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Archos TV Connect tries (and fails) to transform your TV into a big-screen Android tablet (video)

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Archos TV connect
Archos TV connect

We were a bit perplexed last week when Archos announced the TV Connect, a sleek black bar that mounts to the top of your TV and essentially morphs it into a monstrous Android tablet. Seeing it on the CES show has given us a better idea of its capabilities, but we're still in no way convinced a market exists for such a device. The TV Connect includes built-in Wi-Fi and is powered by an OMAP processor, running a tablet-friendly version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Users get full access to their library of apps and games, and thankfully Google's own apps like the Play Store (and Gmail) are baked in as well.

But TV Connect isn't an Android tablet, so how does controlling the experience work? For that, you pick up the somewhat unwieldy TV Connect Remote, which includes a full QWERTY keyboard, a directional pad, and dual joysticks intended for gamers. The sensor bar's camera is capable of tracking the remote's movement to navigate menus, but this feature proved to be little more than a gimmick during our tests. Sticking to the directional pad and buttons proved simple enough, but it's hard to envision a need for this in the living room. Nonetheless, if Google TV doesn't meet your needs and you've been dying to cram Android onto your television, we suppose it's an option. The TV Connect will launch in February for $129.