Shenzhen Geniatech shows a pretty impressive ARM Cortex-A9 AmLogic (Single Core 800Mhz) Set-top-box which they have told me can actually be sold in bulk starting at $70, here I interview their product manager about their status, where they want to bring this product, if he thinks they could be getting Google TV software for this.
- Geniatech Android TV Set-Top-Box (armdevices.net)
Zinwell is one of the worlds top-5 Realtek based media player box makers, after Western Digital, Xstreamer, now they want to support full Android and eventually Google TV for ARM, so they take the Marvell Berlin (Armada 1000?) processor platform, even add DVB tuner and e-Sata ports, to provide full HD web browsing speed and the performance needed for full Flash and all Web videos and the like.
Cideko is showing their Android Set-top-box with support for up to 1080p YouTube, and their interesting high-end remote control design with built-in keyboard, accelerometers, infrared and gyroscope.
Shenzhen Ider Technology is showing two designs for Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 powered Android Set-top-boxes. One even has a built-in 2.5" hard drive compartment. This type of box could potentially soon run Google TV experience OS!
This one could run the Google TV for ARM OS, it's a Skyviia ARM9 based Android Set-top-box, with 3 USB host, up to 1080p video playback support, the UI is being worked on. They also have a Ziilab ARM Cortex-A8 version to be available for about $20 more.
Here's more backing up what I heard, that the ARM Powered Google TV is coming soon:
Samsung Electronics Co., the largest television maker, may use Google TV software in home- entertainment devices based on its own chips, rather than those from Intel Corp., a person with knowledge of the plans said.
Google may or may not soon be allowed to add Hulu Plus to its Google TV boxes, which may provide the Google TV boxes access to most of the TV shows and other content that currently is being blocked on Google TV by US TV Networks such as Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and Viacom. Why would they want to block Google TV? Cause it's the trojan horse that disrupts TV from within, once consumers are only one click away from any YouTube video, only one click away from all VOD, legal or illegal, once this is easy to use and available for all in a sub-$100 cheap ARM Powered Google TV box, this is when those 5-hours per day people watch TV start spending more and more of that time watching content that is not owned or controlled by these networks.
At the same time, something awesome is going on with Google and Sony vs Cable Networks and the Movie industry at the FCC. Arstechnica published this awesome article explaining how Google and Sony are supporting an FCC regulation called the AllVid system.
The trade association is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the Internet.
That's at the heart of the FCC's proposal for an AllVid system, which Google very loudly supports. AllVid doesn't exist yet, but the idea is to mandate an industry-wide gadget that you could plug into your broadband router and connect to your cable TV provider, then watch online video and pay channels through a variety of AllVid-friendly devices. Not surprisingly, Google and Sony love this idea, because it could transform the Google TV from just a neat product into a revolution.
Big cable hates the proposal, because that revolution could leave multi-video program distributors (MVPDs), if not in the dust, at least working in a far more competitive video environment.
Basically, what this could mean, is that content would be separated from technology. Content owners won't be able to make exclusive streaming partnerships with one set-top-box maker and not be available on the other. What this means, is that Hulu and Netflix must be available on all devices and that there will be a standard user interface to access all those on-demand and streaming contents.
This probably also means that all of those TV Networks in the USA who are streaming their TV shows for free using ads from their websites, would have to provide all that content to all devices through standardized user interfaces. None of these content providers can choose to block any device from accessing any content, and the advertising and pay-per-view models will thus be standardized.
Big cable insists that the metadata used to create on-screen program guides is copyrighted. The Motion Picture Association of America protests that the AllVid idea would put studio content painfully close to sites like The Pirate Bay.
Program guides should not be copyrighted, that is ridiculous. Anyone should be allowed to list what is going to be on TV at any given time. And anyone should be allowed to list movie titles, directors, actors, plot and even display a poster for each of those contents.
