This Android-powered set-top box is easy to mod

The tech market is awash with small and cheap Android-powered devices capable of functioning as full-fledged media centers.

In fact, we recently discussed some of the devices on the market, including the Diamond AMP1000 that launched last month for a cool $129. However, if you want something cheaper than the AMP1000 with a traditional set-top box format, you might want to check out the new Android TV Box from Oval Elephant.

This set-top box sells for $84.99 and allows you to run Android apps on your TV in addition to streaming content.

The device supports apps such as YouTube and Netflix specifically, and of course you can surf the web right on your TV. The box also supports the early release of XBMC Media Center developed for the Pivos XIOS – thanks to the two devices boasting similar hardware.

Speaking of hardware, the Android TV Box is loaded with a 1 GHz Amlogic AM8726-M3 ARM Cortex-A9 processor under the hood. The set-top box also features integrated Wi-Fi supporting 802.11b/g/n, along with 1 GB of RAM,and 4 GB of storage. Additional connectivity options include a power input, Ethernet port, dual USB ports, HDMI output, AV port, a reset button and an optical audio output.

For under $85, the little device even ships with its own HDMI cable and an infrared remote control. The operating system is Android 4.0 with support for Google Play Store. 

Interestingly, a hacker going by the name J1nx has already made a number of observations about the hackability of the device.

For example, the Android TV Box has a UART connection and additional USB host connections. This means  users can add peripherals, modify the board, and (likely) load alternate operating systems onto the set-top box.

Limited quantities of the device are available now with the next shipment scheduled for September 14. The $84.99 price tag is valid through September 9 with the normal price weighing in at a cool $90.