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Digital Video...in Your Hand

Boot Camp feature for Friday, November 28, 2003

The holiday shopping season arrives... .and thoughts turn to gadgets. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. What to get the gadget lover that seemingly has everything from a digital camera to a digital music player? One new gadget category this year lets you carry digital video around in your pocket. RCA's Dave Arland...

"Up until now, we haven't seen video players. Something that goes beyond the portable DVD into a device that's very small, you can hold in your hand and you can watch movies or TV shows. And so we're coming out with the new RCA Lyra Audio Video Jukebox which is a 20 gig hard drive device in which you can actually hold 40 movies in your hand. So you can record your favorite TV shows from a TV set directly into the device. It actually has the ability to do MPEG 4 encoding right on the hard disk. Or the most efficient way would be to take video files you have on your computer and just drag and drop them right into the device. It's also an MP3 player, so it can hold 600 hours of music."

The list price is 480 dollars... but we've seen it listed on Amazon.com for as little as 360. That's nearly 200 dollars less than the video and MP3 Jukebox Recorder being sold by Archos. That device is more versatile... attachments can transform it into a digital still or MPEG 4 video camera. Will the category catch on? It may take a while. Unlike digital music players like Apple's iPod... the video device can't be used when you are driving or jogging. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.