The era of cutting the cord has been upon us for a while, and new options for consuming media are still popping up all the time. Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and now even Amazon Fire TV are getting in on the market. But I’ve learned about another option, called BiggiFi, which will stream your media and do so much more.
BiggiFi is an HDMI device that runs the Android operating system. Plug it into your HDMI port, and to either USB or outlet power. It even comes with a mini-extension cord for the HDMI, just in case it won’t plug in properly otherwise. The initial setup was a little tricky, but following the directions combined with a small amount of trial and error got us up and running, and now BiggiFi is ready to use whenever we want.
The main BiggiFi screen on your television will have all of your Android apps on it–with the chance to get millions more in the Google Play store–along with several settings options. Use your smartphone or tablet as a touch screen for your television, guiding the cursor around the screen. No special controllers needed. I recommend using a tablet, as it is much more comfortable to use. (Note: If more than one person is using the BiggiFi app connected with the device at the same time, you can all move the cursor.) You can switch between normal cursor mode and touch mode on your pointing device, so you can interact with the screen in whichever way works for you or for the circumstances. The Netflix app, for example, partly works better with the touch interface, because of the kind of scrolling required. The accelerometer in your pointing device is also used in some apps, and it totally works to use it with BiggiFi.
Since you log in with your Google account, you also have access to your Gmail and the rest of your Google-related life. It’s all pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few aspects that took some adjustment for me. Keyboard typing can be quite awkward, so BiggiFi likely won’t be your go-to solution for composing emails. Also, the various sounds that come out of your television (navigation sounds, app sounds, etc.) all seem to be at different volume levels, so volume settings may require adjustment. Lastly, each time you close the BiggiFi app on your phone or tablet and then restart it, the app needs to reconnect to the BiggiFi device. It’s a simple tap-and-wait kind of thing, but I wish it wasn’t necessary. I haven’t had a Tivo in three years, but that’s the kind of television interface that I’m used to, so this was an adjustment for me.
Navigating the rest of the BiggiFi screens is about as intuitive as an Android phone. For some, that means very intuitive. For others, less so. But it all worked seamlessly after initial setup, and for those of us not in the Android world, it only takes a little while to get acclimated.
Some technical specs:
- Dual-core ARM Cortex®-A9 processor
- ARM® Mali™-400 GPU
- OS: Android 4.2
- 1GB DDR
- 4GB of Nand flash
- Micro-SD slot
- Built-in HDMI connector
- HD display up to 1080p
- USB 2.0 port for peripherals
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Support up to 4 users simultaneously on local LAN to connect to the device
Priced at $89 (but can be found for cheaper) and small enough to fit in your pocket, BiggiFi is ready to compete with the other media streamers and HDMI options out there. Personally, I mostly use it to stream video, but the possibilities are endless for those who utilize their collection of extensive Android apps.
Note: I received a BiggiFi device for review purposes.