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Archos AV400 Pocket Video Recorder


Archos AV400 Pocket Video Recorder
NOTE: This article has been updated as of 2/17/2005 to reflect information regarding the new AV4100 100GB model.

One of portable video pioneer Archos' most popular product lines is their AV400 Pocket Video Recorder, also known as a portable video player. This player, Archos says, is the next generation in PVPs with its ability to record television programs ala Tivo, its removable battery pack on the 20GB model and relatively small size given the huge amount of features it has to offer.

The AV400 comes with a TV Cradle, which hooks up to your TV, VCR or cable/satellite set top box. The cradle, which also doubles as a charger, allows the AV400 to communicate with the tuner inside the other devices to flip the channel when it's time to record a user selected program to the portable video recorder’s hard drive. The Recording Scheduler software on the AV400 synchronizes with Yahoo’s TV listings to collect the latest programming schedules for the week or month in advance. The TV Cradle also comes with a universal remote.

Depending upon the size of the hard drive (20GB, 80GB and a new 100GB), up to several hundred hours of video programming can be recorded and viewed on the 3.5 or 3.8 inch color screen, as well as a TV or other video display device. Archos said they plan to support Windows Media Digital Rights Management on the AV400 in order to protect the rights of content developers. Non DRM video will be able to be stored and played on the player as well.

As far as music playback goes, the AV400 can store and play hundreds or thousands of hours of music, again depending upon the hard drive size. Playback formats which are compatible include MP3, WMA and WAV. An optional accessory, the FM Radio and Remote Control, will allow you to listen to FM radio through the PVP, as well as recording songs from the start via a 30-second buffer which gives you enough time to hit the record button.

Listening options for the player’s audio include a built-in speaker as well as a jack for headphones.

As if music and video storage wasn’t enough, the AV400 can also display photos. JPEGs can be stored on the player’s hard drive and shown individually or as a slide show. Photos can be transferred via USB 2.0 from a computer or off of a CompactFlash card via the built-in reader.

Other interesting features include screen background personalization, video editing, thumbnail picture viewing, bookmarking of a position during audio or video playback for later returning to and storage of documents and other types of files to take on the go.

The 20GB model also sports a removable battery pack. This will allow users who own several charged packs to swap them in and out to extend listening or viewing time with minimal interruption when away from a wall socket.

The 20GB model (AV420) is priced at $499.95, the 80GB unit (AV480) is $749.95 and the new 100GB model (AV4100) comes in at $799.95.

AV400 Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.9” x 3.1” x 0.8” (20GB). 4.9” x 3.1” x 1” (80GB, 100GB)
  • Capacity: 20GB, 80GB, 100GB.
  • Interfaces: USB 2.0 high-speed, compatible USB 1.1, PC & Mac.Built-in CompactFlash™ Type I slot to accept CompactFlash™ memory cards and optional 4 in 1 CF adapter for SD, SM, MMC, MS and MS Pro.
  • Video Playback: MPEG-4 SP with MP3 or ADPCM stereo sound, near DVD quality up to 704x480 @ 30 f/s, AVI file format. Compatible XviD and DivX 4.0 & 5.0.
  • Video Recording: MPEG-4 SP with ADPCM stereo sound, near SVCD quality (optimized resolution for standard TV through composite video line-in) with up to 512x384 @ 30 f/s, in AVI format.
  • Display: AV420 has a 3.5” screen, AV480 and AV4100 have 3.8” screen – both are TFT LCD screens, (QVGA) 320x240 pixels, 262 000 colors and TV output.
  • Music Playback: Stereo MP3 decoding @ 30-320 kb/s CBR & VBR, WMA (including protected files), WAV (PCM & ADPCM).
  • Music Recording: From any analog source in stereo sound for WAV (PCM & ADPCM) format. Voice recording with built-in microphone.
  • Photo Viewer: JPEG (except progressives) or BMP
  • AV Connections: Composite Video/ Earphone/ Line Out jack. Built-in microphone and speaker. TV cradle to connect to TV with analog audio/video In & Out to RCA jacks, S-video In, and IR receiver for remote and IR emitter for tuner control, SCART In & Out for European version.
  • Power Source: Internal : rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries. External : AC charger/adapter.
  • Weight: 9.88 oz for 20GB model and 11.29 oz for 80GB and 100GB models.
  • System Requirements for PC: Pentium III 800 MHz of higher, Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000 or XP. 64MB RAM (128MB recommended) with USB port and CD-ROM drive.
  • System Requirements for Mac: 9.2 or X (10.2.4), USB Manager 1.2 or higher with USB port and CD-ROM drive.
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