Archos TV Connect turns any TV into an Android-powered smart TV

Archos has sort of made a name for itself in recent years by releasing a string of cheap Android tablets that aren’t quite as good as higher-end devices from companies like Acer, Asus, and Samsung.

But now Archos is getting ready to introduce a new product that turns any TV into a smart TV… and the Archos TV Connect actually looks like one of the better options in that space.

Archos TV Connect

That’s because for the most part the Archos TV Connect isn’t competing with hardware for top tier PC makers. Instead, it looks like a spruced up Android Mini PC or Android TV Stick… the sort of thing we’ve seen primarily from white box Chinese device makers.

Like those devices, the Archos TV basically has the guts of an Android smartphone, including a TI OMAP 4470 ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. You plug it into your TV to run Android apps on the big screen.

But the Archos TV Connect stands out from the crowd in a few ways. First, it’s a larger box than many we’ve seen — and that means there’s plenty of room for ports including a full-sized Ethernet jack.

Second, it’s meant to be positioned on top of your TV, which makes it easy to line up with the wireless remote control that comes with the device.

Third, there’s another reason to stick this on top of your TV where you can see it: There’s a built-in HD webcam which you can use to make video calls over Skype or other applications. There’s also an LED which can flash to let you know when there’s an incoming call or other notification.

The Archos TV Connect features a 1.5 GHz multi-core processor, a USB host port, mini HDMI output, micro USB port, and microSD card slot. It runs Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

You can connect the device to the internet over WiFi or Ethernet, and it’s a Google certified device with access to the Google Play Store. That means you should have no problem downloading Netflix, Hulu, or other apps that let you stream online video to your TV.

tv connect_05

The remote control features a QWERTY thumb keyboard for typing, as well as video game controllers, which means you could also use the TV Connect as a video game console.

Archos says the TV Connect should be available in February for about $130.

  • http://twitter.com/darethehair Darren Enns

    Looks very interesting for the price! I wonder what the CPU is (beyond the stated ‘1.5 GHz Smart Multi Core processor’)?

    • CyberGusa

      ARCHOS has apparently confirmed on their Facebook page that the TV Connect is powered by a TI OMAP 4470…

  • Nicholas Tarnowsky

    this is what ive been waiting for a company wiith a Rep, to expand on this whole Android mini pc craze of the last few months. I cant pick stick right now, just cause theres too many and too many opinions. At least this comes with Jelly Bean. And Archos isnt a small Chinese manufacturer making cheap plastic thumb drives.

    • NeedName

      same here. . . this looks promising and I wanted an ethernet port — too many problems with WiFi.

      • toronado455

        +1

  • nardsbarley

    “it’s meant to be positioned on top of your TV”

    You must mean on top of the STAND upon which your flat panel tv sits.

    • nardsbarley

      I take that back

      • nards barley

        I thought the remote control was the computer at first.

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        I was wondering where you were going with this… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Herb-Taylor/100000115369568 Herb Taylor

    Heck, altho a bit pricey, the “remote” alone looks like a heckuva nice gadget to connect with any other device you might use for media. Add the HD webcam and it’s looking like a good deal.

  • ARXD

    Android sucks! we want UBUNTU!

    • NeedName

      so my wireless won’t work?

    • Jethro Cullins

      Unity is already a nightmare on even a semi-old laptop, what makes you think a low power ARM device is gonna be even a LITTLE bit better?

    • clkeagle

      So instead of selling a device that could appeal to the pool of 70 million Android phone users and 10 million Android tablet users in the world – they should make something that appeals to all 8000 Ubuntu users? That sounds like a solid business model…

      • ARXD

        Ubuntu is way better then Android, much more practical, so YES, they should! at least give us that option!

  • drjayphd

    Judging by the remote, we now know where Atari’s Jaguar design team landed…

  • Ferd

    Hopefully they’ll stick it out and provide at least a few Android updates over time. Things are nearly at a point where you can use Android as a lightweight desktop alternative. A doubled RAM size (to 2GB) would probably be smart, to help future-proof it a little. Assuming this CPU can handle it I guess.
    I like what I see though. Now lets see if they can deliver at or near this price.

  • Jethro Cullins

    The design looks like something only a mother could love, but I am interested in that joypad & remote control hybrid.

    Also, any news on the supposed pricetag?

  • Shawn

    Looks like a standout from the sea of Android sticks. I’m definitely interested. A few extra bucks for the remote, Play support and a known company. I hope it does well in the Liliputing test drive.

    • toronado455

      Ditto

  • StarDreamer

    Yeah! It was a sooooo long time i was waiting for this !
    We were talking about the “bar tv” some days ago, and now the concept is ready to be launch by Archos : a very simple way to change a TV to a smart TV with Skype capabilities, at a decent price, and everybody can use it.
    Just hoping that Archos will do a good job with this concept that is pure gold.
    (we know that they have some probs since some years to have decent software and a hardware that don’t fail often)