Chumby NeTV Turns Any TV into a Smart TV

by Reads (2,795)

Chumby almost hit it big a few years ago by creating a quirky little Internet device. A cross between a PDA and an alarm clock, this little touchscreen that could was one of the first cloud devices, pulling data off the Internet and putting it in an easy to access form that sat on your nightstand. With the NeTV, they’re looking to bring the Chumby experience to your HDTV.

Chumby NeTV

The petit little NeTV (get it? any tv? oh, Chumby) represents a marked departure from most smart TV boxes out there, such as the Apple TV, Google TV or WD TV Live Hub. Each of those devices supplies a video feed to the display in question – usually to play video stored directly on the device, or maybe to stream Netflix or Hulu. Eventually, one or all of those might also run third party applications.

Chumby takes an all-new approach, however, by sitting in between your television and any other kind of device. That could be a cable or satellite box, DVR or even an Xbox 360. The NeTV hijacks the video feed from the first device and sets its smart TV content on top of the feed. Maybe you’ll be watching the game and want to see the latest tweets from other fans. No problem – the NeTV can set your Twitter feed into a scrolling bar at the bottom of your screen. Check it out in the video below:

You can also share pictures, links and other content, and browse the web on the NeTV. An Android app is available now (with iOS support coming soon) that turns your mobile device into a sharing monster. Syncing the devices is easy, too – the NeTV displays a QR code for the application that your phone scans in, then the pair meet up over Wi-Fi. It’s a lot like how Boxee Box lets smartphone users control its own quirky software.

Specifications for the device include an 800MHz Marvel ARM CPU, 802.11g Wi-Fi, a micro-USB port for power-in, compatibility with “most HD video sources” and the ability to output in 480p, 720p and 1080p24 “True Cinema”.

There’s no word yet available in terms of pricing or availability, but Chumby is planning for an early developers’ release later this month in order to attract software authors to their platform. Web designers should take special note, as the entire Chumby UI is based on Webkit, HTML5 and Javascript.

via Chumby’s Wiki



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