As soon as TVs became capable enough, the dream for most tech-junkies was to somehow connect their computer to the TV, thus providing a giant computer screen, not to mention the convenience of combining two of the most used consumer electronics into one. There emerged several ways to do this—through the AV port, VGA port and then the HDMI port.
But these methods had their own limitations. It’s all well and good connecting the computer to the TV, but how would you use it? Sitting next to the computer, and consequently the TV screen, doesn’t make sense. The only option was to buy a separate wireless mouse and keyboard. For many, this was too convoluted—first check that the computer has the right video drivers, then connect the computer to the TV, connect the wireless receiver to the computer, and so on.
Woxi Media has sought to render this whole process much easier—by bypassing the computer entirely and providing PC functionality to the TV itself. Its SmartPod for TV is a small box that connects directly to the TV—through the AV or HDMI ports—and instantly allows you to do almost everything you would do on the internet via a computer. Loaded with Android 2.3, the SmartPod comes with the Chrome browser and the YouTube app pre-installed.
Apart from that, it also has Google’s app store, Play, installed. Like its version on any Android phone or tablet, this version of Play allows you to download any app, ranging from Facebook and Twitter to news apps like Google News and the New York Times app. And, if you get bored with all that, you can play a number of games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds that come loaded with the software—of course, you can always download some more. The SmartPod can connect to your internet connection either via a direct line in, or through Wi-Fi.
The coolest thing about the SmartPod is that it comes with a small keyboard. This immediately makes life much easier in using the device. The keyboard itself has pros and cons. The fact that it is small and doesn’t appreciably add to the clutter in your living room is a big plus. As is the fact that it has a motion sensing capability, which allows you to move the mouse pointer on the screen by simply waving the keyboard around (the keyboard comes with the required mouse buttons as well).