Why spend thousands of dirhams on a smart TV when you can convert any old TV into a full high-definition smart internet TV?
MediaCom, known for kar-aoke players, has launched a device — M.Droid — which runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system and powered by Cortex A9 dual-Core 1.5Ghz processor.
The crescent-shaped device houses 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash storage capacity. Out of the 8GB, only 5.33GB is available for users. But don’t worry; it has an SD card slot for additional 32GB storage capacity.
After connecting the device to the television, some time is needed for setting up the device, similar to setting up a new smartphone or a tablet.
The box comes with a mini wireless bi-lingual wireless keyboard (English and Arabic) with built-in mouse, remote control and a Logitech 5MP webcam for video chatting.
The mini keyboard has left and right mouse buttons on the top left side of the keyboard and an optical trackpad on the top right side of the keyboard.
The build quality of the keyboard is strong and sturdy but the keys are a bit shallow and users can feel the flex when typing.
The keys have many functions apart from the letters and karaoke functions, and which I found very useful.
Connect the device to your TV using a HDMI cable or an audio/video cable if your TV is very old like cathode ray tube (CRT).
Users can connect the home internet either by WiFi or Ethernet. It has three USB ports, one is needed for wireless keyboard and the other two can be used either for an external hard disk drive which supports up to 1TB or game controllers. Games can also be played using the wireless keyboard.
Users can download music, games, apps, etc. from the Google Play Store, similar to smartphones. The device comes with 39 pre-installed apps and users can add eight main apps of their choice on the home screen.
M.Droid key features are Skype, Gmail, social media apps, live streaming and access to top TV and movie channels that are available on the internet.
Other added feature is that contents on the smartphone can be wirelessly displayed on the screen using Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
One thing to be noted is that the device cannot upscale the quality of the content that is available on the internet.
If the quality of the content is in HD then it is worth watching if your TV has a big screen. For example, if the quality of movie in YouTube is not of high quality, then the picture will be pixelated if you have a big TV. Downloading content will depend on your internet broadband speed.
The device supports MPEG-2, H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1 video formats and MP3, WMA, OGG, WAVE, AC3 and DTS audio formats.
Regarding connectivity, it has Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Hotspot. It is priced at Dh599.
• Value for money
• Three USB and HDMI ports
• Good keyboard with mouse
• SD card slot
• Flex in keyboard
• In-built storage should be more
• Old operating system
• Audio output needed on the back