The MPAA is correct, this will mean that pirated content will also just be one click away, but that will force content owners to allow for seamless access to all the contents either for free with ads or at very reasonable cost as pay-per-view. And this will also enable the next step for Government regulation, that is to standardize the all-you-can-eat subscription model so that one Global Licence cover the legal and free access to all contents.
- ARM Powered Google TV confirmed (armdevices.net)
- The technical reason TV Networks can block Google TV (for now..) (armdevices.net)
- Hollywood: Google TV would put us in same ship as pirates! (arstechnica.com)
- Can cable block the Google TV revolution? (arstechnica.com)
Shenzhen Geniatech Co. Ltd presents some interesting Android Powered Set-top-boxes. These could be sold for around $100 like the Apple TV or Roku box, but they just run the full Android OS including support for lots of video codecs. While Android is not yet really optimized for use on a TV with a remote control, this type of device will support the Google TV software (in this case, without HDMI pass-through overlay features) pretty soon once Google releases that software source code. As you can see on androidauthority.com, it has an AmLogic ARM Cortex-A9 800Mhz processor. Same ARM cortex-A9 platform as used by InnoDigital for their next generation WebTube product.
This Android Set-top-box uses the Ziilab ARM Cortex-A8 processor platform with 1080p video playback.
I have it on very high authority from someone at Google (to remain anonymous) that an ARM Powered Google TV platform is coming soon.
The specifics of how Google TV on ARM allows for differentiation (also called fragmentation), if there is support for versions without the whole HDMI-passthrough/IR-blaster overlay features, if Google TV on ARM has 1080p@60fps requirements or if 720p@30fps can be enough, if there will be support for cheaper ARM11 platforms such as Korean Telechips based Android-ready boxes, all of that is yet to be confirmed. But a bloggers logic says that eventually all ARM platforms and setups should be compatible. But as with delay in providing official Google Marketplace on non-standard Android Tablets (in a world of Android makers wanting to compete with iPod Touch and iPad), Google has authority to also decide to block or delay official Marketplace or other official features of Google TV on non-standard and cheaper Set-top-box devices.
I have been rumoring this for many months here on ARMdevices.net (1, 2, 3, 4) that Google TV on ARM would be a certainty, it's also been talked about by ARM President Tudor Brown back in November that “If Google TV is to be mainstream, it must be built on a lower power system, …on lower cost technology”.
Recently, an unofficial jailbreak on Google TV also confirmed my speculation that the main reason TV Networks can block Google TV is because of the Flash Plugin officially announcing itself in the browser to be of Google TV user agent. Jailbreaking thus allows to install a hacked Flash Plugin that cannot be detected by websites.
Just as since Computex in June 2010 (Bonux, Keenhigh mediatech), I filmed several interesting ARM Powered Android Set-top-boxes at CES 2011 such as the ARM Cortex-A9 Innodigital WebTube and two more Android WebTV solutions that I still have to upload, all of these ARM Powered Android Set-top-box solutions should be able to run a basic Google TV software just as well.
Consider that Google has to cater to not pre-announcing future products too early as to not cannibalize the sales of the existing Intel powered Google TV boxes such as the Logitech Revue, the stuff from Sony and the upcoming Google TV solutions from Vizio, Toshiba, Samsung, Sharp, LG and others (some of those may already be ARM Powered, who knows..). Thus expect the official announcements to happen closer to the date when the Google TV software on ARM is ready for mass marketing and closer to sales.
I still believe that a sub-$100 ARM Powered Google TV Set-top-box could be one of the most revolutionary things to happen to TV since it was introduced in the late 1920ies. The revolution is when an affordable sub-$100 box (that everyone can afford) provides easy UI and meaningful algorithms for one-click instant access to all the worlds legal or illegal VOD contents. Instant access for all to every video ever made. Any video maker can be instantly broadcast on an infrastructure to be seen everywhere according to an algorithm based on ratings to determine quality and originality. People watch an average of 5 hours of TV per day, it greatly aspires to be revolutionized.