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Equiso Smart TV

Add Android to any HDTV

Arriving in my mailbox yesterday was this Kickstarter-funded gem: The Equiso Smart TV

The project's website is its Facebook page, and I was excited to finally get my hands on a first of what will likely be a flood of similar devices that adds Google's Linux-based operating system, aka Android, to any HDTV.  This should encourage at least a few brave HDTV manufacturers to stop this fragmented and mostly crappy app madness and offer Android (and the related app marketplaces) on capable televisions.

Initial impressions of the Equiso Smart TV:

  • A little buggy, but an update is promised soon:

"During the last month while the products were shipping we have been working on a firmware update. The update will include a number of improvements including support for the Google TV remote, DLNA support, better autodetect of TV resolution and speed improvements."

  • HDMI's ~5V (max 50mA) was not enough juice for the Equiso as it required the use of an included USB power adapter.
    • This may be a necessary for ensuring ample power for Equiso's USB port that is currently driving the wireless keyboard transmitter.  I'll retest without a keyboard and report what happens.
    • The rechargable remote would, albeit occasionally, use the same USB power adapter unless the owner had a spare (increasinly likely).
  • The RF remote's cursor control proved very usable - a Wii Remote-like experience with decent precision.
  • The Equiso's USB port enabled me to connect a full-sized keyboard for help during the intial setup - specifically, the one-time entry of some crazy-long passwords.
  • A dedicated website for the project/product would be convenient, and IMHO, more professional.

Bottom line: I like it, but I want to see the software/firmware mature a bit more - the update is auto-update I hope ;)

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Reader Comments (1)

I enjoyed your mini-review, Robert. I am a Kickstarter backer, too, but I'm waiting for the Equiso Pro - I hope with twice the RAM it will perform better. But I was surprised at your:

"first of what will likely be a flood of similar devices that adds Google's Linux-based operating system, aka Android, to any HDTV".

The flood is already here! These Android sticks, as well as Android set-top boxes, have been around for at least a year. They're mostly from Shenzhen, and they are lacking in customer support. Here is an article that mentions a few:

I enjoy your work on HD Nation - keep it up!

October 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Schallenberg

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