Once we hooked everything up and powered on the unit, we were greeted by the setup screen. A quick walkthrough for the wireless and a few screen adjustments, you were brought to the menu screen. We found the O.S. to be a little difficult to navigate at first. We were expecting the screens to be more flashy. The only other product we have used, was the Apple TV. We were expecting to see more of what we was used to. The menus are pretty much self explanatory, and after fumbling around with it for a few days things got easier to use. Adding additional apps from the Google Play store was a breeze. For anyone that has ever downloaded and App for a Smartphone, It was exactly the same. We added a few Apps to stream movies from the internet like Hulu and Netflix. The XIOS XS Media Center worked flawlessly.
My Initial complaint was the range and feel of the remote. The remote for this unit leaves a few things to be desired. It has a cheap feel to it and even with new batteries, You have to be within 8-10 feet away and point the remote directly at the unit itself. After going to the support forums and reading other people complain about the remote, we read a post from someone at Pivos. They provided more detailed instructions on what to check for to increase the performance. After reading this, we discovered we left a tiny piece of clear plastic attached to the remote sensor on the XIOS XS Media Center. We never seen it, but thanks to the help of the forums, the range of the remote was drastically increased.
The most difficult part of using the XIOS XS Media Center was adding the media files. It took me a while to get used to navigating the directories to add the paths to the files. Once this is accomplished, the unit performed flawlessly. Viewing High Resolution pictures, Checking the weather and listening to music from the included media player worked exactly as described. Just open the library, and pick from the desired media. The HDMI Audio and the Digital output provided different options for hookup to a high quality sound system. The real strength of the XIOS XS Media Center was movies. We were excited to try the different ways we were able to add media to the XIOS XS.
Since the remote wasn't very appealing to use, we decided to hook up a keyboard and mouse to the USB slots on Sides of the XIOS XS Media Center. They worked like a charm and we went on to watch movies. First, we streamed HD movies from the internet with Netflix and Hulu. We tested both the wireless and the LAN connection to see if playback would slow. We were pleasantly surprised. There was no skipping, no buffering, and no audio lag in the movie stream. Tested playback on a 25Mb down connection for the LAN and the wireless hooked up to standard wireless N router.
Next, we watched some HD movies from the Micro SD card. Again the same results was achieved and was satisfied with it. We tested playback of movies from a USB 2.0 flash drive just to see if the XIOS XS Media Center would start to buffer and observed the same results. Next, we wanted to test the Bluetooth capability. We used the Adesso Xtream S2 Bluetooth speaker. Pairing the devices was easier than we anticipated. Just set the speaker to broadcast and went to system settings in the XIOS XS and added the device. It took maybe a minute to find and pair the devices. So we decided to stream a movie over the wireless and keep the Bluetooth speaker hooked up to see what happens with the unit. For the first time, the playback was a little slow. The movie buffered two times during playback. Possibly a hiccup in the wireless, but when we used the LAN and played the same movie, Playback was smooth.
One feature we weren't able to test was the Live TV. The XIOS XS Media Center has the ability to add channels to play live television, as well as use your PC to record and save these shows. The setup was not bad to follow, but we do not have a video capture card in my PC to test this function. After using the XIOS XS Media Player for over a week, we decided to try to tweak the OS to my liking. The TOFU OS says it is customizable, so we wanted to try it. After playing with some visual settings and Font choices, The dull OS that I was not impressed with came to life and gave me the visuals we seen more of on the Apple TV. Beautiful backgrounds, more of a TV like feel to the menus. Overall it was a more appealing look to the OS. We are sure there will be more things we find as the weeks go on.
The last thing we tested was the internet ability. With the use of the keyboard and mouse, The XIOS XS Media Center surfed the internet like a PC. The main page looks just like the Google homepage I used to on my PC, but It was in my High Definition Television. We used everything from Facebook to the Pro-Clockers website. We believe we covered the main features of the XIOS XS Media Center, but with an Android OS, and the ability to download and use APPS from Google Play, The sky is the limit for the XIOS XS Media Center.