The quest to smarten up our television sets continues. While smart televisions are becoming more common and affordable, a company like iRevo still thinks there is chance for a Smart Entertainment Box to succeed. Given that a lot of people are still stuck with relatively news televisions which cannot connect to the internet, there is surely an opportunity for something like this.
The Smart Entertainment Box is essentially an Android box that adds smartphone-like functionalities to your television. The concept is not new. In fact, they have been around since 2011. I personally have been using an Amkette Flash TV for over three years and it does pretty much everything a smart TV does on my Toshiba 40PS20. The iRevo concept is very similar with the addition of a user interface of its own.
What is good?
The iRevo Smart Entertainment Box is easy to set up if you have a Wi-Fi at home. There is also the option of using a LAN cable, but I doubt there will be a lot of houses with an internet line and the TV close to each other. (With streaming boxes like this it is better to have an internet connection that offers at least 4 Mbps speed.) If you have an Android account, then you are good to go in a couple of minutes.
The box gives you access to almost everything you do on a smartphone on your TV, except for making calls. While there is access to all Android apps,
iRevo has added its own user interface which resembles Windows Live tiles to make it easier to handle with a remote and give notifications or more information on the tile itself.
There is an air remote that lets you move and select icons like with a mouse and it also has buttons to adjust volume and access the Home screen. The remote is very responsive and easy to understand.
What is not that good?
The box opens to a smartphone like Android UI, instead of its own custom tiles which need to be accessed as an app and that is odd. The custom UI has to be the default. My old Amkette Flash TV was a small Apple TV-like box, but the iRevo unit is more like a Wi-Fi router complete with a completely avoidable antenna.
The iRevo Smart Entertainment Box has a box price of R8,499 and sells online for about R6,312, which I think is a bit too much considering that the Apple TV is priced much lesser. The Amkette EvoTv is priced higher, but offer a bit more with voice enabled remote.
Should you buy
This is certainly one of the better options if you want to make you TV smart. There are other options in the market, but go for this one if you are more inclined towards Android. The iRevo Smart Entertainment Box doesn’t have any serious bugs and works smoothly and that is all that matters in the end.
Estimated street price: Rs 8,499