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Archos to trump Apple with TV+?

updated 11:25 am EST, Thu January 3, 2008

Archos TV+ Leak

Archos is about to announce a dedicated media hub that should offer features simply not possible on the Apple TV or most other media hubs, according to a leak from UberGizmo. Called the Archos TV+, the extender will pull videos from the local network to the TV but will use its connection more intelligently than the current Apple hub: both Ethernet and Wi-Fi can be used to download content directly to the TV+ through an Archos portal site or to browse the web with a mobile version of Opera similar to that found on the Archos 605 Wi-Fi and other handhelds. A new remote will include both a directional pad, a trackpad, and a keyboard.

Viewers will also have more options for capturing and video output, according to the claim. In addition to component and HDMI video out connections shared with its Apple challenger, the Archos box will sport RCA and S-video outputs as well as video input through all but HDMI, allowing it to record standard-definition TV. Its USB 2 port will be immediately usable for transferring content between the hub and virtually any Archos handheld of the past three generations, the company adds.

An actual launch date is unknown, though Archos is expected to release the TV+ in the US with both 80GB ($250) and 250GB ($350) versions and therefore undercut the Apple TV with both more features and a lower price.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    Interface

    It will be interesting to see what the interface/GUI is like. I really like the Apple TV/Front Row navigation screens.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Nope...

    ...not going to happen w/ a remote that looks like that! That is way too complicated for the common user to add to their other remotes. Like the previous poster, the simple Apple TV GUI and remote is a great part of its appeal.

    Archos has to deliver a much more simplified solution; otherwise, geeks and electronics addicts will be the only ones buying it....and the Archos executives.

    /

  1. kirasaw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    0

    I agree with pairof9s

    As soon as I saw the remote I thought - geeks only. The last thing we need is yet another huge remote. keep the remote simple by having better software and interface, thats the Apple TV solution.

  1. John Lockwood

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2000

    +1

    Archos et al vs. Apple

    There are many products from many manufacturers that do more than the equivalent Apple product, but almost without exception they suffer from the same identical drawback.

    They are ugly either in physical appearance, or user interface, or both.

    The Archos 405 is an example, it does far more than any iPod but is still comparatively ugly (although for an Archos product it is almost 'fair' in appearance). Likewise the original Nintendo DS was a complete dog in appearance and it was only when the redesigned DS Lite shipped that it really took off in sales.

    One of the most common mistakes manufacturers other than Apple make, is to use exceptionally ugly type faces (Microsoft have been particularly guilty of this and imposed the hideous Arial type face on the world). Just look at a typical portable radio with an LCD display and the font makes you want to puke.

    So, while this new Archos TV+ will I am sure do a lot more than an Apple TV, would you be able to stand (or more likely sit) looking at it for hours on end without wanting to hurl something at the TV screen? I think not.

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    nice

    I think the device looks very sleek. And the remote doesn't look that complicated when you consider the AppleTV requires iTunes and syncing or whatever.

  1. Skanoza

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    0

    iTunes is complicated

    To someone who mentioned that iTunes is 'complicated': A lot of the syncing that Apple TV involves is one-time and is a breeze, if not automatic. It's the easiest process i have encountered when you consider what any other product in the market entails.

    A remote should ONLY have buttons related to the viewing experience. What on earth is this s***? Fine, companies are innovation-impaired but are companies learning disabled or something? I mean even after Apple does it for them, these guys don't seem to get the point! It's not about whether a product is complicated to use, in reality, or not. The Q is, does it invite the User at first glance? NO!

    So now, coming to this butt-ugly remote that looks like an editing station - it's COMPLICATED and ugly!

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    0

    10' web browsing = suck

    Browsing the web from your couch is an exercise in frustration, even if you have a full wireless keyboard and mouse or wiimote-type device. That's a non-feature at best. As for downloading content from your couch, for all but the most limited selections of content, that too is a huge pain with the input devices you have. Trying to search for content from 10 feet away, with sub-optimal input devices, is just too much of a hassle for most people. I'd rather use my computer or iPhone to find the content, and use the TV interface strictly for playback. I think Apple really got a lot right about the content workflow with the AppleTV, but it's just that computer storage is not quite to the price point and capacity where online (not on shiny disc) video library storage is completely practical. Bandwidth and CPU speed limitations also hinder content downloading and encoding performance, and I'd say we're at least 2-4 years from true digital video (stored electronically) really starting to have an impact on consumer electronics.

  1. LiciousTheDiva

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Archos TV+ specs...

    Video playback: MPEG-4 (ASP@L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution) WMV (MP@ML, up to DVD resolution) With optional software plug-ins (available for purchase on www.archos.com): - Podcast plug-in: H.264 up to DVD resolution and AAC sound. - Cinema Plug-in: MPEG-2 MP@ML up to 10 Mbps (up to DVD resolution) and AC3 stereo sound.

    So.... The Archos TV+ only does Standard Resolution, so I don't see how it should even be compared to the AppleTV. Yeah the AppleTV only goes up to 1080i, but that beats 480i any day.

  1. richlin71

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    browsing on archos

    i bought an archos 604 pmp with wifi and the opera browser. it was unusable. the browsing experience was pretty bad. the fonts looked horrible. i ended up hardly using the browser at all before i sold it.

  1. BigAngry1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Half-Baked AppleTV

    Apple is the THE place to go for ease of use for most things. AppleTV, however, is not that interesting and the menu system is far too linear. I don't like having to click all of the way back to the main menu to get to another part of my catalogue. While simple, this has always been a problem for me with the iPod. Why use the same menu as iTunes? Or the new Touch iPod? At least you have more flexibility. Also, AppleTV is kind of half-baked.

    Archos shows Apple what they should have know from the beginning--we want storage and flexibility. Unfortunately, Apple let this one out of it's test kitchen a little too early. Why spend the money on AppleTV or Archos when I can buy a Mac Mini slap on the Lacie or iomega external drives and have a flexible entertainment system that also allows me to play DVDs? Sure, it is a little more expensive but it gives you all of the operability of the Leopard OS and and the compactness of the half-hearted AppleTV.

    While I don't think that the Archos remote is that difficult, I think that having to rely only upon it is a mistake. Even though I don't particularly like the FrontRow menu, I like that all I needs is that little remote to get to my content. I also like the ability that the Mac Mini gives me to plug in a keyboard and download additional content and use it to browse the web if I decide that I want to.

    Also, with BluRay HD DVDs coming to Apple products and the overly expensive price points and low-res digital downloads from iTunes, having an on board HD DVD player is still imperative.

    Finally, the ability to use the ARCHOS as a DVR beats AppleTV hands down. How the Apple creative team missed this function is beyond me. Actually, it is not. This is a case where Apple sided with the networks and studios to not provide that functionality and retain the ability to charge for all programing on the AppleTV. Unlike the iPod, which Jobs showed off as a great device to listen to all of your previously purchased music (on CD).

    Why not provide that same functionality for the hundreds of DVDs that line our shelves? At least provide us with the ability to play them, if not rip them. Anyway, that is my two cents.

    Cheers,

    Big Angry Samoan

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