Was able to borrow a demo unit of Smart’s Surf TV and was testing how the internet TV box really works. Here are my first impressions on how the device works.
Smart Surf TV is primarily for content consumption rather than content creation. As such, it is more usable in the living room than the office or study.
So, what’s inside the box?
The entire package consists of the following — the TV box, a USB keyboard, USB mouse, a wireless remote, Smart Bro Plug-It, Smart SIM card, and VGA cables. So basically, all you need is a TV, monitor or a projector to hook it up to.
What ports are built into the TV box?
At the back of the device, there is a VGA port (monitor), a TV out, RCA (video in), 4 USB ports, a LAN port. There’s an one extra USB port left after the keyboard, mouse and USB dongle has been plugged. The VGA port allows you to hook up the device to an PC monitor, TV set or projector.
The LAN port is also interesting since it could mean you can hook it up to your wired network at home and get it online as well (I need to try this out for the full review).
How does it work?
There’s an embedded OS (Linux-based) into the device that boots up the system. I’d say it’s similar to the Express Gate and all those other quick boot-up OSes that you find in netbooks and ultraportables. The browser used here is Opera.
The SmartBro Plug-It provides internet connectivity to the device although that LAN port could also be an option.
The wireless remote allows you to do some basic navigational features but you have the mouse as well as the keyboard for data input.
There’s no internal storage built into the device but since there’s an extra USB port, I think it’s possible to plug in a flash drive and use it as storage.
I’ll need more time to play around with Surf TV before I can write anything substantial or conclusive but so far, the device is promising.