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Always Innovating Dongle Brings Android To Your Dumb TV (Video)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Always Innovating HDMI dongle brings Android to your 'dumb TV' (video) -- Engadget (click for full article)

    "Google TV's looking for a second wind here at CES, but for those of you uninterested in buying a new TV (or a new set-top box, for that matter), here's a little diddy that just might tickle your fancy.


    Always Innovating is making a triumphant return to Las Vegas with what might be the raddest little gizmo of the show. The simply-titled HDMI Dongle is effectively an entire system on a chip dongle (and yeah, it looks a lot like Roku's Streaming Stick), boasting a Cortex-A9, between 256MB and 1GB of RAM, inbuilt WiFi / Bluetooth, an NFC module and even an accelerometer.


    The goal here is to convert your completely vanilla HDTV into an internet-connected device; just plug it into your HDMI port, grab the bundled RF remote and start enjoying Android on the big screen. It's capable of streaming content at 1080p, and accessing Hulu, Netflix or Amazon's video store shouldn't cause a fuss. We're told it'll start at $79, but an actual release date seems to be eluding us. Head on past the break for a couple of in-action videos."


    HDMI dongle demo:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  2. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I think there's a couple of awesome things about this device; Ice Cream Sandwich and Ti OMAP4 processor.

     
  3. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The release indicates compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich, does that mean running it now or can immediately be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich or may be at some later date? I assume Google TV is compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich, at least to my way of thinking, but I have no idea when we will have a version of Ice Cream Sandwich we can run on Google TV.
     
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It looks good however 2 things of importance I was wondering about are:

    1) Does this come with a web browser as good as Chrome on GTV? Even if it would allow for installation of an android mobile browser such as Dolphin - I've tried those mobile browsers and they don't play flash. IMO Dolphin and the other mobile browsers aren't really any better than the mobile transcoders such as Skweezer. Am I missing something here?

    2) The creator is obviously European - thus it might not be available in the USA as the first country. No mention if or when this will actually be available to consumers - only that a protoype will be demonstrated at CES.
     
  5. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    It looks like it is running Android Ice Cream Sandwich in Grégoire Gentil's demos. It is defiantly not running Gingerbread. Take a look at this link, Android Platform Overview | Android Open Source maybe that will clear up why there's a gap for Honeycomb devices. Since Google removed Honeycomb from the Android Source repository, it is more likely that device is being demonstrated with Ice Cream Sandwich not Gingerbread or an even older version.

    Well, technically; Dolphin, Maxton, and all the other browsers for the Android Phone and Tablets can run flash and do. They just don't work appropriately on Google TV because they weren't optimized for it. Those other browsers are trying to call the Flash software as they are installed on the Android Tablets and Phones. This does not allow them to work appropriately on Google TV' because its Flash implementation is very different from the Phone and Tablets. Or, haven't you realized that yet?

    Well, Always Innovating is more like a proof-of-concept or a technology company. They are only licensing the platform design. It's up to a whatever company whom decides to license the platform to implement however they deem fit for the final product.
     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Efferz I have no mobile phone or tablet - so in answer to your question - no I didn't notice. My comment was based on my experience of how the mobile browsers work with GTV.

    So does this mean that likely a android mobile browser would work correctly (in regards to Flash) with the dongle? Seeing as it is running Ice Cream Sandwich I would tend to think so. How does using Dolphin on a tablet or phone compare to using Chrome with GTV? (I mean which experience in your opinion is better)?
     
  7. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Ah, my bad. I would have expected for you to have read my explanations in the "other browsers" thread(s) of why Flash didn't work for the others Android browsers. Or the countless threads which I explain why you can't install the Flash software from the Android Market onto Google TV.

    Again, that would depend on how the company that licenses the platform implements the final product. They might not even put Android on it, but another Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Angstrom.

    I don't really see an improvement one way or the other. Mobile Flash is a substandard platform in my opinion, and is root cause of most GTV Chrome crashes. It is not any better for the other web browsers on the Android Tablets and Phones. As far as the Dolphin browser, I'm pretty indifferent to it. I mean its just another web browser based on Apple's Webkit. Sure, it has some nice features like sliding your finger to reveal a bookmark pane or a tab bar menu. But, really it is just another browser with an alternate layout.

    The only browser that I have seen with innovation is the SkyFire browser. That is backed by a server farm which transcodes Flash movies to a compatible format for your mobile device. That's probably the only "wow" feature that's on an alternate mobile browser. Obviously it prevents Flash from crashing. LOL.
     
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    "Ah, my bad. I would have expected for you to have read my explanations in the "other browsers" thread(s) of why Flash didn't work for the others Android browsers. Or the countless threads which I explain why you can't install the Flash software from the Android Market onto Google TV."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is the results of a search for "other browsers" on this forum:

    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/search.php?searchid=374702

    I couldn't find a post where you specifically explained about how mobile browsers play Flash on phones and tablets. There is even a thread about alternate browsers listed in the search. You even mentioned that you tried some alternate browsers on GTV and expected them to work - but then later posted that none of them work well. Why would you try them if you know they don't work good on GTV?

    Also I'm well aware about how Flash is baked into the GTV operating system (and GTV users cannot download Flash versions directly from Adobe). This point alone still does not confirm one way or the other of how well Flash might (or might not) function with a mobile browser on a phone or tablet.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Anyway I suspect my basic premise that any web browser that could work with the dongle would be sub optimal was accurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  9. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I know this forum's search mechanism is practically useless. I often have to do a google search using "site:googletvforum.org <keywords>" to find anything worth while here.

    [HR][/HR]
    [HR][/HR]
    Finding an alternative browser is something I've think you and a few other people have been interested in seeing. That's why I'll side load them whenever I come across them. I just haven't found any worth mentioning yet.

    This is true, but that's why I split your quote and answered it on another line. Since I was explaining how running flash through a browser on an actual Android Tablet isn't much better than Google TV's Chrome. The other reason why other Android browsers does not work well while running on GTV was a different line of thought. That's why I responded to them separately.
     
  10. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Always Innovating OMAP4 dongle:
    !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014

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