KDDI has announced a cable TV set top box running Android 4.0. The Smart TV Box, by Panasonic, has a customized interface and home screen, and can be controlled via the buttons or touch pad of the remote control. KDDI are also planning to include location relevant service applications, such as an online supermarket.
“On the Home screen, the main item is the program you’re currently watching, and services are shown around the edges. When you slide up, the screen shows information for the family to share. For example, there’s a calendar everyone can write in, to share their schedule.”
“The right side of the Home screen is the usual broadcast area. With the Smart TV Box, in addition to the functions of previous set top boxes, we have customized functions such as recording, creating a system which is much easier to use.
“The Play area, on the left of the Home screen, has Video, Music, and Game categories. In Video, you can watch NicoNico Douga and YouTube as well as KDDI’s pay services.”
“The Application area, at the bottom of the Home screen, lets you choose and download applications from three markets: au Smart Pass, Google Play, and Cable Market.”
The Smart TV Box features a dual-chip for Android and TV applications, three USB ports, an SD card slot, and a Wi-Fi access point. An external hard drive can also be used for recording. From now on, there are plans to release a full range of content, including games optimized for the Smart TV Box.
In August, KDDI and JCN will start a service trial, and cable TV companies plan to offer the Smart TV Box from autumn onward.