Android TV Set-Top Box running Android Pie shown off at IBC
Android TV is a unique flavor of Android from Google and we have noticed more smart TVs being released with the software. The set-top box market for Android TV has seemingly stalled, though. Many will point at the NVIDIA SHIELD TV as the best available on the market but we also have products from Razer, Xiaomi, and some unique options including the LG UPlus’s U+ tvG Woofer and U+ tvG 4K UHD that run Android TV as well. Google has yet to unveil a Pixel-branded Android TV set-top box in the Google Store since they removed the Nexus Player, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other interesting products to look forward to. SDMC looks to be showing off a new product that is running the Android Pie version of Android TV.
The International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) started yesterday and SDMC was there to show off a new set-top box. SDMC is a company that focuses on providing professional DTV solutions and services for OTT operators and industrial fields. These generally include OTT/IPTV Set-top boxes and OTT/IPTV+DVB Hybrid Set-top boxes which makes sense since they showed off a new Android TV device at IBC this year. The company essentially creates hardware and then sells them to other companies so they can put their own branding on it. For instance, the new JetStream box that is sold at Walmart is actually manufactured by SDMC and rebranded by Ematic.
The new set-top box that was recently shown off at the IBC uses the same SoC in the new JetStream box as well as the Xiaomi Mi Box (the Amlogic S905X). The chipset is older, but still capable of handling 4K video playback. Unfortunately, the box only comes with 1GB of DRAM. If you’re wondering why the device is using the same Amlogic chipset as the 2-year-old Xiaomi Mi Box, it’s because Amlogic chipsets are one of the few affordable chipsets with pre-integrated Android TV certification. This new Android TV set-top box is also one of the few that runs Android Pie. The only other device that we have seen run this version of Android TV is the developer-only ADT-2 which was shown off at Google I/O but never actually shipped to any developers.
It will be interesting to see which companies end up purchasing the rights to sell this new set-top box with their own branding attached to it.