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Tizzbird F13: Mature Android box for the TV

A media player for your TV based on Android sounds good in theory, but of the ones we’ve previously tested, none have really impressed. Therefore, expectations were high when we unpacked the new model F13 from Tizzbird, which on paper looks very exciting.

Design and construction
The media player is alarmingly light and very plasticky, as is the accompanying faded remote control. But with an external power supply, we know that gadgets don’t need to weigh anything to be good, most of it is still in the software. In addition, the Tizzbird F13 has everything we want in terms of connectivity and built-in support for Wi-Fi 802.11n.

Tizzbird F13

Digilive also ships with an exciting mini keyboard from Xtreamer with a small mouse pad on it, and the use became much smoother when we connected this. Especially in Android mode. A minus with the mini keyboard is that the buttons are in odd places and if you already have some kind of wireless flexible control device lying around, we recommend that you start by using this.

Systems and apps
When we start up Tizzbord F13, we are greeted by a setup guide and after five minutes we are up and running with the player. We get to choose between two different “skin” – Android or Multimedia. The latter gives you an interface reminiscent of a traditional media player while the Android mode takes us to a more desktop-like home screen.

Tizzbird F13

Google Play. You can easily download apps in Google Play with Tizzbird F13.

A number of apps and interesting shortcuts were already added to the test machine, for example Netflix, Viaplay, SVT Play and TV4 Play. These services worked perfectly in the player, but especially the play services, which run in the browser, require some kind of mouse to use smoothly. The chance that your particular services that you want to subscribe to appear for Android feels greater than for example LG or Samsung to include them in their own smart TV interface which has a significantly smaller user base than Android which is found in lots of smart phones and tablets.

Inside the Tizzbird F13 sits an ARM Cortex A5 processor and the operating system is version 4.0. The player is fast to work with and there are no problems playing files over the network or from local USB devices. Our distributed network resources appear in the list and all file types we tested the player with played without issue. Other advantages of the player are that it is extremely quiet and that it starts up lightning fast from standby mode.

Tizzbird F13
Even though we chose Swedish as the language, English is the one that applies under the system settings.

Aside from a few minor interface glitches, such as linguistic quirks, the player’s biggest limitation is simply that it doesn’t know it’s a smart TV box and not a mobile or tablet. Some apps just don’t work on the TV. As long as you understand that and don’t expect Angry Birds to work perfectly with a mouse and keyboard, you won’t be disappointed.

The Tizzbird F13 is clearly a very competent media box for both local media files and new web services, and the price tag of SEK 1,500 is clearly affordable.

Tizzbird F13
Manufacturer: Digilive, www.digilive.se
Operating system: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Codecs: MPEG 1/2/4, H264, XVID, WMV9 (MP@HL4.1), VC-1 (AP@L3)
Audio format: MP3, OGG, WAV, AAC, FLAC, APE
Image format: JPG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG
3d support: Yes
Connections: hdmi, 2 usb, optical s/pdif, ethernet
Built-in storage: No
Card reader: micro-sd
Measure: 166x29x92 mm
Award: SEK 1,500 (wlan adapter costs SEK 299 extra)

Plus: Quiet and fast. Tons of Android apps! Stable and easy to use.
Minus: Plastic and quite ugly. The remote control.
Grade: (8 out of 10)

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