January 03, 2013
| by Grant Clauser
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a device that runs Android on a television, but it looks like the most well-thought out system yet. The Archos TV Connect combines a gamepad-type controller and a USB camera module with SD storage, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and DLNA.
The TV Touch, according to Archos, allows users to control a TV as intuitively and easily as controlling a tablet, including multi-touch commands like tap, swipe, zoom as well as type. All that is made possible by the Touch remote that includes a pointer and full keyboard.
The system runs Android 4.1 (Jellybean), and features access to a full Chrome browser, the Google Play app store, an Archos Media Center for accessing audio and video content and DLNA. The keypad even includes a key for voice control and voice typing.
So what can you do with it? Basically it will do anything an Android tablet does, such as games, email or VoIP, but on a large screen. Presumably it will also connect, via apps, any device that utilizes an Andoid app, such as your AV receiver, Sonos system or cable box.
Aside from being a cool gadget, it looks like it could be a very compelling device for would-be cable cord cutters. With Android, users can access a wide variety of streaming audio and video services, plus games, and the DLNA link will allow a basic level of synchronization with users’ other stored media. The price of $129 (available in February) makes it a bit more expensive than, a Roku or Apple TV, or even the Hisense Google TV, but it includes the web camera and a robust controller.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.