Diamond Multimedia is best known for producing PC graphics cards. But today the company is launching a set-top-box that brings Google Android software to your TV.
It’s a little box called the AMP1000 that you can hook up to a TV. It has a suggested retail price of $120, but there’s a limited-time $20 mail-in rebate available from the Diamond Multimedia Facebook page.
That price might seem a little steep when you can pick up a Vizio Co-Star box running Google TV for $99. But the AMP1000 can run thousands of Android apps, not just software designed for the Google TV interface. It also comes with a multimedia remote with a built-in QWERTY thumb keyboard.
The remote also supports mouse functions and motion control, letting you interact with Android apps that were designed for touch input.
Diamond Multimedia’s AMP1000 features an 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage with 3.5GB of usable space. It ships with Google Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and supports Adobe Flash Player, and includes the Google Play Store, which makes it easy to download third party apps.
The company plans to make an Android 4.0 update available for download soon.
Update: The Android 4.0 firmware for the AMP1000 is now available.
You can connect the AMP1000 to your home network with an Ethernet or WiFi connection, and for an extra $10 you can upgrade the Amp1000 to include Bluetooth.
We’ve seen a number of Android mini PCs of this sort in recent months. They tend to sell for $100 or less, and many run Android 4.0 rather than the Android 2.3 software that comes with the AMP1000. But not all of those cheap devices come with the 1-year warranty Diamond Multimedia offers.