FOR 3D AND SMART FEATURES YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY A PREMIUM—OR JUST BUY A NO-FRILLS TV AND GIVE IT SOME EXTRA BRAINS WITH A MEDIA BOX LIKE THE AMKETTE EVOTV
Media boxes generally try to cash in on the proliferation of downloaded digital media, with some trying their hand at smart features and Internet connectivity. But none of them are really as smart as the Amkette EvoTV, which gives an Android driven intelligence boost to your TV. With the EvoTV plugged in, your old TV will be able to surf the Net, check mail, play millions of videos, play motion and other games and access files from the home network and so on.
The EvoTV is actually a small black box that plug into to your TV, preferably with an HDMI cable. It can play all media files from USB and hard drives. Switch on the box and your TV has a full Android Gingerbread OS with a tile-based interface of app views. This view is customisable and comes with a rolling ticker at the bottom and a live weather update on the top, all fed by either a wi-fi or ethernet network.
The box works reasonably well on regular Internet connections, though the recommended speed is 1Mbps. We tested it on a 750Kbps connection and had smooth video from YouTube and even HD video sites after the initial buffering of a couple of minutes. However, while the video is buffering the page sort of freezes and this is a slight put off. But the feature gives users access to hundreds of channels and programmes beyond the regular cable or DTH, all in good quality if not HD. And yes, you can do even video calls with a webcam plugged in.
Here the TV starts behaving like a smartphone, though none of them can boast of a Evo Touch remote which has a built in gyro. The remote has a button to calibrate the mouse, which then works based on a trigger like button on the rear. This is good as it is works better with the free hand motion that the remote needs. You can swipe the app views on the screen and select one by just clicking the trigger button. The mouse has a mic in case you want to make a voice search or a video call. To zoom in and out, there is a touch sensitive dial pad on the front. Change the orientation and the Wii-like remote is good for two-hand games. The remote is the one thing that makes EvoTV really innovative and unique. Now, who needs a smart TV?