Archos first announced its TV Connect ahead of CES 2013, which detailed a two-device approach to bringing the Android experience to televisions. On one end is an HD camera mounted either to the top of your television or set up as a stand, and at the other end is an enormous remote control -- what Archos is calling the "TV Touch remote." The camera end of things also contains a 1.5GHz "multi-core" CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage, all of which powers the experience. Sadly, with a mess of WiFi signals and Bluetooth devices at the Las Vegas Convention Center (TV Connect included), navigating TV Connect's Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean interface could only be done via physical buttons -- the TV Touch remote is otherwise advertised to interact with the camera by placing a cursor on screen, navigable by physically pointing the giant remote at your screen.
In our hands-on time, not only was the cursor bugging out, but the Bluetooth connection dropped altogether at one point. It's possible that this was just a measure of the demo area's constraints, of course; we're reserving judgment until we can test it in our own homes. When it was working, it operated like you'd expect Android to operate. We were able to jump quickly from Google Maps to a game just as easily as you would on any standard Android device, albeit on the big screen. And that's quite a promising concept -- pushing not only apps like YouTube and Netflix to the TV, but more importantly, Google's Play store. That means games (controllable with the TV Touch remote), media, and more. Whether it's as exciting as it sounds remains to be seen, but we'll be sure to find out before it arrives at retail this February for $130. Take a peek at TV Connect in use in our hands-on video, just below.
Archos TV Connect @ CES 2013