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Portable Media Player...With WiFi

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 4, 2006

A portable media player with WiFi. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft's Zune music player will have it. But Archos, one of the veteran companies in the portable music and video player business, is including wireless connectivity in one of its Generation 4 line of devices. The 450 dollar player …with a more than 4 inch screen….includes a Web browser and will eventually be able to connect to Internet based TV services. Without WiFi…the 604 sells for about a hundred dollars less. The capacity…is 30 gigabytes or up to 30 hours of movies or TV shows. Archos sells its 504 model in capacities up to 160 gigabytes. Chief operating officer Larry Smith…

"In listening to the consumer, we realized that we wanted to provide them with a product that was first of all affordable, so we've got our prices for the entry level product, which is the 404, down to 299. The product itself is able to be a digital video recorder, so it can record anything you can watch on your television at home, be it a DVD or a VCR, cable or satellite box. Secondly, you can transfer content that you have on your PC directly to the device."

The video and image quality is about the best you'll find on a portable player….and the ability to record from so many sources gives it much more flexibility than you would have with Apple's video capable iPods. To take advantage of the recording capability, however, buyers will need to spring for an extra hundred dollars…for the Archos DVR docking station. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.