As many of you know by now Sony is the exclusive launch partner when it comes to HDTV’s powered by Google TV, but Android is open source and other manufacturers have decided to put their own TV-spin on it. One of those companies is People of Lava from Sweden and we got a chance to check out their Scandinavia lineup at IFA, which they calling the world’s first Android TVs.
Overall I was fairly impressed with what People of Lava showed us, but it’s not something that can compete with what we have seen from Google TV so far. That might not matter initially because Google TV is targeted at the U.S. market for launch, while People of Lava will debut the Scandinavia in Sweded and other European countries. Most consumers keep their TV sets around 5-7 years so it’s a little hard to swallow the Scandinavia right now when you know Sony, LG, and others will eventually have Google TV products.
The Scandinavia will be available in 42″, 47″, and 52″ models with prices starting at 2,500 euros (including VAT) for the smallest size. People of Lava chose a powerful 833 MHz Cortex-A8 processor from Samsung and we were told it would eventually be able to support Flash Player 10.1. The firmware build of the Scandinavia is still Android 1.5, but future upgrades are planned over the Internet.
Obviously this thing is not certified by Google, so People of Lava has created their own applications market. This means developers will have to optimize their apps for the big screen and then submit them to People of Lava to get listed in the custom store.
Finally, the most interesting thing about the Scandinavia was the material used for the outer casing. It is called Hi-mac, which is a unique blend of stone and other materials. It felt like an expensive counter top and was fairly heavy – the 52″ model weighs nearly 100 lbs (42 kb).
Don’t expect to ever see the Scandinavia in the U.S., but future models from People of Lava could eventually reach our shores. Google TV should be open sourced sometime next year (maybe May 2011?), and I’m sure People of Lava will migrate their products to the TV-optimized version of Android.
Check out the quick video walkthrough and let us know what you think.