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Archos Widescreen PMP 142

An anonymous reader writes "Archos has just announced their newest portable audio/video player the AV 700 Mobile DVR. The new unit has a 480x234 pixel widecreen display, a hub to record from TV and DVD, and offers a 100GB drive. The sucker is heavy though weighing in at over a pound. Cost is $799 for the 100GB model and $599 for the 40GB. MP3 Newswire also has Part 1 of its MP3 players for summer. Most interesting are Creative's new Neeon and a high end unit from Bose."
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Archos Widescreen PMP

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  • Bad Size... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThomasFlip ( 669988 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:13AM (#12729229)
    If people want to listen to music, the will want something smaller, if they want to watch video, they will want something bigger. I personally don't think that combining a portable audio/video player is a good idea or will sell well.
    • I don't know. I always liked listening to my shows while watching them.

      It's more like a Video player that happens to play music too.

    • by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <{ted} {at} {}> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:28AM (#12729298) Homepage
      maybe i can install one in my car so i don't have to pay attention to stupid traffic. that would be awesome.
    • Re:Bad Size... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bfields ( 66644 )

      If people want to listen to music, the will want something smaller, if they want to watch video, they will want something bigger.

      Yeah, would someone who has one of these portable video players explain what they're actually *for*?

      I can see that a DVR that you can occasionally carry from one place to another might be nifty.

      But I can't see it for, say, watching movies on the commute--anything that fits in my pocket is going to be too small to watch.

      • Traveling

        I don't own one, but I've travelled with a couple people who do. They presumably last longer than a laptop, you don't have to carry around a load of DVDs - but you do have to encode them ahead of time. Granted that isn't a terribly large target audience but there is a call for them.

        And actually what they used it for wasn't for watching DVDs but for watching recorded TV shows (the whole DVR thing) which does give it an edge over the laptop and DVD player.

      • I used one for exactly what you descibe - watching TV on a commute. Well, I actually used an iPaq, by ripping shows from my Tivo and re-encoding them to WMV appropriate for PocketPC display. It worked pretty well. The only problem was that dark scenes were a bit iffy due to the relatively poor contrast of the screen. Other than that, ot worked fine (barring the usual poor UI of media players).

        I would hold it in front of me - seemed large enough. It's not like I used to prop it up on the seat opposite
    • and if people want to watch video they're going to need better battery life [] than :

      Up to 30 hours for music. (TBC)
      Up to 4 hours for video on built-in LCD. (TBC)
      Removable battery (additional battery optional)

      that's pretty bad, most laptops approach that duration even when they're spinning a DVD drive. i guess the formfactor of this machine isn't allowing for a very substantial battery

      • "most laptops" my ass. Show me ONE that can spin a dvd and decode mpeg2 and last 4 hours.
    • If you want to predict market results for consumer products, then I suggest you predict them 70 or more years into the future. That way when the results come in, you're predictions will either be forgotten, or you'll be dead so it won't matter. Do you know how much money is being spent on making video for CELL PHONES? If people want to watch video on cell phones, I don't think a 480x234 pixel widecreen display is too small for them.

      but all I really know is that I won't buy it because I don't think the abil
    • I thought the same thing when I saw the older Archos. But a month ago I was on a business trip to Turkey doing a machine install. A french guy who was on site had an Archos 80GB and used it as a VCR, mp3 player, and external hard drive for his laptop. He is on the road 85% of the time and for him it makes perfect sense. He recorded the Gran Prix while we were on site and we watched it at night - excellect quality when replayed on a SDTV.

      But the price!!...
    • Re:Bad Size... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fringe ( 6096 )
      Maybe, maybe not. I'm considering one for a different set of uses:
      • Carry around a large HD with archives of my various systems
      • Be able to play any of my large CD library tunes in my car, wife's car or rental car (using FM Modulator)
      • As a PVR when travelling, for playback of recorded content in the hotel room (e.g. exercise videos, favorite shows)
      • Long intercontinental flights, since the movies only change monthly and I often flight more often than that.

