Archos has announced the Archos TV Connect, an interesting solution to getting Android on your existing HD television. Pocket-lint tracked the new Android powered device at CES in Las Vegas to have a play.
The concept is simple. You plug in the Archos TV Connect device into a HDMI ready television, hand the set top box with included webcam on the top of your television and then sit back on your sofa with the remote control.
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.
At £99 you'll get an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running, 1.5GHz "Smart Multi Core" processor touting device with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, and a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32GB.
Google Play certified, you can use thousands of apps and quickly turn your television into something else be it a Netflix streamer, Skype video conferencing centre, or even a games console.
The TV Touch remote offers gesture controls, including zooming and swiping, so navigation should be pretty natural, although it is rather confusing to use as there isn't a trackpad but two analogue sticks.
That's a conscious design by Archos, which tells Pocket-lint that it makes for an easier control - we're not so sure.
The other thing we're not sure about is the vanilla Android experience. While we like that on our phone or tablet, the lack of any customisation for the television screen makes the icons look lost and confusing. Still, you can quickly get other skins from the Play Store so this is easily fixable.
Get past our issues and the device certainly has its uses, giving you a lot more power than the "Smart" apps found on many TVs. It's also better than just having a webcam, because of the Google-certified Play Store access.
Overall we are impressed. The scaling works on a 1080P screen nicely, the processor is beefy enough to power most games, and with Jelly Bean you son't have to worry about upgrade issues (Archos is promising 4.2 shortly after launch).
What's even better is that it also comes with Archos's streaming apps, downloadable from the Play Store, meaning you'll be able to quickly stream content from your PC. And if you don't like the keyboard remote you can download the Archos remote app and use your phone or tablet instead.
Well be bringing you a full review of the new Archos Connect as soon as we can.