Echostar Europe now offering set top box powered by Android

Android’s march on the living room continues, with Echostar Europe announcing the HDx-200 set top box. Among the new unit’s operating system options is none other that Google’s little green robot.

The HDX-200 is designed for IPTV providers, and it’s fully DLNA compatible. It’s also SlingLoaded — that is, ready to placshift thanks to built-in Sling Media technology. It features a 1500DMIPS application processor (possibly the Broadcom BCM7420), 1GB of NAND flash and 512MB RAM, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, HDMI output, 10/100 Ethernet, and a single USB 2.0 port. There’s also a 10-pin mini DIN connector that enables RCA and SCART hook-ups.

Since Android is on board, the HDX-200 also includes the Webkit-powered Android web browser — and Flash 10.1 comes along for the ride as well. Operating power is less than 10W, and the HDX-200 sips less than a watt in standby mode. While Echostar’s spec sheet says that the box “enables the delivery” of apps, it doesn’t specifically say whether or not you’ll actually be installing any. Content providers could certainly get on board and deliver tweaked versions of their existing Android apps (like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer) — they’d simply need to make them play nicely with a remote control instead of your fingertips.

No word yet on pricing or availability, but if your broadband TV provider has used Echostar hardware before there’s a good chance you might have an Android upgrade option in the near future. While we find out whether those Google TV 2.0 boxes really are a big upgrade over the original, we can hold out hope that the folks building our satellite, cable, and broadband boxes are all working on more modern hardware like the HDX-200.

More at It Runs on Linux and Echostar

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