      Sure, it's no iPod replacement, but do we really ne

    • Actually, I disagree. Many people have to deal with hour-long (or more) train rides to or from work. When I was visiting England last year, it took over an hour to get from London to Slough, which is only about 30 miles or so outside of London. I would have LOVED to watch something like "Monty Python" while in the train. That device is not small, especially when compared to things like USB MP3 players, but it's certainly small enough to fit in a briefcase or perhaps even a belt pouch of some type. Durin
  • Archos Widescreen is PIMP!
  • No highs? No lows? It must be Bose!
    • I always think of noise cancelling when I think of portable Bose.
    • Re:Bose MP3? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, AudioVideo International magazine recently found the Bose Wave music system to have the most accurate reproduction of musical instrument sounds. It's sleek, compact, and has extraordinary sound. Bose actually re-engineered the tapered wave guide to reproduce one-half octave lower musical notes than the original Wave system you're probably thinking of.
      • Sounds like an ad to me.

        The no highs, no lows, must be Bose is a much older adage than the Wave system.

        A few years ago, my dad tried out a WaveRadio CD and compared it with a friend's 60 disc CD changer/tape/radio unit of about the same price, and the changer system won both on cost and sound quality.
        • I've personally compared the Bose Waveradio CD player to high-end Onkyo and HK systems with multiple speaker configurations, just to see (re:hear) the differences at lower volumes. The Bose system, maybe because it's designed to play at lower volumes, definitely had a clear advantage in both sound quality and range. However, trying to fill a large space is not the Waveradio's forte, nevermind what the hype says. Yet in a bedroom or small office you can get an excellent performance from the Bose's small pack
    • From TFA: "Bose is all about the quality of sound"...

      Now I gotta clean off my keyboard since I just spewed coffee all over it...

  • Wimpy (Score:1, Funny)

    by da007 ( 242994 )

    "The sucker is heavy though weighing in at over a pound."

    Hit the gym, Nancy.
  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j.maynard.gelina ... minus cat> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:18AM (#12729250) Journal
    I don't want to spend $800 on a portable display device that doesn't render at least 480p DVD quality. The specs listed are ambiguous. It says that there's a doc station for pass through to a VCR. Does this mean that its only external output is composite? If so - yuck. I expect at least component, and preferably also DVI/HDMI. And why would I want to carry 100GB of disk space on a portable if it won't output true 480p? Never mind that disk space like that is appropriate for HD as well.

    So, my opinion: nice toy; waste of money. --M
    • 100GB, that's only 10-20 full DVD rips. Which sometimes I prefer for the extra features.
      • No. It records and plays MPEG4 and DivX, not MPEG2. You'll get more than 20 full length movies out of 100GB of storage. Read the article. --M
        • It records and plays MPEG4 and DivX, not MPEG2. You'll get more than 20 full length movies out of 100GB of storage.

          To some people, a "full length movie" includes all menus (including menu games), all deleted scenes, audio tracks in all languages and commentaries, and all angles (for those educational or erotic titles that actually use multiple angles), and everything else the director filled 7.95 GiB with. Can commercial MPEG-4 implementations handle those DVD features?

          • Can [this] commercial MPEG-4 implementation[s] handle those DVD features?

            That's a good question. The published specs don't say, so I can't argue one way or the other. MPEG4/DivX will rip a movie with significantly higher compression, as I assume you're aware. I've seen DVD quality or better movies ripped at about 1GB or so. My belief - based not on what's published about this player, but personal experience - is that yes, you'll see significant space savings over DVD at MPEG2. The eye candy like menus, di
            • The question wasn't about space but actual capabilities, whether it can perform those functions. Sure, director's commentaries don't take much space, but if a person has to re-encode a movie twice to get normal audio and a director's commentary, then forget it, it is stupidly inconvenient.
              • by maynard ( 3337 )
                And what you ask isn't there in the article. Missing those features wouldn't bother me as much as the poor screen and lack of component/DVI output. If I could hook it up to my projector or HDTV and get 480p out, then one could argue the value proposition - I suppose. But lacking then, then - for me - forget it. We each have a killer feature we demand, I suppose. --M
              • Questioning DVD features in MPEG4 Jeff DeMaagd said:

                The question wasn't about space but actual capabilities, whether it can perform those functions. Sure, director's commentaries don't take much space, but if a person has to re-encode a movie twice to get normal audio and a director's commentary, then forget it, it is stupidly inconvenient.

