TCL to launch motion-controlled Android TV first in China (click for full article) "TOKYO - One of the most common western misconceptions about China (and its CE market) is that the role of local vendors is to build cut-rate TV sets with fewer bells and whistles, then pass along lower prices that Chinese consumers can afford. That "understanding" is turning out to be wrong on many levels. First, according to an announcement from Hillcrest Labs (Rockville, Md.) Wednesday (May 23), leading Chinese consumer brand TCL will start shipping Android-based smart TVs this month in China. The TVs will feature Hillcrest's patented motion software, Freespace. The surprise here is that China gets first dibs on TCL's gesture-controlled smart TVs. They will become available in other markets later this year. Second, at a time when Google TVs by Sony or others have yet to catch on either in the U.S., Europe or Japan, TCL is eagerly positioning itself to mine the Chinese smart TV market. TCL is demonstrating its second-to-none speed in becoming a leading vendor of smart TVs with advanced features. The keys to that speed are licensable software and readily available smart TV SoCs. TCL pulled it off first by partnering with Hillcrest, and second, leveraging an Android TV SoC developed by one of the biggest Taiwanese consumer chip companies -- either MediaTek or MStar. MediaTek showed off its motion-controlled Android TV SoC at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year in an invitation-only hotel ball room in Las Vegas. Asked about a design with TCL, MediaTek, however, declined to comment. By using Hillcrest's motion software, TCL is bringing motion, gesture and cursor control to Android-powered Smart TVs."