For those who spent a mini-fortune on large flatscreen TVs years ago, just before the arrival of smart TVs, there's a quick way out, without bulky set-top boxes such as the Xbox 360: the HDMI SmartTV from Point of View. Known more in the PC enthusiast community for its NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, Point of View has been testing waters with Android-driven tablets for some time now.
The HDMI SmartTV kit, launched today, consists of an HDMI dongle roughly the size and shape of a compact entry-level cellphone; and a compact wireless keyboard+trackpad device, that's roughly the size of a remote.
The dongle is a compact ARM machine, running a dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.60 GHz with Mali 400 graphics (smooth enough for 1080p video playback), 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, and just enough local storage for the operating system and apps. Storage is care of a micro-SDHC/SDXC slot, and a USB 2.0 port, which can connect to any USB mass-storage device, including flash-drives, external HDDs, and multi-drive enclosures. The lone network interface is 802.11 b/g/n WLAN.
Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" is at the helm, with Google Play you get access to a wealth of apps and content providers. Thanks to the keyboard and trackpad, you can turn your TV into a serious web browsing platform.
All this, for 99€.