Now that the developers of XBMC offer a version of their popular media center software for Android, you can run it on all sorts of devices. But one of the companies that first partnered with the XBMC team to port the application to Android have a habit of releasing set-top-boxes optimized for running XBMC.

Their next box goes even further, with a highly customized version of Android called TOFU Media OS that makes Android really look like it was designed for TVs… and which puts XBMC front and center.

The Pivos XIOS XS launches in June.

Pivos XIOS XS

While the hardware specs are similar to those for the older Pivos XIOS DS, the new model has a new wireless remote control that’s optimized for XBMC and TOFU and it’ll be the first device to ship with the new TOFU software.

The TOFU operating system is based on Android and supports Android applications. But front and center in the operating system is TOFU Media Center, which is a skinned version of XBMC designed to make it easy to interact with photos, videos, and music on a TV screen while using a remote control.

The system also supports IPTV, weather widgets, and more through add-ons.

In terms of hardware, the box features:

  • 1.5 GHz Amlogic AM8726 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor
  • ARM Mali-400 graphics
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage + a microSD card slot
  • 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100 Ethernet
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • HDMI and SPDIF

While there are Android TV boxes with faster processors, more memory, or other advanced features, those specs should be enough to handle HD media playback, and the specialized operating system and remote control could make the Pivos XIOS XS worth checking out for folks who want a customizable media center device that feels like it’s designed for the living room.

via CNX Software

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7 replies on “Pivos XIOS XS is an XBMC-centric set-top-box”

  1. I’ve been using the XIOS DS for a year or so now on the linux build. if all you want is XBMC it is fantastic and not under powered, you do not need more than dual core for xbmc. if you want to run android then yes you’re better suited with a minix neo x-8. I can also tell you that the linux build is fantastic and easy to use, my 78 year old father uses it to stream and the xbmc menu is easy for him to operate. The biggest complaint of the Xios DS is that the wifi is very very under powered. you need to be close to your router to even bother. All in all for basic XBMC use it is ther perfect product. I hope they address some issues with XS model. Not to mention their support is amazing, constant update and they even helped me out with an out of warranty issue. Good company.

  2. Does this XBMC compatability really amount to anything other than the thing has (barely) enough horsepower to run the app?
    Also just give me Android. No skins just Google Play compatability.
    THAT’S the compatability I’m looking for in an android device.

    1. Android by itself is normally what i would advocate for as well, but with a remote as opposed to a touchscreen, its not very navigable, legible or user-friendly, its not… i believe they call it a ’10-foot user interface’. I do have very high hopes for android tv (the google tv replacement) when it shows up, but the stock android interface is just not there for this type of use.

      Google Play was available on the DS out of the box, so theres that at least, we’ll see if it continues with the XS.

  3. It’s pretty clear from all the reviews of the older DS system that it’s underpowered crap so “While the hardware specs are similar to those for the older Pivos XIOS DS, ” means it’s still underpowered crap.

    1. Its still underpowered for some things, but it is a big step up, the old XS had…
      900 mhz single core CPU (upgraded to 1 ghz on later models).
      512mb ram.
      2gb of storage.

      The rest does seem to be the same.

  4. I’m a little unclear on it all, it reads like: TOFU Media Center = XBMC skin? TOFU Media OS = custom Android UI?

    However I can’t find any screenshots on the product pages that actually show a recognizable Android UI, everything looks like screenshots of XBMC. Reading the product pages it looks like they’ve brought Android apps inside XBMC. For example “Directly access Android Apps within the operating system. You get the best of both worlds all on one platform.”

    Regardless the product looks nice, much more mature than the Xios DS with the Android guy on the top.

    1. This is all rumor and hearsay, but on the forums, its reported that TOFU does actually replace the basic android UI like you suspected. From what we’ve heard it seems to be a launcher (i.e. the functionality provided by Nova/Apex launcher and its like) built directly into XBMC which is built directly into Android.

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