We got a new flat-screen TV for my house in December of 2009, and we’re not likely to upgrade any time soon. That doesn’t top me from wanting to add a little after-market action, however, and for some inexplicable reason, I find that I’m craving an Android TV box for my living room set-up.
Brad over at Liliputing is reporting that TP-Link will soon launch the TPMini in China, and it looks to be similar to the Archos TV Connect announced just before CES. The Archos box hasn’t made it to retail yet, but several hands-on reviews have me wanting to give it a try when the hardware does hit stores.
Both the Archos device and the TPMini run Android 4.1 and let you access the Google Play store on a TV screen (unlike official Google TV hardware). The TV Connect comes with a camera and a funky wireless remote control, and will sell for about $130. The TPMini also comes with a camera, but it uses a mobile app for control instead and is expected to retail (in China) for $56.
Why do I want an Android box? I honestly have no idea.
Netflix is the only TV app I use (via a Roku box), and I can’t honestly see myself checking email or playing Peggle on the flat screen. (Hell, I never even use the Verizon TV widgets to check traffic or weather.) But, there’s something about getting to try any Android app I want on my TV that has me lusting after another retail set-top. I’d probably go for the cheaper TPMini if I could get it shipped from China, but I might even shell out the extra cash for the Archos product if that was my only option.
There are very few gadgets that have gotten me excited lately. For whatever reason, the idea of an Android TV box is proving to be an exception.