This is the DV8219 box from a Chinese company called Shenzhen SDMC Technology Co., Ltd, otherwise known as SDMC for short. What is important to note about this box is that it recently acquired official Android TV certification, and with it now being a certified Android TV box it is one step closer to becoming more widely available. The announcement on this milestone points out that this makes SDMC the third Chinese company to gain Android TV-certification following the likes of ZTE and Xiaomi.
Of course gaining certification does not necessarily mean that this is going to be a box that suddenly makes it way in to the living rooms of users and especially those in regions outside of China. However, that is exactly what SDMC are hoping to do with SDMC’s President specifically stating that this TV box “will play a key role in the rapid development of the company’s overseas expansion.” Although at present there is no clear indication that this box will become available as a direct-to-consumer option, with the more likely scenario being it becomes available to consumers through an operator. This is the main route for SDMC’s other options and will likely be the same route for this one. In either case, this seems to be fairly well endowed Android TV product as first and foremost the company has confirmed that this is a 4K and HDR supported box. While the rest of the specs are not confirmed for this exact model, the company’s website does list a DV8219-LTE model which as the name suggests, comes with its own 4G LTE support – interesting in itself. Adding to that, this is a box which comes with a number of ‘supports’ including support for Bluetooth pads for gaming, as well as Bluetooth microphones for Karaoke – not something you see every day.
The LTE version of the DV8219 does specially state that is Android-powered (7.0 Nougat) although it is unclear if this is the official Android TV version or one which is more akin to an Android ‘TV box.’ In either case it would be fair to assume that many of the specs would be common to both and if that assumption is correct, then the Android TV version would be available (to operators) with either 1 or 2GB RAM and more impressively, in a number of storage options including 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. Other listed specs for the LTE model include the use of an Amlogic S905X processor, Bluetooth 4.0, support for USB sticks, HDMI 2.0, and more.
There have been a number of end-to-end solution companies announcing their own Android TV boxes recently and this certainly does seem to be where most of the Android TV growth and adoption will come from in the future. What is good about this is that operators are now getting an increased level of choice of which box better suits their (and hopefully their customers) needs. So regardless of whether these come through to consumers as a direct product or not is less relevant as any increase in choice (whether consumer or operator) can only be a good thing for the Android TV community and industry in general. Furthermore, the other benefit of companies like SDMC is that they are often companies that are specifically TV-focused, which lends itself to a better experience, product, and support in the long-term compared to companies who simply output an Android TV product for the sake of it. For example, SDMC offers a wide range of products spanning typical OTT boxes, TV sticks, and so on, and even ts company slogan “Make TV Interesting” sums up its direction quite nicely. If the consumer end of the market was as fruitful at the operator side seems to be, Android TV could be flourishing right now.