Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

At a time when many streaming TV boxes are available on the market, the Thomson brand is trying to make a place for itself on the shelves with its THA100 box, sold at a low price. But is that enough? Our test answers this question.

Summary

  • Thomson THA100: the technical sheet
  • A simple TV box, with complete connectivity
  • A complete Android interface, but a bit dated
  • A remote control that gives the change

If you are not interested in a TV box to hang behind your television, like what Google offers with its Chromecast TV or Amazon with its Fire TV Stick 4K, you may be interested in the Thomson THA100. This model responds more to the definition of a TV box with a more classic lookwhich allows the device to be placed on a TV stand.

Why choose this TV box rather than another? This is the question we are asked during our test: we experimented with the Thomson THA100 for two weeks on a daily basis to determine if it presents as a wise purchase to turn a television or TV monitor into a smart model.

Thomson THA100: the technical sheet

Thomson THA100
Interface Android 10
connectors HDMI, coaxial S/PDIF, power input (12 V), Ethernet, USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port
Wireless connectivity WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
Video decoding 2160p, 1080p, 720p, 4Kp60 10-bit H.265, 4Kp60 VP9 Profile 2, 4Kp30 H.264
Video decoding Dolby Digital/ Dolby Digital Plus, MPEG-1 layer1/2, Audio Modes Mono L/R, Stereo
SoCs Amlogic S905X2
RAM 2 GB
Storage 8 GB (5 GB free)
Additional storage Yes (microSD)
Dimensions 110 x 110 x 22mm
Weight 170 grams
Price From 1219€

Buy the Thomson THA100 box at Fnac.com

A simple TV box, with complete connectivity

Aesthetically, the Thomson THA100 is not a multimedia box that particularly stands out. The manufacturer clearly plays the sobriety card : it is a square case, with rounded edges. Its dimensions of 110 x 110 x 22mm make it very easy to find a place for it in a TV cabinet, and whether you want the device to be visible or not. Its white surface simply highlights the brand name on the top, while at the front, a small black cartridge informs about the status of the connection.

The connection, precisely, let’s talk about it: the Thomson THA100 can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi 5 or Ethernetwith a rate limitation of 100 Mb/s. There are also an HDMI output to connect the box to the screen and if you want to connect it to an amp, you can count on an optical audio output.

Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simpleThomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

That’s not all: on the side of the box, two USB ports are accessible. One is USB 2.0 and the other is USB 3.0. On the other side, a microSD card slot expands the capacity of the case, which is 8 GB at base. Finally, the present ofa mini jack socket allows you to connect headphones or, more likely, an external IR receiver. Note that you can also use the Bluetooth 4.2 to associate wireless devices with the device.

Without revolutionizing the sector, the Thomson THA100 box presents itself as suitable for most needs of standard TV streaming box use. Two downsides though: the power supply displays a proprietary connection, and the device comes with a 12W power supply unit which may well be difficult to replace if something goes wrong. At a time when USB, and more specifically USB Type-C, is becoming the norm, that’s a bit of a shame. At last, the finish of the case is really very plastic : we are not dealing with a premium product, it is felt from the first glance. This is not a device that you buy for aesthetics.

A complete Android interface, but a bit dated

Once plugged in and configured to connect to the Internet, the Thomson THA100 provides access to an interface under Android TV 10. A little disappointing here, since version 11 of the operating system has been available for quite a while now, and Android TV 12 is even in advanced construction.

Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simpleThomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

It must therefore be understood that Thomson’s TV box lags behind the competition, starting, of course, with Chromecast TV. However, the THA100 benefits from OS updates, both in terms of the interface and security. It’s only “stuck” on Android TV 10, probably for hardware reasons.

Is it really blocking to enjoy a satisfying experience? Not really : Android TV 10 is offered here in its “stock” version, i.e. without software overlay. Navigation is very intuitive thanks to the remote control which is supplied with the box. The interface suggests apps for download on the home page, and it’s easy to add more through search.

Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simpleThomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

Android obliges, the choice available is substantial: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, myCanal, Disney+, Apple TV+, Salto, YouTube, Molotov, RMC Sport… There is no shortage of entertainment services and it is possible to enjoy them in 4K Ultra HD in a comfortable way. Do-it-yourselfers who want to stream content from their local network can also turn to VLC, Plex or Kodi. Everything works very well and browsing, like loading applications, even has the luxury of being faster than Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K.

A remote control that gives the change

Last essential point of this TV box: the remote control. The latter is particularly complete in its proposal, while being quite classic. Indeed, it tends to look like the remote controls of most TV boxes on the market, but it is generous in shortcuts to useful services: YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video are represented, as well as Google Play, which we less often found in the form of such a button on remote controls.

Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simpleThomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

As the Thomson THA100 box embeds Google Assistant, its remote control obviously has a microphone. It responds very well to voice control. The rest of the commands ensure perfectly fluid navigation in the menus and in the programs, with good intuitiveness at the rendezvous. It is even possible to use it to adjust the volume of your television, and even turn it off: a possibility offered by the HDMI-CEC protocol.

Thomson THA100 test: an Android TV box that is simple

The navigation experience is therefore satisfactory. We will just make the same criticism as for the box itself: the remote control offers the minimum in terms of finish. Better to avoid dropping it too often at the risk of having some trouble making it work.

Buy the Thomson THA100 box at Fnac.com

Conclusion

Strong points

  • Easy installation
  • Intuitive handling
  • All accessible entertainment apps
  • A complete remote control

Weak points

  • Not the latest version of Android TV
  • Only Wi-Fi 5 and 100 Mb/s Ethernet
  • A far from premium finish
  • A proprietary power supply

Without being a revolution in the connected TV box market, the Thomson THA100 presents itself as a choice suitable for most situations. It provides a point of reference within a multimedia installation, thanks to its perfectly identifiable design. The grip is simple, which makes it usable by users of all levels. Of course, we can blame it for a technical delay, especially in terms of the version of Android TV available, as well as a finish that offers the bare minimum. A finding that does not prevent the case from effectively doing what is expected of it, and giving access to many applications available in the Google Play Store. It is therefore a coherent choice of box if you want to equip your 4K TV for a reasonable price.


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