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TELE-satellite was established in 1981 and today is the oldest, largest and most-read digital tv trade
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I’m extremely excited that in this issue we are introducing one of
the first Android-based receivers. And if you read this issue of TELE-
satellite a little closer, you’ll discover another article that also has
to do with Android, to be more exact, it’s about a chipset that was
developed for Android receivers. This suggests that more Android-
based receivers will soon become available.
What makes Android so special? We are in no way disappointed
with Linux-based receivers and we’ve already introduced numerous
Linux devices and will continue to do so. The Linux-based system
is perfect for receivers that are optimized for TV reception. That
is a Linux receiver’s strong point but at the same time it’s also
a weak spot: the demands of receiver continue to rise. Receivers
are becoming true media centers and this ends up highlighting the
weaknesses of Linux receivers more and more.
The operating systems in Linux receivers run on chips with a single
kernel and quite often with a clock frequency of 300 MHz. Higher
frequencies are hard to find. Android receivers, that use a chip
based on the ARM architecture, are able to use multiple kernels and
have a clock frequency of more than 1 GHz. In other words, Android
receivers are much faster and more powerful.
This enormous increase in capacity is not needed to watch TV. But
it comes into play when, for example, the PVR function in HD is
used. Another example would be a receiver’s web browser. Under
Linux it would only have a limited use; sufficient memory and Flash
are missing. And yet another point that speaks for Android and
that many users don’t even know about: the color depth with Linux
receivers is extremely limited (not the TV picture but rather the
color selection in the menus). Currently this turns out to be the
knockout punch if you want to use the receiver, for example, to
play games. There are no such limitations with Android; even 3D
games are possible. In this way the Android receiver can become
the gaming center at home.
Android is used in many SmartPhones and tablets; there are
seemingly an unlimited number of Apps and there are drivers for
almost everything. This means that a receiver with Android is
instantly understood by everyone and that every familiar App on
a SmartPhone or Tablet can also be used on an Android receiver.
Even the swipe function can be integrated in an Android receiver,
for example, via an appropriate remote control or you simply use a
SmartPhone with a remote control App.
The advantages of Android are not with TV reception but rather with
all of the additional functions that are expected in today’s modern
receivers. In the end, Android is the new Linux.
Editor-in-Chief TELE-satellite International