When XBMC Android development was announced in 2012, the main development platform was Pivos XIOS DS, a TV Box based on Amlogic AML8726-M1 that can run either XBMC Linux or Android, and the company (Pivos Group) was the main sponsor and contributor for XBMC on ARM. Contrary to many other companies that push faster and faster hardware, Pivos Group focuses on software and user’s experience, and they’ve just announced he successor of the Pivos XIOS DS, called the Pivos XIOS XS powered by Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 processor and feature their own heavily custom version of Android called ToFu Media OS.
Let’s go through the hardware specifications first:
- SoC – Amlogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
- System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB eMMC + micro SD card slot up to 32GB
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4b with CEC support
- Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (up to 300 Mbps), and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
- Dimensions – 87.5 x 87 x 18 mm
- Weight – 108 gram
The box comes with XS remote an RF remote specifically designed to be used with XBMC.
From the hardware side of things it’s pretty similar to devices like G-Box Midnight MX2 or Tronsmart Prometheus which were released about a year ago. So Pivos XIOS XS must differentiate itself through its software implementation and user interface. Their OS combines a fork of Android and a fork of XBMC, and all you will see is there custom user’s interface based on XBMC, no Android Home Screen, and you have a pure set-top box experience. According to an article on Wikipedia, ToFu Media Center has already been deployed in Playjam Gamestick.
Pivos XIOS XS should be available in June, but pricing has not been disclosed just yet. You can get a little more information, and/or signed-up to be notified when the box goes on sale on Pivos Group website.