                The question isn't if MPEG4 has those features - it doesn't. MPEG4 (DivX/XviD/others) is a compression format for video, not a wrapper (avi/ogm)
                OGM supports mult

            • My belief - based not on what's published about this player, but personal experience - is that yes, you'll see significant space savings over DVD at MPEG2.

              You'll also see significant space savings by throwing away all the extra content produced for the DVD release that was not shown in the theater. Some people want to preserve everything on the DVD.

              The eye candy like menus, directors commentaries, and other features don't take much space. Documentaries ripped at MPEG4 offer the same compression savin

              • You'll also see significant space savings by throwing away all the extra content produced for the DVD release that was not shown in the theater. Some people want to preserve everything on the DVD.

                I don't think this is true. Of course, it depends on the DVD release - some DVD sets offer more secondary content than others. But I don't believe that in most cases it's a "significant" amount in comparison to the primary content. Now I'm talking storage space consumed here, not desirability of the secondary con
    • Google on the MobiNote. Here's the largely fluff product page: [].

      720x480 screen and larger than the competition, but only a 20 gig harddrive. Still, if I were to hack a larger drive into a PMP I'd do it with this one. Reviews seem generally positive but I haven't taken the time to sink $500 into one to tell for myself.

  • not seeing much reason to buy this over an 80GB iBook. ymmv.
  • For those who RTFA, man I can't wait to get all those songs off my video camera onto my Archos AV700! =P
  • I recently starting commuting to Manhattan, and like many straphangers*, I want to listen to anything but the preachers and beggers on the subway. I was about to buy an iPod mini, but when I saw how much the Archos Gmini 400 does, I was blown away. I'm a photographer, so I have a bunch of high capacity compact flash cards lying around that I could actually use with the Gmini, which has a CF reader.

    Archos Gmini review: []

    * Straphanger: slang for a subway rider.
    • How do you get the pictures off the card? Maybe I'm inept but I couldn't figure it out when I took it on vaction with me. I bought it more for watching movies in class, the CF reader was a bonus I wasn't aware of, which is why I wasn't too concerned when I couldn't figure out how to work it, but if you could tell me that'd be swell.
    • I had one of those, It locked solid the first time I tried to play an MP3 on it, and I read that the battery life was actually about 1/2 the quoted time.

      So as a device for storing photos when out in the field it was spectacularly unreliable. Use a handful of 1Gb CF cards instead.
  • It weighs 0.6kg (Score:2, Informative)

    by MarkByers ( 770551 )
    For those of us not from the US that con't be bothered to type 20.8oz in kg [] in Google.
  • It took me 17 attempts before my brain managed to stop reading the title as "Widescreen PSP". :(
  • by BBrown ( 70466 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:28AM (#12729297)
    ... you think a pound is heavy.
  • I like the idea of making everything portable, and also trying to fit in as many functions as possible. But as this equipment gets smaller and smaller, I'm just scared out of my f'n mind to spend $799 on something so small, that will either: a) get lost easily or, b) break while in my pockets.

    BTW, whatever I do that'll make a small, portable unit break in my pocket is my business.
  • The Archos PMA480 ml?sid=j2232s23by4oy2kbocfyjy [] is a even better device. Plays video at 704x480, plays the same games, records from TV, has 802.11B, runs on linux, includes Opera, weighs LESS than a PSP, and costs $799. Admittedly, it has a smaller hardrive but that's easy to fix. I don't like the touchscreen keyboard but you have to give up something.
    • The question when thing start costing this much is if your better off with a laptop , the machine is smaller , lighter and has a larger hard-drive than most laptops in that that price range .
      Though it lacks a keyboard , the screen is smaller and it cant directly play DVDs .
      I can see the thing being highly hackable if it runs linux but i doubt it would ever have as many features as a laptop .

