PIVOS XIOS DS Media Play ReviewWesstron - March 13, 2013
Category: Digital Photography/Video
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PIVOS XIOS DS Media Play Introduction:
The little green Android robot seems to be everywhere lately. Smartphones, tablets, phablets, and also TV set-top boxes. It's a very interesting idea to have that continuation from your cell phone environment to your big screen TV. I personally love my Android-powered phone and find the concept appealing. Usually when we consider a device to complement a high definition TV, it’s either a closed and proprietary box from one service provider or the other, a dedicated media player that will always leave us wanting for more, or a full blown HTPC that will cost quite a bit and becomes obsolete in less than a couple years.
The folks at PIVOS might have just created the unit that will fill the gap left in place by the above listed options. Today I will be reviewing for you the XIOS DS Media Play, a very compact device built with the media lovers in mind and powered by an ARM CORTEX-A9 CPU and a MALI-400 MP GPU. Running the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, this device claims to bring together “home entertainment, wide range of internet contents and thousands of mobile applications” to the comfort of our couches.
PIVOS XIOS DS Media Play Closer Look:
The XIOS DS Media Play comes in a solid, high quality box that is literally covered with information about the unit on all sides. The top of the box mentions that the device is designed by the Pivos Technology Group and displays the name of the unit under an “Android-esque” green TV. Towards the bottom are listed the Android, HTML5, Chrome, and APK logos. The newer version of the box proudly displays that the XIOS DS Media Play is the official platform for XBMC Media Center. The back of the box tells pretty much all what a buyer would want to know about the unit. On the top left corner are listed the different video, audio, and picture formats the unit can handle. MPEG, WMV, MKV, DivX, DTS, WMA, MP3, BMP, PNG - you name it and the XIOS DS Media Play will probably play it for you! Next are listed the different connectivity options the unit offers: Wireless b/g/n, Ethernet 10/100, USB 2.0, Micro SDHC, and HDMI. Underneath are listed the various display resolutions available through the HDMI port. The unit supports PAL and NTSC for up to 1080p display at 60Hz. The bottom part displays the contents of the box, a QR code that will take you to the PIVOS website when scanned, and the contact info for the PIVOS Technology Group.
Moving to the sides of the box more details and marketing materials are in display. One of the sides is dedicated to putting more emphasis on the collaboration between PIVOS and the XBMC development team to make the XIOS DS Media Play the only official XBMC ARM-based developer platform. This basically means that the unit runs a custom XBMC build optimized and tweaked for its hardware, which will greatly improve stability and playback experience. The next side panel displays the length and width of the unit; it’s stated here that the XIOS DS Media Play is 3.3” square but a quick verification shows that it’s actually about 4” square. My guess is whoever measured the unit completely omitted the curved section at the corners and just noted the straight edges length, which is actually 3.3”.
On the same side are listed more facts about the unit: it runs Android 4.0 (code-name Ice Cream Sandwich), able to stream local and online media content, and supports HTML5 and Adobe Flash 10.X. Continuing to the next side you'll find more technical specifications regarding the chips powering the XIOS DS Media Play, mainly the Cortex-A9 processor and the onboard Mali-400 graphic chip. It is also mentioned here that the unit is compatible with a wide range of peripherals including wireless keyboard/mouse and the PIVOS Sense wireless remote (sold separately) that unfortunately was not included in the review package.
Lifting the top part uncovers the unit sitting nicely in a piece of protective foam and underneath are the accessories including a manual, the basic IR remote, power adapter, and HDMI cable. The bundle is simple yet complete and will let a potential buyer connect and control the XIOS DS Media Play straight out of the box. The bundled infra-red remote is very light weight and a slight pressure with my fingers made it flex in an alarming way. The remote will provide basic functions provided by the following buttons (described left to right, top to bottom): standby, menu, up, left, ok, right, bottom, exit, and notification. The volume up and down rocker is located on the left side of the remote. Towards the bottom is situated the battery slot and a sealed plug that is probably where the charging cable would go if it was a PIVOS Sense remote.
Now the sharp ones out there will notice that the sides of the bottom section of the box are actually a quick install guide. The listed seven steps illustrate what to look for in the box, how to connect the unit, and what to do after first boot. The last two steps are a polite reminder to read the user manual before contacting for support. PIVOS please! The economy will collapse and thousands will lose their jobs if we start reading the manuals!
The XIOS DS Media Play unit comes in a very informative packaging containing all what you need to set it up and start using your new toy right out of the box.