Apr 5th, 2010

A Swedish company called People Of Lava currently have a prototype for a product they call Scandinavia – the first ever Android TV! The concept is awesome and we’re obviously excited, but is it practical? We’ll have to wait and see. As the FIRST Android TV it probably won’t be THAT practical – but who cares, we want one.

After launching a 42-inch version in September, People Of Lava will follow it up with a 47-inch and 55-inch version. You’ll likely be paying $3500 or so for the privilege of accessing YouTube, Weather, Facebook, Twitter, Maps, E-Mail and other apps directly from your television. Speaking of which, People of Lava will be launching their own Application Store where you’ll be able to download apps made specifically for the television! They may have some difficulties filling that up with content, and that goes without saying there will be no Android Market access, but we hope they’re able to optimize for the 42-inch+ screens.

Here is the full press release:

Swedish manufacturer launches world’s first Android TV

Sweden’s People of Lava beat everyone to the chase to launch the world’s first fully interactive internet TV. Following the launch at IFA Berlin in September, the new People of Lava “Scandinavia” will hit the stores, complete with Full-HD LED display and a fully integrated Android platform. But starting already early summer, selected early users will be able purchase and evaluate the Scandinavia TV through a beta-test program. And discussions are already ongoing with potential future partners and developers for content and media.

The Scandinavia TV set is the embodiment of People of Lava’s vision to build a machine that goes beyond push-TV to become “a window to the world”.

– Think of it as a device that provides all the functionality that you would expect from an Android
smart phone, combined with the quality and definition you demand of a high-end Full-HD LED
TV set, says Christian Svantesson, co-founder and CEO of People of Lava.

The Scandinavia Android TV – which will first be released in a 42” version, followed by 47” and 55” – is built without compromises. It features top-of-the-line components and is carefully put  together by hand to ensure the kind of quality that customers expect from a People of Lava Full-HD LED TV set. Its Android platform and internet capabilities provide a wide range of functionalities, including:

Out of the box Android TV applications such as:
– YouTube, Google Maps ,Weather, Time, Calendar, Internet Browser
– Downloadable Apps, both free and from coming App-store:
– Facebook, Twitter, Email and more…
– Internet connection
– USB connection

The Scandinavia TV is unique in many ways. Not the least in the design and materials. People of Lava have worked with the German office of the well-respected design-firm Designit to capture the sprit of the company in the design. The materials have never been used in televisions before – a nearly natural material, with a very deep gloss, and hard as stone, otherwise mainly found in  exclusive kitchen and yachts.

According to current plans, this is even the first TV to be built in Sweden for several decades – thus bringing a proud Swedish tradition back to life. For this reason, People of Lava has set up their own assembly-line at their offices in Stenungsund, outside of Gothenburg.

The price of the Scandinavia 42” will be between €2,000 and €2,500 at the global sales-start in September.

They also have a page that lists tentative specs:

Television

+ 42“ / 47″ / 55″ MediaTV
+ Full-HD 1920*1080 pixels
+ Backlight LED
+ PAL/SECAM, DVB-T with Common Interface
+ Inputs:
– PC RGB
– CVBS
– S-Video
– Component
– 3 HDMI
– 2 Scart (DP Connector included)
– USB slot
+ Outputs:
– Coaxial Audio
– Earphone
Television

+ Built-in AndroidTM platform
+ Out of the box applications: YouTube, Google Maps, Weather, Time, Calendar, Internet Browser
+ Free downloadable applications: Facebook, Twitter, Mail… (With more coming on App Store)
+ OS: Android 1,5 Cupcake (upgradable through Internet)
Hardware

+ Processor: SOPC100 (Cortex A8) 833MHz
+ Wireless keyboard
+ Optional USB periphials
+ Operating voltage: 100-240V AC, 50-60Hz
Embedded media-player

+ Video player
+ Audio player
+ Image viewer
+ Video-formats: MPEG4, H.264 HD (720p), 3GP
+ Audio-formats: MPEG-1 layers 1,2 and 3(MP3)

Android TV… what do you think? Awesome, over-the-top, or ahead of its time?

[People Of Lava via Gizmodo, Wired]