Archos TV Connect turns your HDTV into an Android smart TV
Archos has announced the Archos TV Connect, an interesting solution to getting Android on your existing HD television.
Forget the set-top boxes or cables from your tablet - Archos TV Connect gives you all the components of a tablet, using your existing TV display.
There are two hardware components to the package: the TV Touch remote which features various controls, and the unit that connects to your TV and sits on the top, incorporating a video camera and other essentials.
In terms of the hardware, in core Android specs terms you get a 1.5GHz "Smart Multi Core" processor and 1GB of RAM, with 8GB of internal memory, and a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32GB.
As far as connectivity goes, you have Micro-USB, USB host, mini HDMI, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi, so it looks to cover most bases.
The idea is that you connect the device to your TV via HDMI and to your broadband to turn your existing TV into a giant tablet, giving you the full Android experience on the big screen.
The TV Touch remote gives you wireless control and offers an array of buttons, including dedicated Android keys, to perform various tasks. The inclusion of a full keyboard means that typing will be pretty straight-forward, and it also packs in a couple of clever extras.
The TV Touch remote offers gesture controls, including zooming and swiping, so navigation should be pretty natural, although this is something we're keen to try out ourselves before making any judgements. You also get mappable gaming controls.
It's an interesting approach to getting Android on your TV and as Archos is well known for its wide video format support, it should be able to tackle those pesky video files you've accrued over the years.
That's in addition to having the internet on your TV and your apps on the big screen. We're sure there will be some apps that don't look as good on 40-inch set as they do on your 7-inch Nexus 7, but we can see the appeal.
The camera and mic means you can make Skype calls through your TV, you'll be able to stream content from your home network and it's fully Google Certified too, so you get access to Google Play, and it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
It will be priced at $129.99, available from February 2013, and we'll be getting our hands-on it for a play out in CES, so be sure to check back for our first impressions.