XIOS DS Media Play ULTRA SLIM Smart TV Companion HD Wi-Fi Media Player
The XIOS DS Media Play ULTRA SLIM Smart TV Companion HD Wi-Fi Media Player 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 XIOS DS Media Play ULTRA SLIM Smart TV Companion HD Wi-Fi Media Player is a flexible media player powered by an ARM Cortex A9 processor and an OpenGL Mali-400 3D GPU. The Xios DS media player is primarily Android-based but also has a Linux firmware option provided by Pivos. Pivos works closely with XBMC to optimize media playback functionality on the Xios DS hardware and usher XBMC development maturity on the Android platform. For connectivity, the Pivos Xios DS has a 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, three USB 2.0 and a micro-SDHC card slot. Since it is running an unlocked Android OS, users can access the Google Play store and download apps that they need. The Pivos Xios DS uses an HDMI port to output video and comes bundled with an HDMI cable so it can be used directly out of the box.
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.
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”.
The XIOS DS Media Play ULTRA SLIM Smart TV Companion HD Wi-Fi Media Player itself is simple but well designed. It’s small, but uses what little space it has effectively. One side holds the MicroSD card slot and two USB ports. Another side has ethernet, HDMI, power, and a third USB port. The last side has a few indicator lights. The build quality is solid. The ports are uniformly constructed and firmly attached. There are no rough edges or bad seams. The bottom of the device has a silicon mat to keep it from sliding around.
The included remote matches the XIOS DS , and to my pleasant surprise was very well made. It may be small and light, but it doesn’t feel flimsy, and the silicon buttons are soft to the touch and clicky to press, and the volume buttons are located on the side. The remote felt like it would be a real companion to the XIOS DS . The buttons are few, but well thought-out, with the exception of the lack of a “home” button. The remote was definitely conceived as part of the product, not just a flimsy accessory, the limitation to the remotes functionality would be in software.
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.
Powered by Android 4.0
Pivos has pre-loaded right out of the box the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS which is very good and smooth not to mention only a single version behind the most current version available on some smartphones and tablets. This lets you know that Pivos knows how to do this right by keeping up with quite current software as needed and this means a very good user experience along with smooth interface control.
Official XBMC Support Partner
Pivos is a exclusive partner with the XBMC team which for those who do not know XBMC is one of the most popular Home theatre software being used for HTPC’s or media devices. This once again is a very good sign as support for the XIOS DS is very strong and they have exclusive firmwares available for the best media player exerience
High Performance Components
The XIOS DS utilizes a powerful Cortex A9 processor which offers excellent horsepower for video playback but also for the various android apps you can download from the Android MArketplace. Also for graphics and video is the Mali 400 which is an OpenGL GPU capable of android gaming along with video playback. Also I see that this hardware is more than capable to run the new Jellybean 4.2 Android OS i hope they update to that for the extended capability such as the even smoother interface.
The XIOS DS comes with plenty of external connectivity with the following.
-3x USB 2.0 ports
- HDMI port
-10/100 LAN port
-MicroSD card slot
-Internal WiFi antennae
This kind of connectivity allows for streaming of media via a USB connected devices such as thumb drives or external HDDs. Also with the wired or wireless network connections allows for easily streaming media via network shares or even internet locations such as youtube. Also apps can be downloaded from the play store to run most of the apps you would see on a tablet or smartphone you can use on this.
Supplemental Linux Firmware Available
Among the normal Android interface there is also an available Linux XBMC firmware which can be loaded should you only want to use this device for video streaming and this upon testing works very well but you do lose the capabilities of the Android OS and play store or other android apps. It is cool to have this sort of option as some have said that the Linux XBMC tends to run a little better as of now, although XBMC is constantly working on the android solution on the XIOS DS device to offer an even better experience.
Supported Video Codecs
MPEG 1/ 2/ 4, H.264, VC-1, WMV, M2TS, TS, RMVB, AVI, MKV, MOV, TS, MPEG, FLV, DivX, Xvid.
Supported File Types
AVI/ MKV/ TS/ TP/ TRP/ M2TS/ MPG/ MP4/ MOV/ M4V/ VOB/ IFO/ DAT/ WMV/ ASF/ RM/ RMVB/ FLV/ XVID/ DIVX 3,4,5 for up to 1080p resolution.
MP3/ OGG/ WMA/ WAV/ AAC/ FLAC
HD JPEG/ BMP/ GIF/ TIF/ PNG
Supported Audio Codecs
MP2/ 3, OGG Vorbis, WMA, WAV, WMA PRO, PCM LPCM, MS-ADPCM, LC-AAC, HE-AAC, COOK, RA-Lossless, RM/ RMVB 8/ 9/ 10./li>
1 x HDMI A/V out
1 x 10/100 Ethernet
1 x 802.11 b/g/n built in wireless
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x MicroSD/SDHC Memory Slot (upto 32GB)
Supported Audio Output
MP2/ 3, OGG Vorbis, WMA, WAV, WMA PRO, PCM LPCM, MS-ADPCM, LC-AAC, HE-AAC, COOK, RA-Lossless, RM/ RMVB 8/ 9/ 10.
Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian-Bokmol, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Swedish, Thai, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Simplified & Traditional Chinese
Supported Subtitle Types
SRT, SMI, SSA, ASS, IDX/SUB, SUB
REQUIRED: High Definition Display device with HDMI input (up to 1080p resolution for best results).
* Recommended: Wired or Wireless network connection is required for network or internet content. Audio amplifier is required for digital surround sound.
XIOS DS Media PLay
HDMI A/V out
A/C Power Adapter
Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Air, AppBrain , Aptoide, Astro, AndroZip, App Control, App Installer, BubbleUPnP, Browser, Cache Cleaner+, Crackle, Calculator, Calendar, Clock, Downloads, Dolphin HD, DroidVPN, Email, File Browser, Facebook, File Expert, File Manager, Gallery, Global News, Go SMS Pro, IMDB, MoboPlayer, mVideoPlaye, MX Video Player, Messenger, mundu IM, mundu Radio, Music, Network, Opera Mobile, Radio, RockPlayer, SlideME Market, SSHDroid, Terminal Emulator, Titanium Backup, Titanium Restore, Ustream, Video Player, Youtube.