Many Android based media streamers have been announced and demonstrated at various trade shows over the last year. We covered the Patriot Box Office Alpine which was on show at the 2011 Computex.
While the details of the SoC powering the PBO Alpine haven't been officially revealed, other Android running media players haven't been so coy. The TizzBird F30 is quite popular in the Asian markets. Based on a 1 GHz ARM processor with 3D acceleration, it runs Android 2.3. However, consumers in the US haven't had the opportunity to purchase an Android based media player yet. The Nixeus Fusion XS is not expected to be up for order until December 2011, and Xtreamer Prodigy will only get Android 2.2 in a future firmware upgrade (probably as a dual boot option).

Sigma Designs announced Android support in the 865x series back in October 2009, and the first videos of 8656 running Android began to surface in November 2010.

TViX started development of the Xroid A1 soon after. The efforts were made public at CES 2011.

After many months of development, the Xroid A1 started hitting the hands of the European consumers last month. Now, it is ready to hit the US market. Based on the SMP 8657, it runs on Android 2.2. The inbuilt browser doesn't have Flash. The processing power is similar to that of the 8654 / 8655 used in the WDTV Live / Live Hub / Live Plus. However, it includes a Imagination Technologies SGX 530 core (which is not present even on the SMP 8670 used in the WDTV Live Streaming Media Player).

A good starting point for the Xroid A1 would be the local media compatibility of the WD TV Live series. The version of Android running on the system is 2.2. The inbuilt browser, however, doesn't support Adobe Flash. Unlike other media streamers which implement a dual boot solution for Android support, Xroid A1's media player function is seamlessly integrated into the OS. A TViX app market also offers curated apps for the users. Obviously, it is also possible to sideload apps.

With Google TV, Google tried to bring the Android experience to the big screen. It is fair to say that Google's intent to bring people to spend more of their TV time online didn't meet with much success. However, I believe this doesn't mean that people don't want smart apps on the TV. In this context, it is efforts from the smaller players like TViX and Nixeus that may end up providing more satisfaction to consumers. Hit up the source link below for more information about the TViX Xroid A1.

What sort of Android apps would make sense on the TV? How much will consumers be ready to spend for Android on the big screen? Chime in with your thoughts below.

Source: AVS Forum

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  • dado023 - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    What about android 4.0...Google made it to prevent OS fragmentation, right?
  • 3DoubleD - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    They made 4.0 to merge the tablet and phone Android releases. They have done nothing to prevent OS fragmentation. Manufacturers can release hardware running older versions of Android.

    I'm not sure Android is the right choice for a TV OS anyway. I don't see the attraction of putting a touch based OS on a TV... which you would never want to touch! I think there are better options, like XBMC. For example, Boxee uses their own variant of XBMC. However, I have to add that I think XBMC is crippled do to their mostly retarded cross-platform design constraints. Specifically, I can't stand menu navigation in XBMC on my HTPC, it is just so awkward because clearly they have designed it to work with an xbox controller. That said... I still use XBMC because there really aren't any better alternatives. I don't know why it is so hard to make a decent media center for the PC.
  • solipsism - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    I think you've missed the point of Android on this device. It's like iOS on the AppleTV, it's the underlying OS that is key. The UI is obviously going to be 10-foot.
  • ET - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    A touch OS would work well with a TV given a good touch remote. While button based remotes are cheap and standard, they're not necessarily the best way to interact with a device. I can imagine touch based remotes, either with or without a display, allowing much nicer interaction with a media player or TV. In particular touch remotes with a display could streamline selection and playback by getting rid of the need for an OSD. For example you could always see where you are in the movie.
  • cnxsoft - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Except that Android is not really ready for STB / Media players and it takes a massive amount of work and time to port it to such devices.
  • solipsism - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    These companies need to have more consumer friendly names, which means hire some marketing people for your geek-run shop. There is no chance this name will ever catch on.
  • Metaluna - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link


    This is a terrible name. It sounds like a mashup of TiVO and hemorrhoid. Too bad, because it looks like nice hardware.
  • mcnabney - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Since all existing DVDs use mpg this device is a non-starter if they haven't created a special media player which includes the licensing and capability to play it. It had also better be capable of playing MKVs.
  • ganeshts - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Yes, of course it can.. That is the whole point of the device :) How well it does it.. well, we don't know yet :D
  • Xplorer4x4 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Given the specs are at least on par with a WD Live, from what I understand, it will playback just fine. I have thrown a BD25 RiP at my WD Live and it played back with out a hick up. The more important question is will it support MKVs with Header Compression/Stripping?

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