$85 hackable Android TV Box supports XBMC

Oval Elephant is selling a new Android TV box for $84.99. It’s a small set-top-box designed to let you run Android apps on a TV.

For instance you can stream video from YouTube or Netflix, surf the web, or play games. You can also run a pre-release build of the XBMC media center developed for the Pivos XIOS — a device with similar hardware.

Android TV Box

The new Android TV Box features a 1 GHz Amlogic AM8726-M3 ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

It also features an Ethernet jack, A/V jack, an HDMI port, 2 full-sized USB ports, and an SD card slot. The device ships with an infrared remote control and an HDMI cable.

Out of the box, the device runs Google Android 4.0 software and includes support for the Google Play Store, which makes downloading and installing apps simple.

But hacker/developer J1nx took a look under the hood and noticed a few interesting things, including a UART connection and additional USB host connections. This could make it possible to connect additional peripherals, modify the board, or work out ways to load alternate operating systems on the TV Box.

Oval Elephant has limited quantities of the Android TV Box available, and the next shipment is scheduled for September 14th. The $85 price is good through September 9th. After that the price tag goes up to $90.

That’s still cheaper than the AMP1000, an Android TV box with a similar processor which I recently checked out — but the AMP1000 also comes with a more versatile RF remote control.

  • cde

    RF remote might be more versatile, but not easily replaced. An IR remote can be cloned by a learner remote, replaced with a code entry remote, or hell, load up an arduino or launchpad with a IR program.

    • varun

      actually any keyboard or mouse, or other presenter style RF device will work with the box.

  • j1nx

    Keep an eye out! Will do the review somewhere this weekend. Am already playing with a XBMC android APK of yesterday’s snapshot (compiled with the needed amlplayer option) and must say; Wow!

    • cde

      Please check for hdmi to dvi or composite compatibility. The website specs do list YPbPr compatibility.

      • Peter Steenbergen

        Will do. Just completely missed the a/v output at the back and the included composite cable :D

      • Zare

        Did you check is a/v output composite compatible?

    • earthzero

      Any updates on when this review will be posted? Very curious to see the results and compare the experience against what we’ve seen and heard about Diamond’s box.

      • j1nx

        It’s online now. Same website as above.
        Part 1 – Android review
        Part 2 – XBMC for Android review

  • Peter Steenbergen

    Just did the first part of the review

  • http://www.facebook.com/tonyatbasementclub Tony Eleftheriades

    Ok where I can get my hands on some ?

  • Tee

    Does anyone know if this android will play timewarnercable app ?

  • strider_mt2k

    Internal USB host connections might support things like remote dongles if they can be stripped for size, leaving the external ones free for other things. (wrings hands in pseudo-menacing fashion)

  • jdragnub

    Has anyone run Lucid puppy Linux on the Mk802 III? I have made a bootable micro sd version using Universal installer and it works great on my PC but I cannot get it to run on the MK802 III. When I insert thr micro sd and turn on the MK802 III it boots Android and not Puppy. I have tried reinserting the micro sd and powering the MK 802 III on and off several times but withut success. If anyone has had sucess please let me know what you did to run sucessfully.