Google TV has not received quite the warm welcome that was hoped for, in spite of sterling efforts from Logitech, Sony and Boxee. While the search giant makes upgrades to the service for Android 3.1 and readies it for Android Market, Geniatech is offering what it says is the first Android-embedded set-top system for HDTVs. The company says that as well as offering full 1080p high definition video decoding, its Android TV can also act as a digital media player, digital photo frame, games console and internet browsing platform.
This is not the first time that the power of the internet has been brought to a big screen television. Manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic already provide similar experiences built into a TV, and Gizmag's Mike Hanlon and Noel McKeegan were both suitably impressed when they encountered the range of Scandinavia Android HD televisions from Sweden's Lava at last year's IFA in Berlin. Geniatech's system will have to be something pretty special to trump them, but without the benefit of testing, we can only tell you what we know from the company.
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The set-top box runs on Android 2.2, is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A9 CPU supported by 512MB of DDR2 system memory, and comes with 2GB of onboard NAND storage with expansion possible via an SD/SDHC slot. There's also an included SATA slot for internal storage. The five models available variably support DVB-T/ISDB-T/D-TMB/DVB-S/DVB-S2/DVB-T2 digital TV reception, and can handle H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1 video formats and MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG audio formats.
In addition to a having a Webkit browser, GMail access, and a media player, Geniatech's Android TV is also said to have access to Android Market to allow apps to be downloaded. Connection to the home network is possible via Ethernet or built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and file sharing with a networked PC is also possible. HDMI 1.3 takes care of TV connectivity, there's an RCA line-out, and two external USB 2.0 ports offer additional storage possibilities courtesy of external drives.
Geniatech offers four remote control options, from the basic IR model with or without mouse functionality, to a 2.4GHz wireless remote option that includes a QWERTY keyboard and either motion or trackball mouse functionality.
More information is available from the product page but, unfortunately, at the time of writing we don't have any pricing or availability information.View gallery - 6 images