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    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2013 edited
     (10967.1)
    So I just bought a Pivos Xios DS Media Play box. A media center, big deal right? There are a few spectacular things about this device:

    * Tiny, solid state and low power
    * Runs Android or Linux
    * The official hardware box for XBMC [xbmc.org]
    * Around $100

    First off, look at this thing. Smaller than a deck of cards:



    This is a cable-TV killer. It runs XBMC, which is a nearly-miraculous portal to all your favorite audio and video stuff. Oh big deal, you say, I've seen the TiVO Premeire, I've seen the Roku or even Boxee (based on XBMC), what's so awesome about this?

    * It runs full-version Android 4.0 ICS, so you have access to Google Play and the entire app store, so it is also a gaming box
    * Supports wireless keyboards and mice, off the shelf stuff not proprietary expensive stuff
    * Full 1080p video output via HDMI

    XBMC supports plugins for nearly any online video service under the sun. With a bit of hacking and a couple hours work I have plugins working for Icefilms, TVLinks, Watchseries, a variety of off-color sites, TED Talks, as well as all the usuals like YouTube and Hulu and Netflix.

    It is also a regular media center and DVR. Will play UPnP/DLNA content, file shares, flash drives, whatever. And will record programs from a supported TV tuner (Unknown if this is working yet).

    It will run BitTorrent right on the box.

    This is not a newbie box if you're not at least a little hackerish and can follow online tutorials, but there's no "jailbreaking" required. It is open hardware and you can replace Android with Linux by just booting off of a flash drive.

    It boots up in seconds, is completely silent, and can be totally hidden away with a Bluetooth remote. No need to get any 'smart' TV with a cheap open box like this. No need for cable TV service. I feel like I just got my flying car and my jetpack.
  1.  (10967.2)
    If my PC hooked up to my TV wasn't already how I did things, I would totally consider this. Though there don't seem to be any hardware specs anywhere, so I'm not sure how much of a gaming box it can be, even limited to Android games.
  2.  (10967.3)
    Do you think this is something you could set up and then give to parents/less tech inclined for them to use or would this just lead to tech support nightmare?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2013
     (10967.4)
    @DavidLejune - The stats aren't tremendous, it is really a smartphone on steroids. But I'm intrigued by the OnLive package.

    @Celticstorm - Yes, I do think it could be pretty ideal. Since it is Android-based you could actual remote control the thing to support it. A better option might be replacing the firmware with their XBMC-Linux distribution, which boots the device straight into XBMC as the 'desktop'. The unit can be flashed to a new firmware by just hitting the reset button underneath and booting into the 'recovery menu', then loading a firmware off of the microSD or USB stick, so it can be recovered pretty easily in the event of a bad update or plugin crashing things.
  3.  (10967.5)
    IMHO, the key to not being a tech support nightmare is not giving the parent any reason to call (rather than being easy to get at and fix when they do). Would it be self-evidently idiot-proof for using, would it need user-applied updates, would there be scary-to-the-superstitious glitches...? Would you give it to a parent that you really don't like to talk to? :)