Android TV Box
(Technical review paper)
Author: Arne Korsika
Mentor: Izr. prof. dr. Matjaž Debevc Maribor, 9.11.2012
In this technical review paper, the object of observation and testing is Android TV box. All tests will be carried out objectively and without our own point of views. From research and review we expect to expand our knowledge of the Android TV devices and try to develop the first Android TV application. We expect investigate the advantages and disadvantages of this device.
We live in the era of computers and information. Dependence on information forces us to have access, to only those, everywhere and at any given time. With the revolution of smart phones, the area of telecomunications changed forever. Currently, the most widespreaded and popular Android mobile platform allows us practically everything we need to get our daily "dose" of information. Allows you to dial, send sms, web browsing, GPS, email, photo capture, video capture, music player, USB mass stroage, document editing, and much more. Android operating system can be installed on all devices that have ARM processor structure and contain the Linux Kernel. Android TV Box („ATB“) is an unusual "Android" device. It can be connected to a TV set that supports the HDMI or AV connector and protocol. ATB supports all the Android features mentioned above.
Installation of ATB to a TV set:
ATB must be connected to the electrical power source, then we must select the appropriate connection port/cable for the transmission of visual and audio media. Here we have to options, one is AV and the other is HDMI. If we select HDMI, then we must connect the appropriate cable to a TV and ATB. The same applies for AV. Android supports internet connection through wifi or ethernet. ATB allows both of it. This leaves us only to turn on the ATB.
ATB uses Android 4.0.3 operating system, and it is identical to all other distributions of 4.0.3 systems. Most of the specifications are identical, except modified human user interface. Android systems are developed for devices with touch screens. Most of the TV sets, does not have and does not support touch screen interface. So we are forced to use a different interface. ATB interface uses Air Mouse („AM“). AM replaced the need for a touch and orientation (accelerometer) interface.
Advantages and disadvantages of ATB:
- HDMI and AV (ATB provides both connection and communication. This allows us to use the older TV sets. However AV connector has many drawbacks in the quality of sound and picture, as we can hear a buzzing sound in the background.);
- Full HD 1080p hardware vido decoder (Via HDMI it enables1080p (1920 × 1080 pixels) quality (claimed by the manufacturer), but through tests and use we found out that the actual resolution is 1024 x 600.);
- WiFi and Ethernet (It allows us both connection. Useful when we do not have a sufficient wireless signal strength. The problem problem occurs because the WiFi every so often turns off or or gets disconnected. Maximum download speed is only 0.5 Mbps. This prevents us from smooth HD video streaming. );
- Bluetooth (The manufacturer claims that ATM has a bluetooth interface, however we were not able to find and connect to the bluetooth, consequently, wireless keyboard, mouse and file transfer);
- SD card slot (Allows you to expand the memory up to 32 GB. This is practical because there are no data on the internal memory. However, we had problems with the 16 GB card, when it was full of data. )
- USB HDD (ATB has a USB port to which you can connect USB sticks and hard drives. We connected Western Digital 500 GB hard drive and were able to access all its content. )
- Internet browser (It has a pre-installed web browser that was developed for Android phones, but it does not have an...