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HDMI Dongle Converts Any TV into Android Smart TV

By - Source: Infinitec | B 22 comments

This USB stick-sized micro-computer will turn an HDMI-capable TV into an Android 4.0-based TV that can download apps, play movies off a microSD card and more.

Startup company Infinitec has introduced the Pocket TV, an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) based HDMI dongle that converts any HDTV into a Smart TV. It's essentially a thumb-sized micro-computer packed with a 1 GHz Cortex A9 SoC, a Mali-400MP GPU, 512 MB of RAM, a USB 2.0 port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot (for up to 32 GB of storage) that's capable of transforming a TV into a mega-sized tablet -- only without the touchscreen capabilities, of course.

"You can download apps from the Google Play Store to stream videos, play games, connect with your friends on Facebook, catch up on news, do some work or simply surf the web," the company said on Thursday. "You can even attach a video camera to do Skype video-calls on your TV. "

One of Infinitec's big selling points with its new gadget is portability. Not only can end-users stream video, listen to music, get the latest news or check the latest Facebook feeds at home on their big screen TV, but they can take all of that content on the go by simply stuffing the dongle into their pocket, and then plug it into the HDMI port of a hotel TV. Executives won't even need to take their laptop, as they could plug the Pocket TV into the projector and stream a presentation from the cloud (like a Dropbox account) or locally from the SD Card.

To control Pocket TV, Infinitec has thrown a standard IR Remote into the package. It uses an infrared signal and gives consumers the ability to control the Pocket TV interface using the up, down, side arrows and several buttons. There's also an optional Air Remote which features a gyroscope sensor that allows the user to control Pocket TV simply by moving it around like a Wii controller. Move a hand up, down or sideways, and the cursor on the screen will follow.

"If you want you can also use your iPhone or Android smartphone to control the Pocket TV," the company said. "Just download the Google Remote TV app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and your phone will become your remote. We’re also working on our own app for your phone with some very cool features."

The USB 2.0 port allows consumers to add an external hard drive, a wireless keyboard and mouse or a video camera for video calls. Pocket TV can even be connected to any standard TV as long as it has an HDMI port (or an attached HDMI converter box), and is capable of displaying up to 1080p. The only drawback to this gadget is that it needs to be plugged into a power outlet via a miniUSB port, and that the IR camera for the remote needs to be draped across the top of the TV.

Recently surpassing over $100,000 in pledges, the Pocket TV can be pre-ordered for a limited pre-order price of $99 (regular price $160) right here. As seen in the video below, the company actually used a 4-port USB hub so that they could use multiple USB devices. How users will be able to play Angry Birds with the IR Remote is unknown, if possible at all.

Infinitec Pocket TV Hands On

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  • -4 Hide
    beardguy , June 8, 2012 1:39 PM
    Cool idea, but this looks terrible. Not practical at all to use that tiny remote like a mouse. Also, there's too many cables hanging off that damn thing lol. Looks pretty ugly. There's plenty of better devices on the market for the same price that are more streamlined than this.

    I don't get the draw to "smart TV's" at all. I don't want to watch youtube videos or play Angry Birds on my TV. That's what mobile, tablet, and PC's are for.
  • -3 Hide
    ArgleBargle , June 8, 2012 1:39 PM
    Ah, if only my Samsung Galaxy S2 could have the ICS update which has been promised for MONTHS now but as usual they FAIL TO DELIVER.

    So, yeah, this is just another useless tchochke for me and many other people because either Google or Samsung can't be arsed to do their jobs.
  • 2 Hide
    hoof_hearted , June 8, 2012 1:51 PM
    Not sure about the IR remote control mechanism, but if the USB ability of the keyboard and mouse is good, then this could be nice.
  • 5 Hide
    hoof_hearted , June 8, 2012 1:54 PM
    cushgodHell Yeah, Down with Cable!!! Fuck you cable , you like that , ?? Right up your ass, you greedy fucks!!, Now you had your thumb up your ass so long now its too late, so many ways to get media then from Cable , HAHA!!


    Agreed!! Been without cable TV for a few years now. Between Netflix, Redbox and getting news off the internet, saving a ton of money. Only thing I miss is sports, so have to go to sports bars every now and then for the major events.
  • 4 Hide
    tomrippity02 , June 8, 2012 2:13 PM
    beardguyCool idea, but this looks terrible. Not practical at all to use that tiny remote like a mouse. Also, there's too many cables hanging off that damn thing lol. Looks pretty ugly.


    What other device turns your tv in an Android device? I haven't seen any.

    This device only needs 2 cables technically. They had a lot more because they were showing off many devices, but they used a USB hub as the article points out. Seeing as how its the size of 2 thumb drives, I don't really see how one could consider it "ugly". Its much less obtrusive than a typical media center. For people who can't afford to go buy a smart TV, this is a great solution.

    The draw to smart televisionsare not for Angry birds and youtube. They also include apps like HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Weather, Music Applications, etc... It doesn't seem like you've had much experience with smart televisions or you would obviously see the upside. All of the power of a media center without having to add the extra devices is really nice.

    I use Pandora on my smart tv now when I have company over for entertainment, but with this device I could use Grooveshark instead, which I prefer hands down.
  • 1 Hide
    saltyzip , June 8, 2012 2:27 PM
    Would be better for the remote to have a touchpad to do the swiping on and move the mouse around me thinks.
  • 2 Hide
    acerace , June 8, 2012 2:40 PM
    ArgleBargleAh, if only my Samsung Galaxy S2 could have the ICS update which has been promised for MONTHS now but as usual they FAIL TO DELIVER.So, yeah, this is just another useless tchochke for me and many other people because either Google or Samsung can't be arsed to do their jobs.


