updated 08:55 am EST, Mon January 18, 2010
Smart HD player is HD rip-friendly
iRiver on Monday touted an advantage in touchscreen media players with the Smart HD. It becomes one of the few players to support not just HD video resolutions but the MKV (Matroska) container as well. Adding the format gives it support for subtitles and other extras common to "unofficial" copies of movies.
The 3.5-inch player also takes some cues from the iPod touch and has not just a wider range of built-in apps but also an open widget API for developers to customize their own home screen elements. Education is also served with support for copy-protected e-books.
All versions can play 18 hours of audio (6 hours of video) and take microSDHC cards, but pricing varies based on storage as well as features. An entry 8GB model will cost the equivalent of $203, while a version with a DMB over-the-air TV tuner costs $248. A 16GB version with preloaded educational content will cost $265, and a flagship with Wi-Fi will cost $310.
Only iRiver's native Korea has access to the Smart HD so far, but the company regularly exports its players and is likely to make a North American version available, albeit without the incompatible DMB tuner. [via The MP3 Players]