Wizarm crowd-funding campaign aims to build an ARM-powered TV box with DVR capabilities

Devices that let you run Android apps and games on your TV are a dime a dozen (or as cheap as $30 anyway). But the Wizarm might be the most powerful, feature-packed model to date.

It’s a set-top box with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor, 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a large number of input and output options, and the ability to act as a digital video recorder. That means not only can you use it to bring content to your TV, you can also save live video for later viewing.

There’s a bit of a catch though. First, the Wizarm isn’t actually on the market yet. The developers are running an Indiegogo campaign to raise $200,000 to turn the concept into a real product. Second, it’s not exactly cheap. Early backers can snag one for $259, but once all the early bird specials are gone, the price will go up to $299.

Wizarm

The Wizarm features a Samsung Exynos 5 dual-core processor, a SATA 3 port for a 2.5 inch hard drive or solid state disk, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, mic input and headphone output, HDMI input and output, a Display Port, and optical sound output. It also features Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0, and there’s an IR port for use with a remote control.

The box runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with some custom goodies tacked on. There are plans to port Ubuntu to the device as well, and the developers say it’ll be a hackable device that comes pre-rooted.

Users will be able to control the box with a keyboard and mouse, game controller, or mobile app.

While the specs alone are enough to help set this box apart from the crowd, the ability to act as a high-definition digital video recorder is probably its most unusual characteristic. You can use the HDMI input to record videos at 1080p resolutions.

You can use that feature to record video games, live television broadcasts, or other video. Unfortunately I don’t see any indication that the box will offer a full-fledged TiVo-like user interface for scheduling future recordings, so I’m not sure you could use it as a full replacement for the DVR from your cable company, a TiVo, or a home-theater PC running Windows Media Center, Media Portal, or another full-fledged DVR app.

via CNX-Software

  • kento

    Great article, however you said that it doesn’t exist yet, well they have posted an update showing their board capturing PS3 video, so I guess it actually DO EXIST ;)

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

      I meant it doesn’t exist as a real product you can buy. All they have is a prototype.

      • kento

        Ok then sorry, i though you meant it was concept only.

  • Michael Thompson

    Hopefully they will update the specs on it prior to release.
    The Rockchip Quad core stuff is snappy as heck for the price.

    • kento

      I wouldn’t want any device with something else than TEGRA, OMAP, EXYNOS or SNAPDRAGON SoC.

      • Stop_Bankster

        +1

      • Michael Thompson

        I can’t blame you when it comes to performance those SOCs are the cream of the crop.
        Tegra 3 stuff should be discounted for just these kinds of applications.
        Put a Tegra 3 in a mini PC and I’ll take one for every family member this holiday season!

    • Stop_Bankster

      Rockchip QUAD A9 do not come even close to Dual A15.

  • Crans

    So many Chinese company’s just think
    they are going to make something off old soc and overcharge the hell
    out of it.

    What they are trying is going to kill that exynos chip
    quick. Save your money a real player is coming to market soon boys.

    • kento

      Ouya was something off old soc ;) and it’s from America !

      Exynos5 dual is still running Nexus 10 at 1440p

    • Stop_Bankster

      Well, my Sammy G3 and G4 can record HD video for hours without problem, so why would this device have problem doing the same thing ? Also, I don’t think they are Chinese at all. Chinese companies are unable to do such thing. There should be another reason behind the location.

  • ddh819

    how will this handle hdcp?

    • Ian Tester

      It presumably doesn’t.

      • Stop_Bankster

        Since it can record PS3 which have it ON and activated all the time, then you should be able to deduct the answer ;-) The old good days of analog VHS recorder is resurrected for digital, great device indeed.

  • Jeff

    Make it run a Bay Trail M SoC while still making it a sealed fanless box and I’ll buy it for regular PC/HTPC use.

    • Stop_Bankster

      Are those SoC featuring a camera input ? If no, then such design idea is not possible on them. (at least not the way they did it)

      • Omkron

        Seems like he wants a small sealed fanless PC and doesn’t care about this product at all (ie. DVR functions).

  • Gobixstar

    I upload tons of gameplay on youtube, and my current HDPVR is almost dead. This kind of product with an overlay looks awesome. Where can I buy it ?

    • schweppes777

      just click the indiegogo link in the above article

  • RobBrownNZ

    That price is waaaay over the top; for that money I’d rather have a small PC. Also the live TV recording feature isn’t going to be popular if it requires an actual TV to produce the picture! It would be really interesting to see this sort of thing with a built-in TV tuner – I’ve played around with small ARM boards talking to an HDHomeRun which works OK but getting Linux to talk to the HDHomeRun is not a task for the faint hearted.
    Finally, that box is as ugly as sin. What wife will accept that in their living room? I know mine wouldn’t.

    • kento

      It doesn’t need a TV to record, it needs a HDMI device connected, which can be your computer, your camcorder, your STB, your game console, and so on…
      The only one device that is close to this technically and in terms of connectors is the Samsung homesync which doesn’t have HDMI input and cost $299. So I can’t agree with you. (also, Samsung won’t offer free worldwide shipping)
      The design presented on the indiegogo project is just fine for me, especially the one they are promising in their stretch goal, at the end, this is not done by big companies producing millions qty.
      I’d rather support an indie dev like this rather than multi billions companies useless hw in fancy case.

  • RedLex

    This looks awesome, about time hdcp was extinct, love the recording features & adaptability of this gizmo :-)

  • Ed

    LOL! “Tweeter” Feed (in the promo video.