Right now, large numbers of us are working from home and when we need a break, apart from going to the shops or out for exercise, what are we doing?
You guessed it – we’re streaming content like you wouldn’t believe. We can get the content easily from any of the major streaming companies – Netflix, Disney+, STAN, FetchTV, Prime Video, Kayo Sports, Foxtel – you name it.
But when it comes to the TV we’re running this content through, what we have right now may not be able to cope with the streaming binges which are currently just a part of our daily routine.
Personally, I’ve had a trusty 60” plasma screen with speakers hooked up for the past 10 years and it’s been absolutely fine, until now. When I wanted to watch Netflix a few years back, I added a set-top box but it’s never worked seamlessly or easily.
So it seems like the ideal time to check out one of the latest Android TVs and see if they’re everything they’re cracked up to be.
Is a new Android TV what you need right now?
Australian distributor, Ayonz, brought around one of their latest EKO Android TVs for me to trial. It’s a 55” model, featuring 4K Ultra HD and HDR (High Dynamic Range) and quite frankly, at the price point of $599, this TV literally took my breath away.
Even five years ago, 4K and HDR TVs weren’t available at anywhere near this price range. Obviously, prices have gradually come down as technology has caught up and when I checked on it, you can buy a 4K TV from other well-known brands such as LG or Samsung at reasonable prices these days. But their price point is nowhere near as inviting as the EKO TV range.
So if the price is right, our next question is – how does the EKO Android TV perform? After a week of heavy, binge-watching I have to say, it ticks all the boxes! It has all of the features you need for easy content streaming and the picture quality is great.
Is an Android TV family-friendly?
Another great point about the EKO Android TV is the fact it’s family-friendly. When we set it up, my son was overjoyed to see he could watch YouTube videos to his heart’s content. Instantly I was concerned because what if he comes across some content he shouldn’t be viewing?
But the EKO TV allows you to customise the apps which show on the home screen panel. So you can take the YouTube app off the home screen and put up the Kids YouTube channel instead. If you want to watch the regular YouTube channel later you can – problem solved.
Let’s go through the full range of features of the EKO Android TV:
Set-up: Getting up and runningis easy – we were able to set up our 55” EKO TV in about 30 minutes. You simply unpack it, plug in the power and Wi Fi and then download all the apps you need for streaming, live TV, gaming, sport or anything else. You can do all of this from your mobile phone by using Chromecast.
Runs on the Android TV 9.0 Operating System: This is a standard platform and it’s intuitive like most good computer platforms. As well, the remote control interfaces easily with the platform, making it easy to operate the TV.
4K Ultra HD: This makes the screen picture high quality with very fine detail – it’s great to watch.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): This feature enhances the picture so it delivers a larger colour and brightness range. EKO says 1.07 billion colours are used and yes, we can attest it looks very realistic.
Google Assistant is built-in: With this you can literally press the mic button on your remote control and say: “OK Google,” and then ask for the movie, TV series or YouTube clip you want to watch – and voila – it’ll come up on the screen ready to play. You can ask random questions as well like: “What’s the weather?” and it’ll come up with an answer as usual but it all plays out on the screen in front of you which is cool.
Chromecast is built-in: This means you can send photos, videos, music and other content from your mobile phone to your TV. You can set up series of photos etc and they can play in the background when your TV’s on standby.
4K Netflix comes pre-installed: As long as you have 4K ticked off on your Netflix subscription plan and your Internet service can cope with it, then you’ll receive Netflix in 4K Ultra HD. 4K YouTube comes pre-installed as well.
How’s the picture and sound quality?
When the TV comes out of the box, all of the picture and sound settings are pre-set at 50% so you need to make some adjustments to these and you’ll find they look and sound much better.
When you’re adjusting the picture settings, take into account how much ambient light you have around the TV etc. We found that keeping the brightness and colour in the lower range and the sharpness and contrast in the higher range, brings out the best in the picture quality.
After adjusting the picture settings, we watched the latest version of The Lion King. Because this movie’s a photorealistic, computer animated remake of the 1994 version, it has an incredible amount of detail in its visuals. The EKO TV brought out this detail well and it was a pleasure to watch.
If you’re a bit of an audiophile, you could find the EKO TV’s sound too high pitched without enough bass. You can remedy this by adding more bass to the sound menus but if you’re still not satisfied, it’s easy enough to hook up your own sound bar or set of speakers to the EKO TV. We hooked up a set of speakers to it and it was a nice improvement, but it’s not totally necessary.
What’s our overall verdict about using the EKO Android TV?
After watching the 55” EKO TV over the past week, it is stacking up as a true bargain. Android TVs in general are an easy way to enjoy movies, sport, entertainment because it’s as if you’ve merged a computer with a TV and you’ve literally got everything you need at your fingertips.
All you have to do is sit back on the lounge and soak up all that great content and at the same time you can ask Google Assistant some tricky questions. If you’ve watched so much Netflix and STAN you’re over it, take some time out to watch your own home videos or check out some of the latest videos on YouTube.
The choices are endless. With everything built into the TV’s home screen, it just makes your choices easier. Add to this the EKO TV’s great price point and you can see why these TVs are rating as a bargain.
Right now, we need all of the features the EKO Android TV can offer us. You may want to upgrade our current TV or possibly look at getting an extra TV for the spare room. At these prices, you have the choice.
What’s the difference between a Smart TV and Android TV?
We all know Smart TV’s have been around for a while and there are lots of types, generally they have a few apps or things you can do with them as they connect to the internet. Although normally they aren’t really that nice to use. An Android TV is a bit like using your mobile phone, it is really intuitive and just so easy. All the Apps come from the Google Play store so it makes it really family friendly and not as clunky as using other systems.
The EKO Android TV Range is available at BIG W stores or online at:
More information can be found here:
Recommended Retail Prices are as follows:
32” – $399
40” – $499
50” – $599
55” – $699
65” – $899