Outside of smartphones, ZTE makes all sorts of gadgets, including tablets, wireless infrastructure equipment, internal components, and soon Android-powered set-top boxes for 3D TVs according to a recent announcement. A new agreement will allow ZTE to sell devices directly to customers of a digital TV device and service provider called Nagra. Nagra, which has a 70 percent market share of cable TV devices in Europe, should be a huge conduit for ZTE to get into this space. The details are pretty sparse as to the capabilities (or interface) of the new boxes, but ZTE notes that it will provide video calling and support the HTML5 standard for web content.
We're all aware of the generally poor user experience offered by current cable TV boxes, so any chance we have at getting a fresh approach -- running Android to boot -- is a great thing. Unfortunately, given the U.S. Congress' view of the company, we wouldn't be surprised if there were a few snags along the way in bringing boxes like this to cable providers here in the states.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.