    How the gug does Samsung have anything to do with this you gug? Read the whole guging article before commenting.
  • 1 Hide
    tomrippity02 , June 8, 2012 2:53 PM
    waaatehttp://www.engadget.com/2012/01/07 [...] -tv-video/http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/30 [...] ckstarter/http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/01 [...] -hands-on/http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/07 [...] pressions/


    Well, the first and third link are the same product, the third link is just referencing an update to the product.

    The second link is to the exact same product in this THG article.

    And the third doesn't appear to be available and was only just reviewed yesterday. It looks nice, but it also appears the IR sensor is on the device itself, so if your HDMI connection is on the back of the tv, your remote wouldn't be able to hit the sensor.

    As mentioned before, it is only slightly larger than a thumb drive, are looks really that big of a deal?

  • -1 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , June 8, 2012 3:36 PM
    cushgodHell Yeah, Down with Cable!!! Fuck you cable , you like that , ?? Right up your ass, you greedy fucks!!, Now you had your thumb up your ass so long now its too late, so many ways to get media then from Cable , HAHA!!
    You still have to have the internet lol so chances are you are still payiong the man....
  • 0 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , June 8, 2012 3:36 PM
    *paying
  • 0 Hide
    annymmo , June 8, 2012 3:41 PM
    So many people still haven't figured out you can just use your pc with your tv.

    Seriously people who don't know that: WTF is wrong with you!?!
    Doesn't the computer screen looks like a tv to you? NO?
  • 1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 8, 2012 4:10 PM
    annymmoSo many people still haven't figured out you can just use your pc with your tv.Seriously people who don't know that: WTF is wrong with you!?!Doesn't the computer screen looks like a tv to you? NO?

    Dude... does your family/friends like to gather around a computer screen at a desk in the office? Cause that is the most typical setup for a computer.

    Mine however is on a 37"HDTV in a living room in front of a couch so that concept works fine for me be in our other room it would be nice to have these apps on a TV that is NOT connected to a computer. Also, a mouse and keyboard are not a good replacement for a remote (for the average joe).


    I like it... I might have to get one of these and just cancel cable... It would work perfect in my other living area that doesn't have a computer connected to the TV. On the otherhand I think a Roku would be able the same thing.
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 8, 2012 4:11 PM
    Just use a HTPC...it can do infinitely more things than a "smart" TV can...
  • 0 Hide
    tomrippity02 , June 8, 2012 4:13 PM
    annymmoSo many people still haven't figured out you can just use your pc with your tv.Seriously people who don't know that: WTF is wrong with you!?!Doesn't the computer screen looks like a tv to you? NO?


    Or they prefer using their pc while they watch television? Maybe they don't have a smart TV or media center and would like to watch a movie off of netflix on the tv while they browse. Or maybe there are multiple people in the family and one wants to use the PC with the tv and the other wants to use the PC for something else.

    Why are people trying to put down an obviously useful device?

    It costs way less than a computer as well... I have a laptop and a desktop in my home. If my TV didn't include the HBO GO and Netflix App, this dongle would be highly useful for me. I wouldn't have to give up my laptop to use those apps on the television.
  • -1 Hide
    beardguy , June 8, 2012 4:40 PM
    tomrippity02 They also include apps like HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Weather, Music Applications, etc... It doesn't seem like you've had much experience with smart televisions or you would obviously see the upside.


    My BluRay player has all these features built in already. Consoles have many of these features already as well. Why waste $100 on this thing? There is no compelling reason for me to want Android apps on my TV.
  • 1 Hide
    subaru41 , June 8, 2012 5:12 PM
    ArgleBargleAh, if only my Samsung Galaxy S2 could have the ICS update which has been promised for MONTHS now but as usual they FAIL TO DELIVER.So, yeah, this is just another useless tchochke for me and many other people because either Google or Samsung can't be arsed to do their jobs.


    FYI, ICS has been out on the Galaxy S2 for several months. Check out XDA Developers on your phone model. There has not been an official release thanks to phone carriers taking their sweet time loading ICS with bloatware.
  • -1 Hide
    NoUserBar , June 8, 2012 6:41 PM
    This is cool, a future of nano-machine computers hooking up to random monitors in game rooms of hotels will come to pass.
  • -1 Hide
    everygamer , June 8, 2012 9:36 PM
    It would be cool if they could tie support for the Kinect into this thing (using the Kinect API), then you would use motion control instead of a touch screen.
  • 0 Hide
    tomrippity02 , June 11, 2012 1:13 PM
    beardguyMy BluRay player has all these features built in already. Consoles have many of these features already as well. Why waste $100 on this thing? There is no compelling reason for me to want Android apps on my TV.


    There is no compelling reason for me to want to purchase a blu-ray player. I don't want any more dvd's laying around that gather dust and the player is much larger than this device would be. I can rent from Amazon or stream HD from any number of other services. With this device, all someone needs is the TV and the dongle. Short of playing an actual DVD this is a better option for just about any reason than a blu-ray
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2012 3:57 AM
    I have 47" HDTV primarily for my computer.. Didn't think of anything else but to use it as my monitor.. I can do whatever I want via computer I told the smartTV saleman.. Then I realized, I just want to watch Netflix / youtube, why would I want to open my computer running 750W PSU just to watch movie?? Then it's now clear to me, I need to buy this device.. Beside, I can use this to any HDMI TV without moving my computer across the rooms!
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