PLDT’s taking steps into your home with gadgets like the TelPad, and now they’re aiming at turning your TV into an internet TV installed with their services through TVolution. But is the experience a good one? And does it step up your TV viewing into a new level? Read on to find out.
Basically, if you have Fibr, DSL Plan 999 or higher, or Ultera, you can get TVolution from PLDT. From there, you’ll receive this small device that turns your TV into a more capable multimedia platform.
Setting up is easy, as you only need to connect two things — the device to your TV via HDMI and to a power source via USB. The device is incredibly light and pocketable, so there is little hassle playing with the small box. After everything, grab your remote and get started by connecting TVolution to your internet.
The experience can a bit challenging if you are a first timer. TVolution feels like having a non-touch Android tablet on your TV and all the buttons are on the remote. We’ll give it to the remote for feeling nice and keeping things simple, but we know that an Android interface on a non-touch or virtual keyboard can be uneasy. You have to press right manually across a bunch of selectable materials on the screen just to get to another thing and that will take you around 3 seconds to do every time.
Fortunately, there’s an app called MediaQ remote that you can use for better navigation. This allowed my smartphone to control the TV via WiFi, and it offers a lot more of navigation controls such as being something like a trackpad. In addition, typing became extremely easier. Connecting a keyboard and mouse via USB to TVolution is also an option.
It also gives you access to exclusive PLDT HOME content such as Clickplay, which lets you stream from a selection of over 200 blockbuster movies on-demand.
So here’s our quick wrap on TVolution, and we can probably say that a lot of internet TVs also have the same problem: navigation is a key element in defining the entire experience, and a lot of companies are still struggling to get the formula right, TVolution being a product of the same mistake. While HD content looked pretty good on our 1080p HDTV, there are workarounds to remote navigation, and everything was a quick setup – the software itself proved to be messy and navigation is really slow. I may hook up a mouse and keyboard to my TV, but that’s not really what my TV is for. I want to be able to sit back and let everything be a breeze.
PLDT TVolution (Huawei MediaQ Smart TV Box M310):
1080p, 1080i & 720p resolution support (16:9, 4:3)
4GB internal memory
STB input, HDMI 1.4 output
MicroSD card slot
If you really need internet on your television, feel free to jump in with TVolution, but I think finding a way to connect your Telpad or any other mobile device to your TV is a much more efficient way. TVolution wants to be your computer on a TV by being an Android tablet, but that doesn’t really work well by experience.