EvoTV and SmartPod are value-for-money accessories to upgrade your television set.
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When you play movies or music from a pen drive, your TV and DVD may not support the format or you might want to access the internet on your TV, at times. Here are devices that let you do that ó access the internet and play popular music, videos, even games on your TV.
Amkette EvoTV is an Android device that makes your television smarter. EvoTV runs on Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 4GB internal memory. It can be hooked up via an HDMI cable or the old A/V jack. The WiFi-enabled box is equipped with four USB ports, there are provisions for ethernet, SPDIF and SD/MMC card. It is easy to install, you just need to plug-and-play. Users can adjust the screen size and display output (SD or HD), depending on the TV.
EvoTV comes with a multi-purpose remote called Evo Touch. It acts as a mouse, a mic and a motion control device. The click buttons are on the underside of the remote, a nice touch that makes operation simple.
The homescreen interface (Evo View) is uncluttered, user-friendly and easy to navigate. Shortcuts for apps are placed in tiles, on the homescreen, according to categories such as games, media, social networks, etc. Users can customise the start screen by adding their favourite apps. Since EvoTV runs on Android, most apps on the Play Store work well with it.
On the homescreen, there is a little space above and below the tiles. The space above has a weather widget and the space below has a ticker that shows the latest news. Below the ticker is Task Switcher, which lets you switch between apps.
Games and apps downloaded from Google Play Store performed well. Gaming was a slight disappointment. At times, there was a lag between click and action performed while playing games like Angry Birds. But gaming is not the primary function of the EvoTV, so that can be excused.
On the other hand, the built-in media player was able to play all popular formats of music and video files. Accessing YouTube and browsing the internet was a smooth experience.
The device also lets you access and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations. But donít expect to type long documents using the Evo Touch remote. The remote will help you type on the on-screen keyboard which is cumbersome and time-consuming. A wireless keyboard would be ideal for typing. The device also comes with EvoTV store (in addition to Google Play Store). Amkette has integrated open source entertainment software XBMC into the EvoTV. It displays media files and lets you access additional information related to movies, TV shows and more. But XBMC on EvoTV is a beta release and it crashed sometimes.
Price: Rs 11,495.
Woxi Media SmartPod
Woxi Media SmartPod is a device that lets you run Android on your TV. It runs on Ice Cream Sandwich and has HDMI, USB and A/V ports. It is WiFi-enabled and has a dedicated ethernet port too. It has a functional QWERTY keyboard, which makes signing into accounts and chatting convenient. A good feature in the SmartPod is its multi-user login capability. It supports up to eight users, and you can password-lock your personal account. Another feature is the cloud-based Woxi AppCasts. The app allows hassle-free access to internet content that includes entertainment and sports.
The homescreen, as seen in most Android devices, displays icons of installed apps. The company could have made it more appealing. Playing games on SmartPod is fun, thanks to the Magic Motion Gaming Remote. Although it is a radio frequency remote, your palm may block the signal to the SmartPod when you are typing. Most Google Play apps perform well on the device, but at times, it lagged while switching between apps. Price: Rs 9,499.