Looking to give consumers more freedom to watch full-length movies whenever and wherever they choose, Sonicblue Inc., the maker of ReplayTV, and Intel Corp. announced plans Monday to introduce a handheld TV-like device called the Portable Video Player.
The PVP, designed to be small enough to fit in a coat pocket, features about a 4-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 320-by-240 pixels, and is capable of storing and playing up to 70 hours of digital videos.
The device, which will be marketed as the ReplayTV Portable Video Player, utilized an Intel XScale processor to decode compressed digital video stored on an internal 20GB hard drive, similar to that already featured in Sonicblues Rio Riot MP3 music player.
Not only will consumers be able to upload and play digital movies on the PVP, but theyll also be able to store digital photographs and play MP3 music files. Users will be able to upload the multimedia files to the device using USB 2.0, which can transfer data at more than 40MB per second.
The concept for the PVP was first drawn up in Intels Emerging Platform Labs a little more than a year ago by researchers looking for new ways to sell the chip makers technology, according to labs director Bob Hill.
“We work with a lot of companies to develop innovative mobile products on Intel technologies,” Hill said. “Essentially we brainstorm different concepts that we can turn into products.”
For the PVP, he said, the overall concept was simple: “Essentially, what we wanted to do was to transfer video and other media onto a device folks could enjoy in a mobile lifestyle.”
Once Intel researchers developed a prototype of the PVP, they approached companies they thought might be interested in marketing the new design, and eventually reached an agreement with Sonicblue, which viewed the new product as complementary to its self-heralded cutting-edge image.
“Sonicblue is a company known for making cool, innovative consumer entertainment products,” said Nikhil Balram, vice president of Connected Home Products at Sonicblue. “This is something that will turn heads. It will be the kind of product that will stop you when you see it in the store window.”
Specifically, Balram said the product fits in with the companys current marketing of its ReplayTV digital recorder, which enables users to record and play back videos stored digitally on hard drives.
“This adds additional flexibility to the digital video recorder, which lets you watch what you want when you want to, he said. “What this does is add a third dimension, letting you watch where you want to.”
The ReplayTV PVP is scheduled to go on sale next year, but Sonicblue declined to disclose an initial price range.
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- Intel Launches LaGrande Security Plan
- IDF Coverage (ExtremeTech)
- Banias Chip to Support Bluetooth, 802.11b
- Support Lags for New Pentium 4
(Note: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect data transfer rate.)