TV-Recording RoverTv PMPs Lack HDD To Reduce Size

By Joseph Palenchar On Sep 4 2006 - 6:00am

New York—A pair of pocket-size TV-recording portable media players (PMPs) stay slim by shunning hard disk drives (HDDs) as their storage media, making them the first, or among the first, TV-recording PMPs to forgo the spinning disk.

The devices, unveiled by startup DogHouse Electronics, are called RoverTv Big Screen and RoverTv Widescreen.

Another differentiating point is their lack of embedded flash memory. Almost all other A/V-storing PMPs either use a HDD or embedded flash memory to store content, but DogHouse's products store content only on removable SD flash-memory cards to give consumers more content-storing flexibility than devices with embedded memory.

At least one company, Handheld Entertainment, offers an AV-storing PMP that uses only removable memory to store content, but Handheld's model doesn't record directly from a TV, DVR, or DVD player as the RoverTvs do.

The Big Screen RoverTv features a 3.5-inch 4:3 screen at a suggested $299, and the Widescreen version with 4-inch widescreen retails for a suggested $349. A 2MB SD card included in the price stores four hours of "high-quality video" or 2,800 songs, the company said. The former weighs only 4.5 ounces and measures only 2.75 by 0.6 by 3.6 inches. The latter weighs 5.5 ounces and measures 2.75 by 4.13 by 0.6 inches. Despite their small size, they include FM radio, whose content can be recorded in MP3 format.

Both feature built-in timerS to time shift from a TV. Both use analog inputs to record directly off a TV, cable box, DVD, other video sources and music sources such as CD players. Their analog outputs display stored content, including content ripped from a prerecorded DVD movie disc, on connected TVs. A USB 2.0 port allows for A/V transfers from a PC.

The devices will be available on Rover's Web site in two weeks at the suggested retails, but the company is also targeting mass merchants.

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