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Digital Video In Your Pocket

Boot Camp feature for Monday, June 2, 2003

Digital video in your pocket. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Players that store digital music on portable devices with hard drives have been gaining in popularity. Apple, Creative Labs and Archos have had devices on the market for a while. Archos has dabbled with video before... but the screens in its devices have been too small... an inch or so... to be watchable. Not so with the new AV300 line. Archos CEO Henri Crohas... says think of it as sort of a portable Tivo... that can connect directly to a cable or satellite tuner or VCR... to record video...

"You have up to fifty movies here in your pocket. You have a hundred thousand photos that you can take with you and thousands of hours of music also that you can take away with you."

The AV320, with a a 20 gigabyte hard drive sells for about 570 dollars. That's higher than what Thomson RCA plans to charge when it comes out with its AV Lyra Jukebox this fall. The pitch, from the company's Rocky Caldwell is pretty much the same...

"So you could have let's say 80 episodes of Seinfeld on this as well as three or four hundred CDs worth of music."

But will consumers be willing to buy? Unlike audio... you can't really watch video while jogging or driving... at least you better not. At Archos, which has the edge in video quality based on the examples we've seen, the feeling is the market potential... among young people... is big. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.