TELE-audiovision - The World’s Leading Digital TV Industry Publication - page 26

TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Leading Digital TV Industry Publication
— 09-10/2014
onto the overall channel list.
Any search can be restricted
to free-to-air channels only or
to channels on transponders
of any selected provider.
Once the initial search is
completed the Amiko A3 will
turn into standard recep-
tion mode. Time to look at
the operating software used
for this receiver. It comes
by the name of Spark 2 and
is the latest development of
the Spark operating system.
What’s truly surprising here
is the fact that – contrary to
the vast majority of satellite
receiver operating systems –
Spark 2 is based on Google’s
25. Selection of audio track
and/or subtitles
26. OSD teletext decoder
27. Channel manager
28. List of installed apps
29. Google Play Store
30. Network settings
31. Device settings
32. Recording settings
33. Language settings
34. Remote control settings
with a list of languages that
support voice recognition
Android operating system
rather than on Linux. To be
more precise, Android 4.2
Jelly Bean is the underlying
version. We found (and very
much appreciated) that Spark
2 is not merely your run-of-
the-mill mainstream operat-
ing system with a couple of
in-house apps added on top of
a standard Android version,
but an individual solution
that combines manufacturer-
specific apps with the power-
ful foundation of the Android
operating system. As a con-
sequence, Spark 2 offers the
vast range of tried-and-test-
ed Android features together
with a software solution that
is perfectly tailored to the
Amiko 3 hardware. That’s
a remarkable achievement,
and one that provided us with
great joy and ease of use dur-
ing our everyday test.
Of course, it’s not all about
software alone, and we can-
not put enough praise on the
fact that Amiko has made
wise decisions about which
hardware components to use.
At the heart of the matter is a
Cortex A9 1.5 GHz dual core
processor, which can draw on
1 GB of RAM (which can be
expanded by inserting a Micro
SD memory card at the rear
side of the box) and 8 GB of
ROM. Ample power to guar-
antee flawless TV and PVR
enjoyment, but also to make
use of the extensive list of
Android-based games.
A touch of the OK button on
the remote control opens up
the channel list that presents
all detected and stored chan-
nels in a smart layout. All the
perfectionists out there will
be delighted to know that a
dedicated menu item is avail-
able for downloading chan-
nel logos from the Internet,
which will then be shown right
next to the channel names
on the list. We tried that out
during our test and can con-
firm that this feature worked
nicely on a number of satel-
lite positions, even though
you will find that not every
single channel comes with a
corresponding logo on the In-
ternet. Considering the sheer
number of channels on the list
(we’re talking thousands…!)
and the fact that each day
dozens of channels are either
switched on or off the channel
logo feature works surpris-
ingly well.
There’s so much to see with
such an extensive channel
list, and here the scroll func-
tion of the remote control
comes into play extremely
nicely. Much like working with
a tablet computer, for exam-
ple, you use your finger to
move over the scroll wheel –
navigating can hardly be eas-
ier! And speaking about easy:
Simply keep the language se-
lection button of the remote
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