Books, Movies, Email, Gmail, Netflix, Music, Skype, Google Talk, Google Maps, Games, Hulu Plus, HBO Go and the over 700,000 apps will undoubtedly be available.
This may change the Android gaming world. As games have become more and more popular on Android and developers look to integrate better graphics and functionality, Archos would do well to part with the big game developers (EA, Activision and Gameloft come to mind). An increased processor and RAM would do well in the next version. Here they don’t have to worry about resolution or graphics processors. Possibly giving XBOX, PS3 and Wii a run for their money as many of Android’s games are free. Why would a parent want to buy an expensive home gaming system and games when this may serve as an all in one? Kickstarter projects like Gamestick may never gain any traction.
Archos Media Center should develop into a crack team of individuals. Self-quoted as: “The tailor-made ARCHOS Media Center apps finally let you take control of your home media content; with automatic jacket, synopsis and subtitle download as well as library organization even for files stored elsewhere on your home network.” the beauty of this Media center may be its ability to decode full HD and its format support.
- Storage: 8GB Expandable via micro SDHC Slot up to 32 GB
- OS: ANDROID 4.1 - Jelly Bean
- Processor: 1.5 GHz Smart Multi Core
- RAM: 1GB
- Camera: Front Facing HD camera
- Connections: Micro USB port, USB host port, Mini HDMI output
- Internet Connectivity: Ethernet and Wi Fi
- Dimensions: 235 x 105 x 34 mm
- Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 7, 8, Vista, XP, or higher and Windows Media Player 11
- Package includes: ARCHOS TV connect, TV Touch remote, Power supply, HDMI cable, User guide
It remains to be seen if this concept can take off. As we can see by any iPhone or iPad products this is based on Marketing. If Archos is not willing to invest the dollars or francs to make this known to the public, this will stay their best kept secret. And if you purchase one, you’ll gain the wow factor from your guests and friends. But at this price point and with the Android experience why not invest in one?