Handheld cinema delivers complete portable package
Thursday June 26, 2003
The latest handheld media device from ARCHOS - the Video AV300 series - combines portable video recording and playback with the ability to record directly into MPEG-4 from any video source, meaning up to 80 hours of everything you view on the computer or television screen can be stored and played while on the go via the 10cm LCD screen.
Playback via television is also catered for delivering near-DVD quality MPEG-4 compressed digital video at a maximum resolution 640x360 with stereo MP3 sound track according to ARCHOS.
Hundreds of hours of MP3 music can be stored on the device which can record from any audio source directly into MP3 format and also doubles as a voice recorder.
The 20GB or 40GB storage capacity also enables storage and viewing of up to 400,000 digital photos. Image transfer from computer is via USB 2.0 and memory card reader add-ons are available that allow direct transfer of images from the camera (cutting the PC out of the loop).
A number of other accessories that expand the versatility of the AV 300 even further are also worth mentioning. The AVCam 300 add-on includes a Ricoh zoom lens and shoots 3.3 megapixel still images and MPEG-4 video.
There's also an FM Radio & Recording Control that transforms the AV300 into an FM radio and remote with MP3 recording capabilities. A clever feature of the AV300 when performing this function is that a background-recording feature called "retro-recording" that allows you to recover the start of the song that you missed by being too slow to hit record when the song started on the radio.
The AV300 series is currently available in two models - the AV320 and AV340 - with 20 and 40-gigabyte hard disks respectively.
The release of the Video AV300 series follows the success of the Jukebox Multimedia 120, combining, photo, video and music and the AV120 - the first portable video recorder with video previewing capabilities - released in January 2003.
According to Australian distributor tesora.com.au, the AV300 series is still awaiting full certification according to Australian standards and is expected to be released in Australia around September/October 2003.
Exact pricing was also unavailable at the time of publication (although a figure of around US$800 is expected). Visit www.gizmo.com.au for updates or see the links below for further information.