Archos on Thursday introduced its new
Portable Media Players (PMPs). The Mac, Linux and Windows-compatible hard disk devices play back standard video formats and run on batteries. What’s more, they can record from TVs or DVD players. They cost $299.99 and $349.99 respectively, and will ship in September.
Both devices share a metallic silver casing with right-side button layout and graphical interface. The optional DVR Station accessory from Archos lets users schedule and record movies and television programming. Both devices uses 30GB hard disk drive mechanisms. The 404 features a 3.5-inch display, while the 604 features a 4.3-inch display.
Both devices work with MPEG-4 ASP and WMV formats in D1 resolution, AVI, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, and MPEG-2 (with optional software plug-ins). They also support 5.1 surround sound playback, music-enhanced photo slideshows, the ability to view PDF files, and an optional docking adapter to charge the internal battery and transfer data to a Mac or PC. An optional A/V cable can connect the PMPs to a TV.
USB 2.0 connectivity enables the PMPs to be recognized by the Mac as a mass storage device; you can drag and drop media files onto it (it won’t play FairPlay-encrypted media such as those downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, but works with Microsoft DRM).
The $99.99 DVR Station features composite video in and out, S-Video in and out, RCA audio in and out, RGB or YPbPr video out and SPDIF (digital coaxial) audio output. An infrared remote control lets you control the new PMPs remotely when connected. A built-in emitter can also control a satellite receiver.