    • has a smaller, lower resolution screen and uses a 1.8" hard drive. Replacing the drive with a larger one is not trivial either.
  • by enosys ( 705759 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @11:55AM (#12729422) Homepage
    You could buy a new notebook PC for the same price. You can do a whole lot more with it and it has a bigger screen and better image quality. You also won't have to worry about getting video to a format that is readable by the device. The notebook would almost certainly be able to play DVDs and you can install whatever codecs you need.

    I guess the only good things about devices like this is that they're smaller and come pre-configured for their task.

    • it's kinda like the TIVO argument.

      buy one.. see how it affects you.

      I have an AV 340.
      if the battery recharge cycle hadn't died so fast, it would have seen a lot more use, as it is, I use it as a distant vcr.

      Connected to my glasstrons, I enjoyed overseas flights a lot more than the airline offerings, for up to 9 hours....
    • Well, for those amongst us who already own a stack of notebooks it's a relief to have something else to spend money on. ;-)

      Besides: if all you want to do on the road is watch movies the form factor is probably worth it (if you can stand such a small screen). I notice a really big difference in portability between my 12" and 15" powerbooks and as a consequence they both serve different tasks and get taken along on different occasions. So I can surely imagine that the difference between a 12" form-factor not
  • by Anonymous Coward
    why would i go for something like this for $799 when I can get a brand new iBook thats much more flexible for $999? It doesn't sound as if this unit is exactly lightweight... and, at least with the iBook, I get DVD playback and a larger screen as well...

  • Thoughts on the 2nd linked article on MP3 players: 1. The Bose is CD based. Bose really doesn't get it. The extra time, effort, and waste of making a CD every time to change the music selection is too much of a hassle vs. flash and hdd players. 2. The Maxfield Diablo plays OGG, neat.
  • From the article: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lidocaineus ( 661282 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @12:06PM (#12729491)
    Bose is all about the quality of sound (as opposed to Bang and Olufsen who are all about style and exclusivity).

    As soon as I read that, I knew these people know nothing but marketing hype.
  • Is it me or is this story just an advert?

    Firefox catches popups and banners but what action can i take against /vertisements. We need some kind of Tivo solution for /.

  • Why do they always forget about books? Every time I look at the specs for one of these portable entertainment devices I find that they, 1) don't support Audible, and 2) do not have a book reader.

    I have an iPaq that, quite literally, has over a hundred ebooks on it. And while I'd love to replace it with a device that could play movies and tv, I'm not going to dump my favorite form of recreation...

    • YES! Books. Both audible, and text. The Gmini has enough screen to READ BOOKS as well as listen to them.

      (Thank God for Project Gutenberg and Baen!)
    • I have an Archos AV420, and basically I agree with you. I would love to access Audible content on my device. But that's not quite accurate, because I can, just not as conveniently as I wish.

      The AV420 has a 20Gb hard disk and can plays mp3.

      I can relatively easily overnight let Audible play a book on the PC and use any of a number of programs to capture the sound off the audio card.

      That does get me the ability to play the audible content, and does let me bookmark my place in the content, but not the abil
  • Don't we all enjoy video on our iPod now []*?

    Well. Ok. Maybe not. But just wait until tomorrow when the new shiny Intel Inside® [] videoPods [] present themselves in the hand of His Steveness.

    *Don't buy or sell the so called "videoPod Shuffle" to sight-impaired people on eBay these are not endoresed by Apple.
  • oh yeah.
  • I've got the AV300 (Score:4, Informative)

    by SkyFire360 ( 889512 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @12:47PM (#12729703)
    I've owned the JBMM20 and the AV300 - the great-grandfather and grandfather of the AV700 - and I have to say that they're amazing pieces of technology. They run embedded firmware on the DSC25 that is compatible with linux [] so you can run Linux on it if you really want. The video playback on the AV300 is stunning, even at 352x240 resolution: you can read subtitles clear as day. It has decent quality sound (much better if you get a nicer pair of headphones like the Seinnheiser HD280 Pro []), a bright lcd screen and 3-4 hours of video playback on the "Low Brightness" option which ironically is quite bright still. Oh yeah... and it plays DiVX

    For anyone that's interested, don't even think about getting the bigger harddrive model. Both old and new models use standard 3.5" laptop harddrives, which means you can buy one off of PriceWatch and slap it in there. Just format it with a FAT boot sector first and you're good to go.
  • Tivo needs to have a small unit like this. Or heck let Archos Tivo OS on their machine. Tivo would have to work on the aspect of making it more portable. But it would sell.
  • This neat Archos toy surely demonstrates the feasibility of HDD video recording. The price is a bit high (could as much as double the camera price), but will probably come down significantly since video cams are produced in SO larger quantities.
  • better than laptop (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charbax ( 678404 )
    How come 75% of the posts in here say that it's better to buy a laptop.

