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Apple, Microsoft and Rover?

Techstination feature for Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Big names and little names…in the portable media player business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft is preparing to battle Apple's iPods with its Zune media players. The landscape is littered with other would be challengers. A company called Doghouse Electronics is out with a device called Rover TV…a device with a 3 and a half or 4 inch screen and a rechargeable battery….that uses SD memory cards for storage. Chief marketing officer Jim Howard….

"We can record directly from television, no computer necessary. You can download files from your computer to your Rover TV, you can transfer files back and forth from Rover TV onto your hard drive. You can set the built in timer of your Rover TV and Rover TV will fetch your television show and record it. We are Mac and Windows compatible."

You can also view photos, listen to MP3s or the built in FM radio. The 2 gigabyte SD card the company includes can record up to 7 hours of video. You can record movies by simply plugging the unit into a DVD player. But with a price starting at 300 dollars, RoverTV is competing with iPods and other players with 30 gigabytes of built in storage. But, says Howard…

"Going to SD memory reduces the size of our product, reduces the weight and also reduces the fragility of it."

Another issue that may irk some….is the non-standard headphone port on the Rover. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.