Aztech PlayXtreme Internet TV Hub - Play Everything

5/11/2012 5:59:17 PM

The smartest thing to come out of Smart-TVs

In the wake of Smart-TVs seeping their way into the market, many companies I out there have unabashedly tried to emulate Smart-TV functionalities via cheaper, external means. The Aztech PlayXtreme is one of those brazen attempts: this little box can essentially bring the Smart to any un-Smart TV -- which is why it's the smartest things to come out in recent times.

Description: Aztech PlayXtreme Internet TV Hub

The PlayXtreme is designed into a smallish white box, and it's small enough to blend into your typical home theatre setup. The small stature impressively manages to house quite a lot; at the front, you get two USB ports along an SD-card slot (plus power button and indicator LEDs), while the back has an HDMI and Ethernet port each, plus AV connectivity.

Setting it up is simple enough; all it really needs is for the PlayXtreme to be hooked to the Internet (via Ethernet) and the TV, and it works from the start. Turning it on takes you to an effectively simple main menu, and here is where the fun starts.

Description: Aztech PlayXtreme Internet TV Hub

The PlayXtreme runs on Android 2.3, which essentially gives you full access to any Android functionality there is. That means you can surf the web, launch the many preloaded apps, download and install them (it doesn't support Android Market, but can install .apk files) and even play Android games. That's right; we flung Angry Birds with it, and it is glorious.

Outside of its Smart-TV capabilities, the PlayXtreme doubles up as a media player, too, and you can play them from a USB storage. The PlayXtreme's pleasant experience owes a lotto its ARM Cortex A9 processor, which keeps things snappy, and its 2.4GHz wireless QWERTY remote control, which works very well and very responsively. It takes awhile to get used to it, but the remote can have you typing and launching apps in no time.

As wonderful as it is, it's not without its flaws. The browser only manages to load mobile versions on most sites, and some apps will sometimes stutter or crash. Other features, like the multimedia player, lacks a few more robust functionalities, and we find it odd that the remote has to take up one USB slot for its receiver.

Aztech PlayXtreme Internet TV Hub

Price $165


CPU: ARM Cortex A9 (800MHz)

RAM: 512MB OS: Android 2.3

Video Formats: DAT, MPEG, MV2, VOB, AVI, MKV, MOV, FLV, 3GP, RMVB

Audio Formats: MP1, MP2, MP3, WMA, OGG, OGA, FLAC, ALAC, M4A, DTS

Connectivity: 2 x USB2.0, 1 x SD-slot, Ethernet, HDMI

Others: Wireless QWERTY Remote Control (2.4GHz)

Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 30mm Weight: 152g


Performance 4 stars

Features 5 stars

Design 4 stars

Value 4 stars

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