Smart televisions are very enticing, but their prices can be prohibitive to a lot of consumers. That’s why companies like Roku have come up with standalone products that bring smart TV-like features to normal HDTVs. If you’re looking for something with more functionality than a box that dispenses apps, the Archos TV connect may be right up your alley.
Archos TV connect will be sold for $129.99 in February. It’s a device that sits on the top of your television much like Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360. After the TV connect is plugged in to your television through HDMI and is connected to the internet, it unleashes an Android 4.1 experience on your television. You’ll have full access to Google’s core apps such as Google Maps and Google Play. Those apps can be stored on the device’s 8GB of internal memory, or on an SD card up to 32GBs.
It also comes with the Archos TV Touch remote that supports gesture controls. The remote is so fat because it serves as a game controller, full keyboard and an alternative to touch controls with its dual analog sticks.
Archos TV connect shouldn’t be confused with Google TV. It doesn’t require access to a cable box or a subscription service of any kind. It’s just Android for your television complete with a HD camera and a LED notification light.
I think the price is very attractive for this device, but does it actually perform well? We’ll find out next week at CES.