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Portable Media Centers Arrive

Techstination feature for Friday, September 10, 2004

The first of the Portable Media Centers is here. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's a new digital entertainment platform from Microsoft. It makes the software…while companies like Creative Labs, Samsung and iRiver are making the hardware, small…but not quite pocket sized devices with hard drives and LCD screens that can play back movies and TV shows, digital music and digital photos. The first Portable Media Centers carry a price tag of about 500 dollars. Who will buy them? Microsoft lead product manager James Bernard…

"Initially it's going to be early adaptors, the people who are already using video on their PCs. But the great thing about Portable Media Centers is they have a 20 to 40 gig hard drive in them. So they hold a ton of content on there. That's 80 hours of video content or five thousand songs or ten thousand photos."

But you can only bring in video recorded on your PC…with a TV tuner card…on any Windows XP machine…or better yet…on a Media Center PC. Archos has a portable device…that includes video and audio inputs…for recording directly from cable or satellite boxes or any other video source. Bernard says that won't work with Portable Media Centers..

"What we're trying to do, what Microsoft is trying to do is really create intellectual property that's online that's protected through digital rights management."

Microsoft has announced agreements with CinemaNow and Major league Baseball…for movie and video content. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.