InnSpire InnCable is an Android TV Box Embedded into an Ethernet Cable

Orange Pi Development Boards

We’ve got used to super small computer systems from TV boxes-in-a-plug to HDMI TV sticks, and tiny development boards such as Raspberry Pi Zero W. But InnSpire pushed the concept further with InnCable as the computer, or in this case the TV box, is placed inside an Ethernet cable, or more exactly a cable with Ethernet on one side (optional with PoE for power), and HDMI port on the other.

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Currently InnCable targets hotels, so it’s mainly designed as a TV box in a cable, rather than a computer as a cable. Some of InnCable smart cable’s key features and specifications include:

  • SoC – “Blazing fast processor”
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Networking – Ethernet and WiFi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Serial – RJ-12 port for serial connection to another device
  • Power Supply – PoE (power over Ethernet) or 5V micro USB cable

The cable can be controlled with an RF remote control that does not require line of sight, an important features since the idea is to hide the cable behind the TV or furnitures in hotels. The company can also provide a remote control API of you want to develop your own remote or mobile app.

Click to Enlarge

You’ll be happy to learn that the cable is fanless (somehow I can’t help giggling as I’m writing this), and supports Dolby Digital 5.1 / AC3 audio. It runs Android with the company’s InnSpire 3.0 middleware that provides IPTV, iOS and Chromecast streaming.

While the company now focuses on the hotel industry, ZDNet reports they are also discussing residential and other applications. I’m pretty sure Chinese manufacturers will beat them at the latter game, just wait two or three months, and Android smart cables with not-so-polished firmware will start to show up on Alibaba… In the future I could also imagine more powerful Thunderbolt 3 cable computers with display, power, and data carried over a single cable, but it’s a longer term prospect as it would ideally require Thunderbolt cabling in the home.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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CampGareth
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“would ideally require Thunderbird cabling”
Thunderbolt? I think thunderbird cabling is the stuff they use to control puppets/marionettes ;P

On the subject of in-home cabling though I’ve been considering running fibre all through the flat then getting media converters to do ethernet over it. Then if I need 10gbit it’s a pretty clear upgrade path, same for thunderbolt over it, it’s just plain flexible.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Kudos to the industrial designer who managed to let the cable look somewhat slim. If I’ve measured correctly (Photoshop) then the ‘cable’ is as thick as 35×22 mm where the SoC + other electronics are sitting.

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Roku stick, Amazon fire tv stick, Coowell V5 all come to mind. And the little video is just full of self praise.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

So how does this thing get on with h.265 @ 3480x2160p how about the HDMI, and HDCP revisions?
And since Kodi is more or less under massive attack by anti piracy forces the World over at the moment. Willmthis Company be responsible enough to take this over to Mountain View. (Or where ever), to get a proper DRM System in place? (e.g. Widevine Level 1). My guess is this thing along with the rest of the China Trash, is that it doesn’t, and only comes with the usual Widevine Level 3 version. Which is as good as not having any DRM at all.

Yes the Shield while pricy is very pricey it at least gives you proper access to Netflix at 4k, along with Amazon, and other legal services. This thing looks like it could be pretty cool if it actually worked.

Also whats with the Thunderbolt thing? Did I miss a tick? ‘Cause I wasn’t aware of many TVs (if any at all), being equipped with it. The this seems like a waste for PCs and, Laptops.

Occam
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Occam

What brand of SOC is “SoC – “Blasting fast processor”? Not sure I want an exploding SOC!!

Casimiro Antonio Rocha
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Casimiro Antonio Rocha

Can we get the price ? and where to buy it ?
Thank you

J L JONES
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J L JONES

So.. It’s a tv stick with a cable coming out the end.