Smart TVs are awesome. They can run apps and let you surf the internet from the comfort of your couch. However, they can also be awesomely expensive. The most affordable Smart TVs from the brands bottom out at around Php17,000 while a regular 32″ HDTV can go for as low as Php8,000.
But what if I told you that you can turn any TV with an HDMI port into a Smart TV? That’s right, even that CDR King LED TV that can be bought for cheap and have hidden in your room can be turned into a Smart TV. Well, that’s exactly what PLDT TVolution does.
PLDT TVolution is essentially a small Android media box that’s no bigger than a lady’s compact mirror. It plugs into your TV via HDMI and instantly turns it into a Smart TV that lets you surf the internet, stream movies, and run Android applications that can easily be downloaded from the official Google Play Store.
While it wasn’t actually disclosed to members of the media who were in attendance at yesterday’s launch, the PLDT TVolution is actually a rebranded Huawei MediaQ M310. It’s powered by an in-house quad core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, and the Vivante GC4000 GPU. They aren’t exactly top shelf components, but if it’s fast enough to play Full HD content then it’s good enough for me.
I was able to try out TVolution for myself at PLDT’s mall launch at Shangri La Plaza. The interface has been customized to better facilitate input from a remote control, and you can even use another Android device like the PLDT TelPad or your personal smartphone and control TVolution from there. There’s a bit of a learning curve to get used to the interface, but anyone who’s used Android before shouldn’t have too hard a time.
If you have an HDTV at home and are looking to take advantage of PLDT TVolution, it’s as simple as adding Php199 to your existing PLDT MyDSL or Fibr plan. You get a free standard definition movie rental courtesy of PLDT’s partnership with Clickplay. That’s on top of the free movies you already get from your Fibr plan.