April 29, 2008
| by Rachel Cericola
That portable is about to get a lot more powerful.
I know I say that a lot, but Archos just announced plans to add GPS, place-shifting, video streaming, and a slew of other content to a few of its portable players.
For the GPS, they will release the GPS In-Car Holder ($129.99) this May. This unit will specifically house the company’s Archos 605 Wi-Fi PMP. The cradle will attach to the dashboard and the car’s stereo. Snap in the 4.3-inch touchscreen, and the unit will deliver voice and video navigation, then entertain you with photos, video, recorded TV, games and web surfing—once you reach your destination, of course.
To handle the live TV and place-shifting, the company is incorporating its previously announced Archos TV+ ($350). The unit was designed to deliver DVR and web content; soon it will be a Slingbox slinger, throwing in TVportation, which will allow users to access that content, and pause and watch live TV. It works with the Archos 605WiFi and 705 Wi-Fi PMPs, as well as web-enabled laptops and select PDAs and smartphones. The plug-in will be free if you’ve already for the TV+ unit; new users will have to pay $50.
Another new add-on will enable Archos 605WiFi and 705 PMPs to play Adobe Flash 9 and ON2 video formats. That will enable playback of content from YouTube, MySpace, MTV, and other on-demand media and entertainment sites. That’s a simple firmware update.
If you’re willing to shell out another $20, you can add in a Web TV and Radio plug-in. That will allow for access to 9,600 web radio stations, 600 web TV stations, and about 110,000 live podcasts.
Last, but certainly not least, Archos has made a deal with Paramount Pictures that will deliver movies such as “Cloverfield” and “Beowulf” to the Archos TV+ or those same precious portables. Of course, you’re going to have to pay for them, but a slew will come preloaded on the TV+ box, with the ability to score more from the Archos Content Portal.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.