    The Archos Pma430 is 600$, just search it on froogle.

    Archos has a deal with Echostar in US to market all their Gmini400, AV400 and AV700 in special packages, maybe rebranded as PocketDish. This is interesting because Echostar will probably give away this portable video player/recorder just for getting new customers over from the DirecTV/Tivo users.

    The Archos players are approximately same price as an iPod anyways, so stop saying that
    • Even $600 is too much for me... personally, I had to budget heavily for a few months to be able to get a PSP for myself and my 11 yr. old son w/ a few games each and a 1/2 gb mem card which all told STILL didn't approach the cost of this unit alone! I don't begrudge anybody w/ the discretionary income, but for "Joe Average", they may as well be priced at $5,000.... they'll never have mass appeal at $600+. BTW, I will be the 1st to say that iPod photo is sold at an insultingly high price as well for a STUP
  • by Civil_Disobedient ( 261825 ) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @02:27PM (#12730212)
    "One significant problem that we found in our reviews of their players is that most movie files available online are in formats not readable by the Archos, requiring them to be laboriously converted before they could play on their devices."

    If Archos would like to expand its marketshare (and survive the onslaught by Sony and, eventually Apple), they need to address this fundamental flaw with their PMP line of players.
  • Why would anyone want this new model instead of the existing Archos AV4100: ml []
    which also has 100GB, is similarly priced, also records from TV, is smaller, weighs less, and has better resolution:
    "DVD playback is full DVD resolution up to 704x480; recording is standard TV resolution, up to 512x384 (SVCD)." according to: mments/archos_av4100_portable_video_recorder_playe r_announced/ []

    The only advantage of
  • pixels don't matter for it to be a widescreen or not a widescreen.. Pixels can be wide pixels, so for this device to be widescreen or not is all about the size of the screen, width should be 16/9th of height, no matter pixels. The pixels here are just that resolution detail the screen can show, though any video up to DVD resolution + b-frames + vbr-mp3 work fine, and will just be processed down to the 400 something pixels, which is more than very heigh and ample enough resolution even on a 7inch screen, wh
  • The opening paragraph ircked me. I really don't believe that when Steve Jobs was talking about there being no content that he was talking about paid content. Most people use computers to maintain a library of their digital photos and music. Both of those applications have obvious mobile markets too. People take albums (both music and photo) to other people houses and have carried photos in wallets, and music on tape etc for years. Digital libraries of music and photos existed long before MP3 players and iPo
  • Well, I just received my first OGG player. I've never had a music player before so I don't have anything to compare it with. But I'm pleased with it.

    Plugging the USP plug into my Xandros Linux system caused the file manager to come up automatically. I could just drag .ogg files into the MUSIC folder and they became visible to the player.

    It has a built-in microphone so you can directly record audio (in MP3 format). It also has a line input so that you can record audio from another source. It even h

  • an mp3 player for 6th grade graduation present, and we go thru the sunday paper adds, and look on line and the result...the ipod has games and comes in neat colors, end of story.. I don't think the even heard my comment that having an AA battery, as opposed to a sealed internal proprietary, is a good idea..
    • "I don't think the even heard my comment that having an AA battery, as opposed to a sealed internal proprietary, is a good idea.."

      That is the single most important thing to me...And also the biggest surprise as to why iPods were the "chosen ones". I have an old Archos 20GB jukebox that runs from 4 AA's that I have used so much over the last few years that I am sure any internal battery would have long since bitten the dust. (My total cost for battery upkeep has been about $30 bucks for a charger with 4 e
  • Can it handle the latest divx and xvid video files that might come freshly downloaded off of mininova?

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost